Baazigar (English: Illusionist) is a 1993 Bollywood crime-thriller film directed by Abbas-Mustan, it is a contemporary thriller about a young man who stops at nothing to get what he wants. Initially Salman Khan was the first choice to play the lead in the film. This was Shah Rukh Khan’s breakthrough role as the sole lead, Kajol’s first commercial success and Shilpa Shetty’s debut film. Baazigar was the first film Shah Rukh Khan played the role of an anti-hero and also the first film which earned Khan a Filmfare Award for Best Actor. It was a major commercial success at the time of its release and the first film of the famous Shahrukh Khan-Kajol jodi. The film was remade in Tamil as Samrat with Ramki, in Telugu as Vetagadu with Rajasekhar and in Kannada as Nagarahavu with Upendra. The film brought actors Shah Rukh, Kajol, Shilpa Shetty and composer Anu Malik to the limelight.
After acquiring the possession of the company owned by Vishwanath Sharma (Anant Mahadevan) using trickery, Madan Chopra (Dalip Tahil) dismisses Vishwanath from the company to exact a revenge on the latter, leaving the Sharma household to undergo distress and illness which claims the lives of Vishwanath and his little daughter. A spell of lasting grief casts over Vishwanath’s wife (Rakhee Gulzar), while his son Ajay (Shah Rukh Khan) determines to take vengeance on Madan for his family’s tragedy. 15 years later, a grown-up Ajay courts Seema (Shilpa Shetty), one of Madan’s two daughters, while dating Priya (Kajol), the other daughter with a false individuality named Vicky Malhotra, keeping everyone ignorant of his dual-identity. The scary part of the film starts now, when a vindictive Ajay pushes Seema from a building to death making it
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, to all appearances, look like a suicide while Priya, with a strong belief of Seema’s death to be a murder, determines to find out the killer with the help of her friend Inspector Karan (Siddharth Ray).
When reputed businessman Vishwanath Sharma (Anant Mahadevan) discovers that his manager Madan Chopra (Dalip Tahil) is embezzling money right under his nose, Sharma has him thrown in jail. After Chopra completes his jail term, he re-approaches Sharma and asks for forgiveness. Vishwanath rebukes him, but his wife Shobha (Rakhee) takes pity on Chopra’s daughters and pleads to her husband. Chopra is reappointed in the company. However, Chopra has come back to exact revenge on his former boss. Slowly, but surely, Chopra regains the confidence of Sharma.
One day, when Sharma has to go for a business tour, he hands over the power of attorney to Chopra. Chopra, who has been waiting for such chance, usurps Sharma’s company and becomes its de facto owner. Sharma learns of this treachery, by which time his family is ejected out of their home. More tragedy strikes the Sharma household when his newborn daughter dies of fever and Sharma himself dies while trying to buy medicines for her. Devastated by the turn of events, Shobha goes insane, while her son Ajay decides to avenge the wrongdoings by making Chopra pay in the same coin.
Years later, a young Ajay (Shah Rukh Khan) meets Chopra’s daughter Seema (Shilpa Shetty). Ajay manages to cozy up to Seema, and she falls in love with him. Meanwhile, Ajay takes up the persona of Vicky Malhotra and creates a good impression in the minds of both Chopra and his elder daughter Priya (Kajol). Ajay begins a double game whilst keeping both the parties in dark.
Ajay manages to keep his affair with Seema a secret, under the impression that Seema too doesn’t let anybody know she is in love. When Chopra decides to get Seema married, she decides to elope with Ajay. Ajay takes advantage of the opportunity and tricks her into writing a suicide letter. Later, on premise of getting married secretly, Ajay calls Seema to the office for marriages in Bombay. He takes her to the terrace and pushes her down, using her suicide note to close the case as suicide. Chopra too hastily has the case closed to prevent any further embarrassment
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Ajay uses Seema’s death to gets close to Priya and Chopra. Priya, however, is suspicious that her sister didn’t commit suicide. With help of her college friend and Police Inspector Karan Saxena, she decides to investigate the matter secretly. Ravi, another friend of Seema, who had a crush on her, tells Priya about Seema’s secret lover
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. Ravi finds a photo where Seema and Ajay are together at a birthday party, but is killed by Ajay. Ajay forces Ravi to sign a suicide note, making Priya and Karan believe that Ravi must have been Seema’s lover and murderer.
Later, Priya and Vicky meet Seema’s college friend, Anjali
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, who thinks that she recognizes Vicky. When she finds out the photo as well, she calls the Sharma household during Vicky’s and Priya’s engagement party. Vicky intercepts the phone, impersonates Chopra, and arrives at her place. He strangles her, stuffs her body in a suitcase, and throws it in the river. A man and his dog find the body soon after. Priya and Karan realize that the murderer is still alive. Meanwhile, history repeats itself, with Chopra handing over the power of attorney to “Vicky”. Ajay decides to hasten up his plans on learning that Priya, Sharma and Karan are still bent on finding the killer.
Ajay’s plan hits a glitch when he and Priya run into the real Vicky Malhotra, Ajay’s friend whose identity he had taken. Priya becomes suspicious and decides to contact this Vicky. After returning from his business trip, Chopra is shocked to find that the company is run by a Sharma group. Now, Ajay reveals the truth to Chopra and kicks him out of the company after humiliating him.
Meanwhile, Priya too learns of Ajay’s true identity from Vicky
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, and rushes to Ajay’s home in Panvel. She is shocked to see a poster of Ajay and finds a marriage locket with the photos of him with her sister. Ajay comes home, where she confronts him with his misdeeds. He tells her the whole story, and she is shocked at the revelation of what her father did to Ajay’s family. Chopra arrives at Vicky’s house, with his henchmen to kill Ajay and exact revenge. Ajay goes outside the house to see some cars coming into his house and is shot by Chopra. After seeing Ajay being beaten by Chopra and hearing Chopra’s name being repeated, Shobha regains her sanity and runs to her son’s defense. Ajay starts bashing Chopra’s goons and overpowers Chopra. Despite the circumstances, Karan and Priya sympathize with Ajay. In a standoff with Chopra, Ajay decides to spare Chopra’s life, but then Chopra impales Ajay with a long iron bar, and laughs about his victory. Ajay begins to laugh maniacally as well and rams the bar into Chopra’s stomach, with both plummeting down from a high wall, killing Chopra, mortally wounding Ajay as well.
Ajay makes it back to his mother who finally recognizes her son. Ajay promises her that he’s gotten revenge for their family misfortunes and reacquired everything that was meant to be theirs; now wanting only to rest peacefully in her embrace. Priya and Karan watch despondently as Ajay dies in his mother’s arms, finally at peace, with Chopra dying a few metres away.
The music was composed by Anu Malik and won the Filmfare award for best music director. The song “Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhein” was very popular which bagged singer Kumar Sanu his fourth consecutive Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer after Aashiqui, Saajan and Deewana. Other Singers of this album are Asha Bhosle, Pankaj Udhas, Alka Yagnik, Vinod Rathod and Sonali Bajpai. The song titles are listed below. The soundtrack was released by Venus Music. Dr. Alban’s song ‘Its my life’ was also fearured in the film.
Baazigar was a commercial success and the fourth highest grossing Hindi film of 1993.