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Deewaar: The Footpath, The City & The Angry Young Man - By Vinay Lal (Book Review By Bobby Sing)


Deewar - Book Review

Holding a book on one of the most iconic, trendsetter Hindi film, having the most frequently quoted dialogues after SHOLAY i.e. DEEWAAR, the excitement was uncontrollable. And beginning from the very first page, I seriously wished to go back in time, behind the screens through many rare anecdotes, unknown trivia and interesting interviews of all the veterans related with the film such as Yash Chopra, Salim-Javed, Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor and more.
But to my surprise, the book by Vinay Lal simply had nothing of that sort in its 9 chapters spread in more than 160 pages. So in few words its quite a disappointing read for anyone who is more interested in the making of DEEWAAR as stated above and not in any personal theories relating the film’s subject with various social issues of that particular time period.
To be honest, I have always felt that every viewer has his own interpretation of a worth watching film which should not actually be the theme of a book written on that specific movie. In fact what actually is more interesting, intriguing and exciting for the readers is the untold story behind its making or what the actual team was thinking or visualizing while shooting the film in those real locations. For instance, with reference to DEEWAAR, one would be more interested in knowing that what Yash Chopra had in mind about the film before commencing, what Amitabh expected the film to do for his rising career, what Salim-Javed had in mind while writing its path-breaking scenes and did anyone of them ever had an idea that they were all into making a major milestone in the history of Hindi Cinema enjoying an undisputable status even after many decades of its initial release in January 1975.
However unfortunately the book has no account of any short, long, known or unknown story about its creation, stated anywhere in its content shattering all your expectations pretty badly. To give the due credit it has only 2 pages of such desired information wherein the writer once mentions the dissatisfaction felt by R. D. Burman (when 3 of his songs were taken out of the film) and second when he vaguely discusses the possibility of the lead character being based on the similar real life story of Haji Mastaan. But other than these, there is nothing which can be called as an interesting trivia on the making of the classic to be precise.
Actually what the book features is the various interpretations of its hugely famous scenes as per the writer’s personal perspective, relating the film with many social issues like Indian partition, the state of India in early 70s, the years of Emergency, Bombay as the city of aspiring migrants, the relationship between footpath and skyscraper buildings, the anger of the unemployed youth and the mythological references discovered in DEEWAAR’s commercial script.
Interestingly, this reminds me of an honest confession of Kundan Shah in another book on his famous sarcastic comedy JAANE BHI DO YAARON in which he says that once while hearing all the deep discussions & new explanations on the hugely famous Mahabharat stage sequence of JBDY, being made by some enthusiastic students of cinema, I truly wondered that did we even thought of any of this while shooting it?…………Because all we had our focus on, in that particular point of time was that it should turn out to be simply funny and that’s it!
To say it all, if you are very much interested in any social-political or economic analysis of all the signature sequences & dialogues of this remarkable chapter of Hindi Cinema, then you can surely go for the book called Deewaar: The Footpath, The City & The Angry Young Man. But in case you are looking for an insight on how the great film was conceived, written, executed and released, then just stay away from it, since the book has got not even one chapter on the same, quite unexpectedly.
Deewaar: The Footpath, The City & The Angry Young Man – By Vinay Lal
Published by Harper-Collins India (2011) – Pages 190 (Including Notes) (Small Size Paperback)

Tags : DEEWAR Book, Deewar The Footpath, The City & The Angry Young Man By Vinay Lal, Book Review By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Book Review By Bobby Sing, Film Book Reviews by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Must Read Books By Bobby Sing on Hindi Film Personalities and Bollywood, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Books on Cinema Reviews by Bobby Sing, Nostalgic Articles, Vintage Books
18 Feb 2014 / Comment ( 0 )
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