Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great Gambler (1979) - A double role of Amitabh Bachchan and also starring Neetu Singh and Zeenat Aman

The Great Gamber released in the year 1979 and was directed by the super hit director Shakti Samanta and had in a double role, Amitabh Bachchan. Essentially a film about look-alikes and mistaken identities, it was a departure for the director in terms of the genre of the film and the hero. Samanta was known for his romantic films and for his close association with Rajesh Khanna. The film did not do too well but is known for its foot tapping songs.

Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) is an expert gambler and has been one for as long as he can never. He has the reputation of never having lost a game. His skills bring him to the attention of the underworld don Saxena (Utpal Dutta). Saxena is keen on hiring Jai as he wants the latter to win large amounts of money from rich people and then to influence them into doing whatever he (Saxena) wants. Jai agrees to play for Saxena without knowing of the bigger plan. One of Jai’s first victim is Nath(Jagdish Raj) a government employee who loses amount of money to Jai and is then blackmailed by Saxena into revealing the blueprints of a top-secret military laser weapon that can hit any target within 50 miles.

The Indian police come to know of this plan and assign the case to Inspector Vijay (Amitabh Bachhcan agajn) who is asked to apprehend Jai at any cost. The only hitch to this plan is that Inspector Vijay is Jai’s look alike but unlike his doppelganger he cannot gamble. There is a confusion of identities and Jai and Vijay both coincidentally are sent to Rome. In Rome Vijay is sent to recover proof against underworld don Saxena by his past henchman. On the other hand Jai is onto a money-making scheme that has him marrying rich girl Mala (Neetu Singh) in order to inherit her money. Mala however mistakes Vijay for Jai at the Rome airport and Vijay decides to go along with this to find out more about his look alike. Jai meanwhile meets Shabnam (Zeenat Aman), a club dancer who has been sent by Saxena to sidetrack Vijay and sabotage his mission to retrieve evidence against Saxena. However Shabnam mistakes Jai for Vijay and Jai gets involved into killing Saxena's former henchman to retrieve the blueprints of the laser weapon. The climax sees Jai and Vijay joining hands to finish off the bad guys.

Despite the heavy duty presence of big stars, the film refuses to take off primarily due to its many twists and turns that at times becomes a tad confusing. However Amitabh Bachchan’s suave portrayal of Jai and his dynamic characterisation of Vijay makes this film worth a watch.


Directed by Shakti Samanta
Produced by C.V.K. Shastri
Written by Shakti Samanta, Ranjan Bose
Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, Neetu Singh
Music by Rahul Dev Burman

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