Prakash Mehra, who introduced Amitabh Bachchan as the ‘angry young man’, was born

It has been more than four decades since the release of ‘Zanjeer’ (1973), but for us and the ardent cinema lovers the impact this film has left is something that can’t be described in words. The film remains special and unique for various reasons, the most important one being that it re-introduced Amitabh Bachchan  in the film industry. The actor’s fortunes were changed overnight with the breakthrough success of this film that gave him the tag of ‘Angry young man’, an avatar which the audience loved and was continued in many of his iconic films like ‘Namak Haraam’, ‘Sholay’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Trishul’, ‘Don’, etc. But, apart from Big B’s stellar performance, what made ‘Zanjeer’ iconic was the crystal clear vision of popular screenwriter duo Salim-Javed’s powerful writing and late veteran filmmaker Prakash Mehra’s brilliant style of storytelling. These two indeed became pillars of strength for this film. And today, we are remembering this talented filmmaker on his 78th birth anniversary.

Prakash Mehra was born on July 13, 1939 in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. He had started his career in the Hindi film industry in the late 50s as a production controller. With Shashi Kapoor and Babita-starrer ‘Haseena Maan Jayegi’ (1968), Mehra made his debut as a director in Bollywood. But, it was his fifth film ‘Zanjeer’ that made him a well-known name in films. After ‘Zanjeer’, his relationship with Amitabh Bachchan grew stronger that went on to deliver seven more films. These films were ‘Hera Pheri’, ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikandar’, ‘Laawaris’, ‘Sharaabi’, ‘Namak Halaal’, ‘Khoon Pasina’ (Prakash Mehra as producer) and ‘Jaadugar’ being their last collaboration together.

In early 90s, he directed ‘Zindagi Ek Juaa’ with Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit Nene playing the lead roles which was not a commercial success. His last film as a director ‘Bal Bramhachari’ (1996) introduced late veteran actor Raaj Kumar’s son Puru Raajkumar in Bollywood.

Prakash Mehra breathed his last on May 17, 2009 due to pneumonia and multiple organ failure.

This day in the history of Indian Cinema will be remembered for the birth of a famous storyteller who will live on forever with his work and especially for introducing the ‘Angry young man’ with ‘Zanjeer‘ .