Should Big B retire? The industry reacts to Anurag Basu's opinion

By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Sanjay Leela Bhansali: "I think Mr Basu seriously needs to re-assess what he has said about Amitji. Please ask him to go back to all this unbeatable actor's films from Anand to Namak Halaal to the recent ones Like Black and Baghban…The nuances in his comic timing and the dramatic pauses in his emotional scenes…waah! There can never be another Amitabh Bachchan. Just as there can never be another Lata Mangeshkar. Both represent the last word in perfection in their respective arts. To imagine Hindi cinema without them is unimaginable to me. I'm dying to do another film with him after Black. I feel no filmmaker is complete without working with him. He's the God of acting"

Balki (Cheeni Kum): "Who is Anurag Basu to talk about Amitabh Bachchan? Just because you rip off a couple of DVDs and make a couple of films you don't get the right to decide when Amitabh Bachchan should retire. It's become a cheap publicity gimmick to talk about Amitabh Bachchan and get noticed. It's like my driver saying the Dalai Lama should stop fighting, or remove the Taj Mahal from Agra. To me, Amitabh Bachchan is India's greatest treasure. Anurag Basu may not want to see his films. But there are millions who want to.

Hema Malini: "An artiste like Mr Bachchan can never retire. Every film of his is a learning experience for all generations of actors. I want him around for many years for a very selfish reason. He's the only leading man who suits me, ha ha."

Farhan Akhtar: "I think it's entirely Amit Uncle's decision as to when and if at all he should retire. None of is qualified to give him this kind of advice.

Ram Gopal Varma: "During his brief career Mr Anurag Basu has directed 2-3 films which can be considered hits within their budget. For him to comment on Mr Bachchan who has given terrific performances and umpteen blockbusters for more than thirty years and is today a full-on iconic figure, just makes me sad for Mr Basu. Fine…he didn't like Mr Bachchan in Aag and some other recent films. I myself didn't like Mr Bachchan in some films. I may not be considered much of a filmmaker by Mr Basu. But in my humble experience, an actor is as good as the role he's given and the way the director chooses to present him. Being a thorough professional Mr Bachchan simply surrenders to the director. As a talented director Mr Basu should understand that. Not a single person in the industry doubts Mr Bachchan's talent. If he failed in Aag or any other film it's the director's failure to use him properly. I can't understand what prompted this tirade from Mr Basu. More than him, I am angry with Mr Bachchan for reacting to Mr Basu. Please don't undermine your status by reacting to small fries like me and Mr Basu. As the old saying goes, when an elephant walks dogs will bark

Harry Baweja: "Will Anurag retire when someone asks him to? He better leave this decision to the legend himself."

Madhur Bhandarkar: "I can't understand what made Anurag Basu speak like this. It's a bizarre statement to make. Filmmakers and audiences worship Mr Bachchan. Any director would today give their right hand to work with him. I haven't so far. But I'd love to. Anurag is free to work with and see the films of the actors he likes. But as a responsible filmmaker he should be more careful in expressing his opinion about someone who represents the entertainment industry.

Suneel Darshan: "This is outrageous. Nobody has the right to decide Mr Bachchan's fate."

Vikram Bhatt: "Amitabh Bachchan is forever. You're making a big mistake by asking me whether Anurag was right or not. I'm Mr Bachchan's biggest fan. Even if he wants to retire I'd want him to go on.

Irrfan Khan: "Mr Bachchan will retire when he has to. He has no other choice."

Aadesh Shrivastav: "Who is Anurag Basu?"

Anupam Kher: "I can't understand what must've got into Anurag Basu to say something so outrageous. I know him as a soft-spoken non-controversial person. And why should he take it on himself to decide a retirement plan for Mr Bachchan? And if Clint Eastwood can go on as 'Dirty Harry' at the age of 80 why should Mr Bachchan retire.

Vipul Shah: "I think when he wants to retire is Mr Bachchan's personal choice and he knows what to do best. I'm sure Anurag also respects Mr Bachchan as much as all of us. But I feel even if he meant well, a statement like this hurts the sentiments of Indians all over the world."

Anubhav Sinha: "The decision to retire or not retire is entirely Mr Bachchan's. Personally, I wouldn't want him to retire until I've made at least one film with him. Anurag should stop drinking whatever he was drinking when he said that.

Vashu Bhagnani: "I don't think Mr Bachchan should ever retire. Bollywood won't be the same without him. He's like wine. Gets better with age. I want to see what other peaks he conquers."

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