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.
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