Exploring Cinematic Homage: From Company to Bachchhan Pandey

Without a question, Akshay Kumar is one of the most versatile and popular performers in Indian film. Over the years, Kumar, who is renowned for his versatility in acting roles, has portrayed a number of memorable roles in movies. Akshay Kumar dons a different persona once again in “Bachchhan Pandey,” his 2023 movie, playing a man who is very embedded in the mafia community. However, there are other covert references and nods scattered throughout that engage the viewer as well as Kumar’s performance. In a moment when Kumar’s character takes center stage, the audience is presented to a cinematic easter egg: a movie poster for Ram Gopal Varma’s “Company,” which stars Vivek Oberoi and Ajay Devgn. This seemingly unimportant detail really conveys a deeper message, highlighting both the film’s thematic aspects and the long legacy of reference and tribute in Indian filmmaking.

Before delving into the significance of the “Company” movie poster in “Bachchhan Pandey,” it’s crucial to understand the context of the film. The focus of Farhad Samji’s film “Bachchhan Pandey,” which stars Akshay Kumar as a small-town goon named Lallan Singh, is on Lallan Singh’s life. Lallan, a ridiculous character, aspires to be an actor and is an ardent Amitabh Bachchan devotee. The film depicts the highs and lows of Lallan’s journey and how, in the end, he develops into the leading man role he had always dreamed of playing.

The criminal and gangster world, a well-known motif in Indian film, is one of the key themes of “Bachchhan Pandey.” Bollywood is known for its representations of gangsters and the criminal underworld; movies like “Don,” “Sarkar,” and “Satya” all delve into this dark and alluring aspect of society. A “Company” billboard is incorporated into the plot of “Bachchhan Pandey,” the filmmakers’ subtly referencing this cinematic institution.

Ram Gopal Varma directed the criminal drama “Company” in 2002. It features Ajay Devgn and Vivek Oberoi in significant roles. The movie is recognized for its gritty, realistic portrayal of Mumbai’s underworld, which is based on real individuals and events. It examines the power relationships, nefarious deals, and betrayals that take place in the criminal underground. The background sound of “Company” in “Bachchhan Pandey” alludes to the recurring topic of the mafia world.

In both films, the mobster character has a significant part. This topic is more prominently used in “Bachchhan Pandey” as a backdrop for character growth, but “Company” delves further into the world of criminals and their illegal operations. The gangster genre is a prevalent motif in both movies, as the posters make clear.

The usage of the “Company” poster also pays homage to the longer filmic legacy of Indian gangster movies. Over the years, Bollywood has produced a number of cult masterpieces that examine the complexities of the underworld. The placement of “Company’s” poster in “Bachchhan Pandey” is an homage to the film’s historical importance in Indian cinema. “Company” was a famous movie in this subgenre.

The practice of paying tribute to or paraphrasing previous movies is not exclusive to “Bachchhan Pandey.” Indian cinema has a strong tradition of including allusions and references to both current and prior films. Filmmakers often use this strategy to engage audiences, evoke nostalgia, or pay homage to the masterpieces that have inspired them.

The concept of cinematic tribute is not exclusive to Bollywood. In order to create a sense of familiarity and forge a stronger connection with the audience, filmmakers throughout the world routinely reference well-known events, people, or movies. For instance, Quentin Tarantino is widely recognized for using several film references in his works, which aid in creating an intricate and captivating web of interconnected stories.

Bollywood allows for many various types of homage, from overt imitations of well-known sequences to subliminal visual references. These references are not just cross-cultural and historical, but also particular to a certain genre. The directors honor a gangster genre classic by including a poster from “Company” into “Bachchhan Pandey,” creating a connection between two movies with a similar premise.

The masala film “Bachchhan Pandey” from Bollywood is not another one. This movie honors legendary movies that have had a big impact on the business and recognizes the rich tradition of Indian cinema. The presence of the “Company” poster is a subtle and significant allusion to the gangster genre, which has been a recurrent and important motif in Bollywood.

By using this filmic allusion, “Bachchhan Pandey” emphasizes the link between two different storylines and spans their divide. It honors the tradition of Indian cinema that has influenced Bollywood while highlighting the long-lasting effects of movies like “Company.” In the end, the movie’s devotion to one specific movie stands as a testament to the art of producing stories that endure, honoring both Lallan Singh’s life and India’s extensive film history.


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