Comparing Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachan
Dilip Kumar and Amitabh invariably invite comparison, though they are from different periods
Two Super Stars who dominated Indian cinema
Dilip was the reigning star of the fifties and sixties. He dominated Hindi cinema and was the first super star. I recollect my uncle once mentioned to me that Dilip charged Rs 12 lakh per film in those days. Considering the inflation and value of the ruppee, the amount works out to a colossal payment.
Dilip Kumar was a Muslim, but adopted a Hindu name. His real name was Yusaf Khan and he was a Pathan from the North West frontier from Peshawar. Dilip rose like a meteor and gave a string of hits like Leader, Ram aur Sham, Dil diya dard liya, Gopi, Babul,Sagina and a host of other films. He earned the title of tragedy king and played his roles to perfection. In the field of tragedy and subtle romance, there is no peer to Dilip Kumar. Who can forget his onscreen song with Munwar Sultana in Babul. Dilip is fab in the song when he sings ' milte hi ankhen,..'.
Dilip Kumar won the Indian equivalent to the Oscar, the filmfare award for best actor the maximum number of times for a Hindi film star. He was a great actor who lived his roles.
The Advent of Amitabh and the Comparison
In the seventies Amitabh Bachan appeared on the scene. He gave a new dimension as he started acting the roles of the angry young man. The soft romantic tragedy of Dilip Kumar was replaced with an undercurrent of crime and voilence. Amitabh created a new macho image, without having a muscular body. He could get away as physical culture was not the strong point of Indian stars at that time.
Once we compare Amitabh and Dilip, the scale in my opinion will swing a wee bit in favor of Dilip Kumar. Dilip acted at a time when the props available to Amitabh were non existant. Yet he turned in brilliant performances. Amitabh also did justice to his roles, but he lacked the expressions of Dilip as he relied more on dialogue and action. Both legends have past their days and will be remembered for ever. Hindi films and Indian cinema is richer because of these two great stars.