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Book profiles famous practitioners of cinematic art

PTI |
Apr 06, 2024 04:51 PM IST

Book profiles famous practitioners of cinematic art

New Delhi, Dilip Kumar along with Amitabh Bachchan formed the twin peaks of Hindi cinema and though he did not have a "Chini Kum" or a "Black" to his credit, he created a space which was ably exploited by the Big B, says a new book that profiles some famous practitioners of cinematic art.

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Author Dhiraj Singh says his book "Modern Masters of Cinema" is an ode to one of his enduring passion - cinema.

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He credits Dilip Kumar with laying down the grammar of Hindi film acting, saying the actor rescued Hindi film acting from the hyperbolic style of earlier times.

Dilip Kumar's contribution was more far reaching than the others, he asserts.

"He went on to become a complete actor by adding comedy, action, romance and even dance to his performances. Some of the most hilarious moments of the Indian screen are created by this 'tragedy king' and if you hold a poll on the most romantic moment in a Hindi film, the so-called 'feather scene' from 'Mughal-e-Azam' will figure very high," Singh writes.

"While he does not have a 'Chini Kum' or 'Black' to his credit, he created a space which was ably exploited by Amitabh Bachchan, perhaps the only complete actor that can be compared to the senior thespian," the book says.

The author says Bachchan can be credited with "creating a rest superstar system in the Hindi film scenario".

The Dilip-Ray-Dev triumvirate was great, but Bachchan's mega popularity resulted in a very focused dependence on one factor or art of filmmaking - the star, he says.

The book also profiles non-Indian actors Al Pacino, Marcello Mastroianni, Kevin Spacey, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, and Michael Douglas, and filmmakers Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Federico Fellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen among others.

Singh also argues that selection of a creative universe does not give a free pass to the filmmaker. He cites the recent uproar over the film "Animal" for its misogyny.

He says he too found it a problematic movie but not due to its choice of taking up a subject that involved a sick protagonist, many alpha male types of situations and a contrived effort to portray inner strength of some female character which fell short.

"This choice firmly stays in the ambit of the creative universe of the filmmaker. He chose to focus on these pathologies and no one can say that these pathologies do not exist in real life," Singh says.

He adds that "Animal" can be blamed for having an eye that glorifies all these negativities.

"A movie can be about bravado and fetishtic devotion to male swagger but there is a fine line beyond which the camera becomes unintentionally voyeuristic and sensationalist," he writes.

Singh also claims that cow-belt sensibilities were not adequately represented earlier but this has changed as a new breed of directors and cinema personality has emerged from the Hindi heartland bringing a lived-in experience.

"Anurag Kashyap has given a very realistic Bihar in 'Gangs of Wasseypur' and Delhi and Punjab in 'DevD'. Tigmanshu Dhulia is true to the local cultural connotations in 'Haasil' and 'Paan Singh Tomar'. He displayed his grasp over the atmospherics in the 'Sahib Bibi and Gangster' series too. Dibakar Bannerjee talked of very authentic Delhi in 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' and 'Lucky oye Lucky'...," he writes.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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