31 October, 2020

The Stunguns, In Silhouette

An extremely readable attempt to capture the spirit and evolution of our Hindi films through essays on its superstars

The Stunguns, In Silhouette
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Amitabh Bachchan and I have one thing in common: we both dislike the word ‘Bollywood’. Not only does it make the Bombay film industry seem like an imitation Hollywood, ‘Bolly’ suggests folly. And come to think of it, if the Shiv Sena had renamed Bombay a little earlier, we would be calling our films ‘Mollywood’, suggesting a gangster’s moll. Either way, it’s a derogatory word to use for cinema which is unique in its own way, and is no derivative of American films.

That said, Bhaichand Patel’s anthology is an extremely readable attempt to capture the spirit and evolution of our Hindi films through essays on twenty of its superstars, from Devika Rani to Kareena Kapoor. As an anthologist, I know from personal experience that restricting one’s cast to a fixed number entails much hand-wringing: Who to include? And, worse, who to leave out? Some stars are so dominant that you just have to have them: the triumvirate of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand (always in that order) has to...

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