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King of Bollywood: Shah Rukh Khan and the Seductive World of Indian Cinema Hardcover – August 2, 2007
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There are lots of great stories about Shah Rukh packed into King of Bollywood , nice pictures too, but the book is about India and Hindi language popular movies made in Bombay, from the greatness of the 50s (barely known in the west - too bad) to the pretty severe non-greatness of the 80s, as much as it's about Shah Rukh and Hindi films today. Its easy, entertaining, and accurate telling of the story make it the first book on the subject I'd think of giving to a friend who is not a Hindi movie fan
It is true that Shah Rukh has "an Elvis-like effect" -- I saw it first-hand when he shot a film in New York -- and Chopra has some ideas about what goes into his being such an icon for India right now.
If Elvis' power had something to do with "a black soul in a white body", Shah Rukh, she says, presents something like an Indian soul in a western persona. Particularly in a handful of crucial roles created for him by a couple of inspired young directors*, Shah Rukh is the face of "a glittering new India," with a soaring economy and a middle class almost as big as the whole population of the US.
In movies that are like fairytales for all ages, the romantic characters that sealed Shah Rukh's superstardom live in great wealth in London or New York, but resolve their dramatic crises in an entirely Indian way.
Interestingly to me, a big percent of the still-small number of westerners in the Hindi movie audience were drawn there to start with by just these films.Read more ›
Anupama Chopra's writing is skillful, so much so that I wished this biography was 3-4 times longer & more academic & detailed. There are no endnotes or footnotes within the chapters, but there is an extensive bibliography, arranged by chapter, at the back of the book & a list of people interviewed. There is information on Khan's parents that I had not read before, but Shah Rukh Khan's statements appear to be from past interviews. There are new photographs in the book provided by family & friends of Khan. I wish Ms. Chopra had given more information on the evolution & workings of cinema in Mumbai, on Shah Rukh Khan's & his family's personal lives, & on the family clans that dominate Hindi cinema. Neither her treatment of Shah Rukh Khan's career to present nor the discussion of Hindi cinema in Mumbai feels complete. However, I thoroughly enjoyed her writing (& the thoughtful translations of Hindi words & movie titles) & recommend the book for those who enjoy Shah Rukh Khan's work & Bollywood movies.
Anuparma Chopra is a member of the Chopra family that makes up the establisment of Bollywood and is also an estimated journalist. From her priviledged point of view she has written this biography of the still young King Khan integrating his personality with the history of Bollywood cinema in the last 20-30 years. Naturally, the biography is authorized and as such may not contain episodes that are not consistent with the image modern Bollywood and Shahrukh Khan want to convey. All the less, there is a sincerity that transpires throughout the book and allows the reader to connect with the actor and his environment.
The first part on the youth of the actor is full of episodes and sometimes takes on a mythical aspect, but that is a common feature of all biographies. The chapters on the later years are a little sketchy and skip many well known facts. But we must not forget that this book has and will have a different impact on Indians or the Indian-culture public and "Westner's". The Author wanted to write about something new or at least not well known to her main public, that practically reads at least two or three articles a day on Shahrukh Khan. Reading the Indian reviews of the book that criticize the small amount of new information this aspect is very evident.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are an SRK fan, you will be delighted with this book, and if you are not, then at the least you may come to a begrudging respect for how he arrived at the pinnacle of the... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Sharon Dominguez
As a new fan of Indian film I discovered Shah Rukh Khan before I understood his stature in the global Indian culture. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Now and then
Well written, gives you some history of Indian Cinema along the way. It makes you nostalgic if you are familiar with Indian Cinema.Published 7 months ago by Ravi Vachhani
A very interesting book, you learn a lot about how Shah Rukh Khan became what he is today. You also learn how the way Indian society works.Published 11 months ago by Diane Lee
Another Great Write about Shahrukh, I still also re-read this book along with the other two books I have, I never tire Reading anything on or about Shahrukh Khan... Read morePublished 15 months ago by eileenmeljay