This film is always remembered as the one time that Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan played father and son. While both stars had played the role of the person who becomes a criminal but remains honest and decent, here the father is the police officer while the son is the outlaw with whom he comes into conflict. Although there have been debates about who is the better actor, I think such discussions are pointless. These are two of the greatest actors in Hindi cinema and should not be viewed as competitors.
Told in flashback, by the elderly Ashwini Kumar (Dilip Kumar) to his grandson (Anil Kapoor), in front of his daughter-in-law, Roma (Smita Patil), the film begins with the birth of a son, Vijay, to Sheetal (Raakhee Gulzar) and Ashwini, a police officer. Vijay is kidnapped as a small child but never forgets his father, choosing to stay within the law even at the risk of losing his son. The gangster who helps Vijay escape becomes more of a father to him, especially when he ends up on the wrong side of the law and comes into conflict with his father. Although Roma breaks most of society’s conventional rules for women, she wants to unite her partner with his parents. However, his father must uphold the law and once again has to choose between that and his son’s life …
Most of the songs are fairly forgettable, even though composed by R. D. Burman, the film being made chiefly by the powerful dialogues, which would stand alone as great speeches but are even more powerful delivered well and in character. The majority, of course, are between the father and son, who can both speak eloquently about love and justice but are incapable of saying that they love each other or talking about their feelings in order to discover that one is constantly misinterpreting the other.
Raakhee, who had played Amitabh’s heroine in other films, becomes his mother here, while Anil Kapoor makes a guest appearance as the posthumous son. Amrish Puri plays J. K. the villain, with Kulbushan Kharbanda as the surrogate father figure. Smita Patil has a largely insignificant role in the film, although her transformation from the carefree girl who lives with a man she has only just met to a dutiful daughter-in-law gives her the desire for a family that leads to the final bonding of the fractured family.
Cast and Production Credits
Year – 1982, Genre – Crime, Country – India, Language – Hindi, Producer – Mushir Alam, Mohammed Riaz, Director – Ramesh Sippy, Music Director – R.D. Burman, Cast – Raakhee Gulzar, Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Smita Patil, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Amrish Puri