A homage to Mithun Chakraborty
From zero to hero! There are very few stars who have started from the bottom and touched almost everything in life. Mithun Chakraborty is one of them. Born in Barishal (East Bengal), now Bangladesh, Mithun got a degree in Chemistry from Scottish Church College, Kolkata. Later, he went to Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. His early life was different. He was an active Naxalite but he returned to his family after his brother got killed in an accident. After that, he decided to be an actor. His debut was in Mrinal Sen’s national award-winning Mrigaya (1976). Chakraborty won best actor award for this film. Acting was instinctive for Mithun and working with the great Mrinal Sen is testimony to that.
After Mrigaya, Chakraborty starred in films like Do Anjaane (1976) and Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan (1978), but those are mainly minor roles. His first successful film was Mera Rakshak but the film that fetched him stardom was Surakshaa (1979). Mithun played the character of an undercover CBI agent, Gopi, who tries to solve the mystery of the death of a junior colleague who left behind a letter with mysterious initials written on it.
Bollywood always has had a particular ‘hero’ who has ruled a particular decade. The ’80s belonged to Mithun Chakraborty (and Amitabh Bachchan as well, but we’ll be talking about Chakraborty here). Mithun had starred in around 110 movies in this decade. He did films from various genres such as action, family drama, romance, and comedy.
I have maintained a low profile throughout my career but have always done things in my own unique way, be it dancing or dressing up. On the dance floor, I had my own unique steps and often had to lead my choreographer.Mithun Chakraborty
However, the film that gave Mithun a never-ending-fame was Disco Dancer which came in 1982. The film revolves around Anil whose mother is falsely accused of theft and he decides to make everything right. Years later, he becomes a big star and restores his mother’s honor. The film was a blockbuster at the box office. The film made Rs 150.68 crores in 1982. Disco Dancer is the first ever Indian movie which crossed 100 crore mark. The film was a worldwide success, with its popularity extending across Asia, the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, and Eastern and Western Africa. It was one of the most successful films in the Soviet Union. One of the reasons was that the film introduced us to pop culture and the other being Chakraborty’s phenomenal dance. The film made Mithun the dancing star of India overnight.
After Disco Dancer, Mithun teamed up with director Babbar Subhas again in Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, Dance Dance and Commando. After that, he gave back to back hits like Swarg Se Sundar, Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye, Ghar Ek Mandir, Shaukeen, Watan Ke Rakhwale and others. He was also appreciated for his role as Javar in the JP Dutta film, Ghulami. In 1990, Mithun beside Amitabh Bachchan in Agneepath as Krishnan Iyer which won him the Filmfare Award for best-supporting actor. In 1992, he won National award for best actor for Bengali film Tahader Katha. In 1995, he won Filmfare Best Villain Award and Star Screen Award Best Villain for Jallad. In 1998, he won another National Award for best-supporting actor for his portrayal of Ramakrishnan in G. V. Iyer’s Swami Vivekananda.
I am evergreen, and with every passing day, I am becoming younger.Mithun Chakraborty
Mithun Chakraborty also worked in several Bengali films. He starred in films like Kalankini Kankabati, Troyee, and Anyay Abichar, and others. In 2006, he tried his hand on commercial Bengali movies with MLA Fatakeshto, the film was a massive hit which leads to a sequel, Minister Fatakeshto in 2007. Kaalpurush and Titli got him nominated for National Awards again. In 2010, Mithun starred in Shukno Lanka, the film proved how capable Chakrabarty is as an actor. The film was critically acclaimed and also did well at the box office. Apart from Bollywood and Bengali cinema. Chakrabarty also did films in other languages like Odiya, Telegu and Tamil.
In 2008, writer Sourav Mahapatra wrote a comic book named Jimmy Zhingchak – Agent of D.I.S.C.O., which is based on Mithun Chakrabarty. It is a spoof and a homage of ’80s Bollywood disco zeitgeist, detailing the adventures of a disco dancing superspy who fights Sir John and his evil F.I.R.A.N.G. for the Dept. of Internal Security and Covert Operations (D.I.S.C.O.). In 2010, Guinea-Bissau issued a postal stamp in Mithun Chakraborty’s honor.
Mithun Chakrabarty is a prime example of talent nurtured well. From an active Naxalite to a successful actor even a Rajyasava MP. He is still acting in movies, not regularly though. Let’s just hope he keeps up working like this and keeps giving us more great performance in the coming days.
The author Ritam Pan
In this terrifying world, all we have are the connections that we make.