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Amitabh

Amitabh

The making of a superstar

Susmita Dasgupta
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A remarkable insight into the films and times of India’s greatest star-actor

In an industry where fashions change every Friday, Amitabh Bachchan has been synonymous with cinematic entertainment for over thirty years. But beyond the labels of ‘one-man industry’ and ‘star of the millennium’, a number of issues pertaining to the star, his films and his era remain largely unaddressed.
What is it that makes Amitabh Bachchan the star he is? Is it his undeniable genius as an actor, his ability to connect with the masses and the classes alike, or is it his writers and directors who project him in varied roles? Did his films in his heyday reflect the angst of his time, or did they ferment the spirit of anger and rebellion in the first place? Was he really the rebel as his ‘angry young man’ image suggests, or was there, behind all the sound and fury, a conformist subtext that called for restoration of the status quo? How relevant is Amitabh Bachchan today?
In Amitabh: The Making of a Superstar, Susmita Dasgupta answers these and other questions that lie buried in the trail of glory the star blazed. In a warm and insightful analysis, the author traces the world-view and philosophy that have shaped the films of Amitabh Bachchan-from the angry young man of Zanjeer, the tragic antihero of Deewar and the entertainer of Amar Akbar Anthony to his more conservative turns in Mahabbatein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. In the process, she not only chronicles the star’s journey from a flop actor to a national icon but also brings to life a period in the history of Indian cinema which altered forever the economics of film-making in the country.

Imprint: India Penguin

Published: Aug/2006

ISBN: 9780143062035

Length : 224 Pages

MRP : ₹299.00

Amitabh

The making of a superstar

Susmita Dasgupta

A remarkable insight into the films and times of India’s greatest star-actor

In an industry where fashions change every Friday, Amitabh Bachchan has been synonymous with cinematic entertainment for over thirty years. But beyond the labels of ‘one-man industry’ and ‘star of the millennium’, a number of issues pertaining to the star, his films and his era remain largely unaddressed.
What is it that makes Amitabh Bachchan the star he is? Is it his undeniable genius as an actor, his ability to connect with the masses and the classes alike, or is it his writers and directors who project him in varied roles? Did his films in his heyday reflect the angst of his time, or did they ferment the spirit of anger and rebellion in the first place? Was he really the rebel as his ‘angry young man’ image suggests, or was there, behind all the sound and fury, a conformist subtext that called for restoration of the status quo? How relevant is Amitabh Bachchan today?
In Amitabh: The Making of a Superstar, Susmita Dasgupta answers these and other questions that lie buried in the trail of glory the star blazed. In a warm and insightful analysis, the author traces the world-view and philosophy that have shaped the films of Amitabh Bachchan-from the angry young man of Zanjeer, the tragic antihero of Deewar and the entertainer of Amar Akbar Anthony to his more conservative turns in Mahabbatein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. In the process, she not only chronicles the star’s journey from a flop actor to a national icon but also brings to life a period in the history of Indian cinema which altered forever the economics of film-making in the country.

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Susmita Dasgupta

Susmita Dasgupta has a PhD on Amitabh Bachchan from Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has been a Senior Fellow at the National Film Archive of India, Pune, where she worked on the history of ideas of Indian popular cinema since its inception. She teaches film appreciation in management schools, and works as a deputy chief economist with the economic research unit of the ministry of steel. She has written extensively for several prominent journals that cover issues of sociology, media and political economy.
Her forthcoming book is an appreciation of the popular Hindi film Deewar.

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