21 June, 2021

Man Who Leapt Over Bollywood

Woven around the many facets of Shashi Kapoor whom most readers would have known only as a star.

Man Who Leapt Over Bollywood

Aseem Chhabra weaves his book around the many facets of his subject, Shashi Kapoor, whom most readers would have known only as a star. He was often overshadowed by his brothers, one of whom was a flamboyant showman, who produced, directed and acted in films and was a huge industry figure. Competing with Raj Kapoor for fans was brother Shammi, whose image as the irrepressible lover-boy was imitated but unmatched by peers and future generations.

By contrast, Shashi Kap­oor, despite being the perfect poster boy, with swe­­e­­ping eyelashes and a vulnerable smile, remained the quieter brother who did no wrong. As Shabana Azmi says: “I sincerely believe his good looks went against him. As the first impression was of a strikingly attractive man, people would forget what a fine actor he was!”

Chhabra says that Shashi Kapoor’s fans did him wrong by relegating him to the actor-­with-smashing-looks slot, and shows us how this Kapoor was not only serious about acting, but prepared for his roles meticulously. He not only essayed the...

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