Amitabh Bachchan lends his voice to Vidya Balan’s film – It’s Bachchan who narrates the backdrop, the goings-on during the Partition and where exactly the story of Begum Jaan (played by Vidya Balan) begins
Amitabh Bachchan and (inset) Vidya Balan
Amitabh Bachchan’s legendary baritone will be heard as a voiceover in Srijit Mukherji’s Begum Jaan, set against the backdrop of Partition. It’s Bachchan who narrates the backdrop, the goings-on during the Partition and where exactly the story of Begum Jaan (played by Vidya Balan) begins. His voice-over is not just part of the trailer, but is an integral part of the film, too. Says Srijit, “Amitabh Bachchan’s voice has been used by Satyajit Ray in Shatranj Ke Khildai, by Mrinal Sen in Bhuvan Shome and Ashutosh Gowariker in Lagaan. Needless to say, his voice has the finest baritone. I needed a voice to set the milieu of Begum Jaan, which is a period film. I think Bachchan’s voice defines history for a lot of generations, his voice has that epicness and entire generation of cine-goers identify with his voice. It is the ideal way to start telling a story, especially for one that has history.”
Srijit and producer Mukesh Bhatt approached him. One narration later, Bachchan was on board. “He discussed the story and liked the premise. He recorded it in the second week of January. Before the recording, he gave me a lot of options in terms of the emotive quotient and we fixed one. He executed it with panache and his voice-over is wonderfully nuanced,” says Srijit.