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A craftsman par excellence

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 6, 2017, 12:23 am IST
Updated : Dec 6, 2017, 12:25 am IST

More than being an immensely successful actor, Shashi was also a craftsman who did much for the performing arts.

Shashi Kapoor
 Shashi Kapoor

The nicest message Bollywood romantic-action hero Shashi Kapoor conveyed in his movies is to love, laugh and live while we are in this world. The cinema-theatre stalwart kept alive the Kapoor brothers’ legend for decades while the clan leaves behind a rich legacy in its several new-generation stars in the family business of entertainment. If eldest brother Raj was a melancholic tragedian, which he portrayed best as the circus clown, and the second, Shammi, a pure romantic entertainer, the youngest carved a niche while combining youthful good looks with very serious attempts at cinema and theatre. He leaves a body of work that will be cherished in the flood of reruns his hit movies will get in a nation that is obsessed with movie celebrities.

More than being an immensely successful actor, Shashi was also a craftsman who did much for the performing arts. It’s said he drove himself on in multiple shifts at the height of his career so he could earn enough to sustain the art by building Prithvi Theatre, named after his father. Long before Bollywood stars could dream of a global reach, the artiste who began life as a child star had acted in English films to leave an imprint few manage even in the modern era. The totality of his contribution was greater than his enduring light entertainer image. He strove to create an alternative cinema and dabbled in interpreting literary themes, pairing with the biggest mainstream stars, including Amitabh Bachchan, to whom he played an able foil. Amazingly, he wasn’t seen as a money-making filmmaker. Perhaps it was to do with the artistic temperament that drove his dreams.

Tags: shashi kapoor, cinema theatres, prithvi theatre