The Amitabh-Shashi duo featured in many hit movies of the 70s & 80s. Parveen Babi, often the heroine.
An analyst once called Shashi Kapoor the ‘real Parveen Babi’ in Amitabh movies. Pointing at the centrality of their bromance in the movies.
Consider an insight into this from understanding the core TG for these movies.
The front-bencher, a migrant away from family for a livelihood in cities, with other men like him. For him the city a harsh, unfair world & a male friend an important coping partner. A woman, mostly a fantasy or the ones he came across in red light areas, bars (notice how many female leads in Bollywood played such characters).
Likely that some of these male friendships lead to sexual engagement (commonly observed in contexts where men are trapped in a male-only world like prisons, hostels etc.).
Clearly the cinematic portrayal would never suggest this overtly, but did it work at some deeper level?
Other male stars who paired with Amitabh, Shatrughan Sinha, for instance, lacked the feminine (chikna) good looks of Shashi. Those worked too, but maybe differently.
When insights are deep and somewhat uncomfortable (the powerful one’s are, mostly), don’t throw them out worrying how you will ever address it. Find a way, as these filmmakers did.