I usually use the cover photos of the books as featured images but Jennifer Kendel Kapoor was so much part of Shashi Kapoor that I could not help but put in one of their pictures.
India’s first biography of Shashi Kapoor sheds light on one of the country’s most enigmatic personalities—an actor who straddles the worlds of commercial Hindi cinema, theatre and small-budget art movies; who is, at once, an earnest householder and a committed star.
In this rare book, we are offered glimpses of Shashi Kapoor, the family man—son of Prithviraj Kapoor, husband of Jennifer Kendal, and father to Kunal, Karan and Sanjna. We are led through Shashi Kapoor’s film career—his debut as a bright-eyed child-actor in Awara; his emergence, in the hectic 1970s, as India’s busiest performer—with a slew of hits including Deewaar and Trishul; and his rise to international prominence with Merchant–Ivory’s The Householder and a ‘trilogy’ of films on older men with fading pasts. Equally, we are provided with an astute analysis of Shashi Kapoor, the businessman—the proprietor of Film-Valas; the producer of Shyam Benegal films; and the distributor of Bobby.
With luminous and thus-far undisclosed stories by the actor’s family (Neetu Singh, Rishi, Sanjna and Kunal Kapoor), co-stars (Shabana Azmi, Simi Garewal, Sharmila Tagore), colleagues (Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, James Ivory, Hanif Kureishi, Aparna Sen), and friends; a compelling foreword by Karan Johar; and stunning photographs from Merchant–Ivory’s archives, Shashi Kapoor, the biography—by one of India’s best-known film journalists—is as captivating as Shashi Kapoor, the star.
Goodreads Rating: 3.61 / 5
My Rating: 3.75 / 5
One day as I was waiting for a friend, I headed to a bookstore knowing well that my pocket did not allow me to buy any more books. But wander into the magical world, I did. He took his sweet time to come and me in a bookstore is never a good thing. At least for my poor pocket. But these are the times when plastic money comes to your aid.
This book languished in my cupboards for some time before I took it out and finally read it. I was in for a ride.
This man, I have been in love with since my very early days. I remember watching his movies with my grandparents’ and enjoying him thoroughly. For me, he is the ultimate romantic hero and none have yet been able to leave him behind.
I loved this book because it helped me unfold the mystery of Shashi Kapoor. I got to see the character and personality of the man I have been swooning over. Not just a narrative, it showcased Shashi Kapoor like he was in different scenarios.
After reading this book one can easily understand who the actor was but in my opinion, it lacked the personal touch of Shashi Kapoor because what he said on some interview or another is not what he might have said if maybe interviewed for this book. It is his biography, after all!
I understand that he may not have been available for an interview due to health reasons but I can wish for it.