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Celebrating 'Ajit - The Lion'
Wed May 11, 6:30 PM
Lamakaan
Hamid Ali Khan (27 January 1922 – 22 October 1998), better known by his stage name Ajit, was an Indian actor active in Hindi films. He acted in over two hundred movies over almost four decades. Ajit is also credited for starring as a lead actor in popular Bollywood movies such as Beqasoor, Nastik, Bada Bhai, Milan, Bara Dari, and later as the second lead in Mughal-e-Azam and Naya Daur.
He started as a hero and later got famous for the roles of sophisticated villains. He is remembered even today for his dialogues like ‘Mona Darling’ and ‘Smart Guy.
Celebrating his centenary anniversary, Lamakaan celebrates this son of the soil films, art, legacy, and much more through screening of some of the finest films on all Wednesday of the May month and discussing Ajit's work pre and post-screening.
Film: MUGHAL-E-AZAM (1960) Directed by: K Asif Duration: 185 minutes
ABOUT THE FILM: Mughal-e-Azam (transl. The Great Mughal) is a 1960 Indian epic historical drama film directed by K. Asif and produced by Shapoorji Pallonji. Starring Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Madhubala, and Durga Khote, it follows the love affair between Mughal Prince Salim (who went on to become Emperor Jahangir) and Anarkali, a court dancer. Salim's father, Emperor Akbar, disapproves of the relationship, which leads to a war between father and son.

The development of Mughal-e-Azam began in 1944, when Asif read a 1922 play called Anarkali which is set in the reign of Emperor Akbar (1556–1605). Production was plagued by delays and financial uncertainty. Before its principal photography began in the early 1950s, the project had lost a financier and undergone a complete change of cast. Mughal-e-Azam cost more to produce than any previous Indian motion picture; the budget for a single song sequence exceeded that typical for an entire film of the period. The soundtrack, inspired by Indian classical and folk music, comprises 12 songs voiced by playback singer Lata Mangeshkar along with Mohammed Rafi, Shamshad Begum and classical singer Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and is often cited among the finest in Bollywood cinematic history.

Mughal-e-Azam had the widest release of any Indian film up to that time, and patrons often queued all day for tickets. Released on 5 August 1960, it broke box office records in India and became the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, a distinction it held for 15 years; adjusted for inflation, it may still be the highest grossing Indian film of all time. The accolades awarded to the film include one National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards at the 8th Filmfare Awards. Mughal-e-Azam was the first black-and-white Hindi film to be digitally colored and the first in any language to be given a theatrical re-release. The color version, released on 12 November 2004, was also a commercial success.
The film is widely considered to be a milestone of its genre, earning praise from critics for its grandeur and attention to detail, and the performances of its cast (especially that of Madhubala, who earned a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress). Film scholars have welcomed its portrayal of enduring themes but question its historical accuracy.

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