Tuesday marks the 89th birth anniversary of late Indian cinema actor Amrish Puri. Born on June 22, 1932 in Punjab, the actor became renowned for playing the classic Bollywood villain. From Karan Arjun, Koyla, to Nayak, Amrish continued to redefine what a villain looked like in Hindi cinema.
In 1987, the actor starred in Shekhar Kapur’s Mr India. The movie was an early take on superhero and supervillain trope in the Indian cinema. With Mr India, actors Anil Kapoor and Amrish played one of the defining roles of their career. However, for the role of antagonist Mogambo, Amrish was not the first choice of director Shekhar.
Before Amrish accepted the role, Shekharhad offered the role to actor Anupam Kher. In an interview in 2019, the actor had told news IANS.Anupam informed that before Amrish immortalised the character of Mogambo with his sublime acting skills, he was to play the role.
After Anupam was given the role for this 1987 movie, it was passed to Amrish one or two months later. Anupam was replaced by Amrish for the role in the movie that also starred Sridevi.
With Mogambo, Amrish once again showed his versatility in acting even if it restricted him to play the antagonist. Amrish passed away on January 12, 2005 in Mumbai.
Written by Bollywood’s hit duo of Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan, Mr India traced the story of a man who accidentally discovers a device that gives him the power to disappear. While the villain Mogambo is in search of the same device, Mr India played by Anil uses his new found superpower to fight against the evil.
It is being speculated that a modern sequel to the Bollywood classic might be under works. Filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar revealed in an interview earlier this year that he is in talks with producer Boney Kapoor for the sequel.