The Making Of A Superstar..

28 05 2008

I can almost feel a few raised eyebrows now! I came across this book in the most unlikely fashion, during a short trip to Blossoms over weekend with a pal. He is the one who introduced me to ‘Almost Single’ and now to ‘The Making Of A Superstar’ by Susmita Dasgupta. I was expecting a prosaic tome filled with anecdotes and Bollywood gossip which I could skim through, and what I got was a well researched book on the evolution of Amitabh Bachchan‘s public persona with a keen insight into the Hindi Cinema.

Susmita presents a careful analysis of Amitabh’s roles in some of his epochal movies and tries to track the sociology of Hindi Cinema from the perspective of Indian Audience by tracing the evolution of Amitabh’s image from the angry young man of “Zanjeer”, the tragic antihero of “Deewar” and the entertainer of “Amar Akbar Anthony” to his more conservative turns in “Mohabbatein” and “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham”. She traces the evolution of Indian Heroes from the times when they martyred for social causes to the modern era when they became more focussed on personal pursuits.

I believe that the movies that are produced in any age are a mirror of the community thought process and the set of values they endorse. Popular film stars often represent the aspirations and dreams of the masses. Why do we watch some movies just because of star cast? It is because Stars have an image that extends across all the movies or ads that he is cast in. I remember those days of anxiety for Cadbury and Pepsi. when they went through quality issues, and Amitabh’s voice of authority restored them from their fallen grace.

Why is that some impressions last forever in the mind space? Why is that some movies go to attain ‘The Larger Than Life’ status? Why do we idolize some actors and share their emotions and trails? Not all feelings can be explained, neither can everyone explain the social significance of a movie. Amitabh’s cinematography is indeed engaging. What comes to your mind when you think of Amitabh today? A fighter against of all odds, a conventionalist or the angry young man of yesteryears. I think he is an exemplary example of a personal brand and the way he reinvented himself to a national icon over the passage of time is simply amazing.

I was amused by Laawaris (remember Mere Angane Mein?), shed tears over Sholey, enraged at Amitabh role in BOOM, chuckled at ‘Cheeni Kam’ and clapped instinctively for the divine justice that happens in the climax of ‘Aakhree Rasta’ (I was probably 12 then). Amitabh could don the role of a conservative disciplinarian, or play the dignified patriarch, or be the martyr for the underclasses, he remains close to my heart, and that must have been the secret motivation behind my reading this well presented academic research on sociology of Indian Cinema that traces the journey of Amitabh’s golden era with gusto.


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3 responses

30 05 2008
Maddy

The aim of some movies is to make the person feel that nothing is impossible and to make him feel what ever he is doing is Great. The hero playing the role of a cooli, farmer etc. here the focus is on specific set of people or profession. And they also project some things that might not be possible in the real world. The actor is just media , he adds attraction/attention which helps the person get into the role, that is required for a person to really enjoy the movie.

2 06 2008
nrsl

@ Maddy
Agreed. Yes, the image of the actor, which is beyond the character he is portraying in the movie, extends to all the roles he enacts. Such is the case with any actor, that his aura compels the audience to the movie.

21 06 2008
An Aura Of Power.. « A Mirror of My Thoughts!

[…] experience. Watching this movie did give me an insight into why Sushmita Dasgupta dedicated her book ‘Making of A Superstar’ to Ram Gopal Varma for making Sarkar. Ram Gopal Varma excels himself in carefully demystifying the […]

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