Om Puri: Unlikely hero who straddled twin worlds of Ardh Satya’s Anant and Narsimha’s Baapjion January 6, 2017 at 11:44 am
As news of the premature death of Om Puri floated in the media this morning, the lasting image of him that came to mind was from Ardh Satya (1983) by Govind Nihalani, considered as a seminal work in the history of Hindi cinema and an invaluable monument to the parallel film movement of which Mr. Puri was the poster-boy. As a policeman standing against the corrupt system, Puri rage bull performance makes him the most intense and distressed portrait of this type in Hindi films. Of course, unless you are inclined to cast Anant Welankar from Ardh Satya against Vijay a.k.a from an earlier generation Amitabh Bachchan. You can trace the history of Bollywood by simply outlining the parallel lives and times of Puri and Bachchan who finally had the opportunity to work together in a police drama by Govind Nihalani titled Dev. While Bachchan dominated the right side of Bollywood, that was all About algorithms and Puri stardom represented to the left, with an active interest in art cinema. There was a joke that, like Bollywood, even relatively esoteric art cinema had a rigid hierarchy with Om Puri and Naseeruddin Shah being their reigning superstars.