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Home» Book Review» Book Review» Method in screen madness

Method in screen madness

Sudhirendar Sharma | January 15, 2014, 04:29 PM IST
method in screen madness

New Delhi :

A reasonably long domestic flight without any inflight entertainment is best suited for flipping pages of a book that not only offers wholesome entertainment but provides unending visual imageries as well – a bioscope floating 30,000 feet above the sea level. A train or a bus journey may not be as suitable because one would need to be all by oneself in getting back in time, to test as well as to refresh one’s fond memories.

Written by one movie buff for millions of bollywood fans, Kitnay Aadmi Thay makes no bones about the fact that it is a ‘completely useless bollywood trivia’. Packed in eight sections are multiple entries on noticeable commonalities across bollywood movies – from movies with long titles to remake of lifted plots; from low-profile debuts to big time flops; and, from cine cliches to bollywood stereotypes. This and much more, the book is all about dipping into bollywood madness and zipping it through unscathed. And, one would wonder if such a book could ever be written! The book has been written nevertheless.

It is a book about methods in screen madness - stuff that clicked at the box office and that which bombed; characters that became part of the folklore and which did not last long. Diptakirti Chaudhuri has compiled what lay scaterred all over the place and yet has missed quite a few interesting nuggets. Remember V Shantaram’s Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli, one of the earliest films with a long title that did not go well with the audiences. On the other hand, Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Mann Bhaye, another long title from the house of the Rajshri Films, had rocked the box office after a rather slow start. Why the former tanked and the latter attained dizzy heights shall remain an enigma?

The more the misses, the more engrossing the book turns out be. The reader involuntarily gets drawn into a race of supremacy on bollywood information with the author. While talking about films depicting politicians in distinct light, the author forgets to mention Nayak wherein the hero, a television journalist, was annointed as the Chief Minister for a day. Though Nayak was a remake of the Tamil original Mudhalvan, both the films had done exceptonally well with the viewers. Isn’t it a significant omission?  

Whether it is by design or default, such omissions take the reader through to the last page of the book. There is not much to take home though; but one emerges refreshed nevertheless. Neither is it taxing nor does it create undesirable hangover. The book stays only as long with the reader as an average bollywood movie. Much before the cabin staff starts preparing for landing, one is through with a ‘useless’ book that proves ‘useful’ engagement abroad a flight bereft of inflight entertainment. Like many readers, this reviewer wonders if a sequel to Kitnay Aadmi Thay should be in order. No prize for guessing who the writer could be!

Kitnay Aadmi Thay?
by Diptakirti Chaudhuri
Westland Ltd, New Delhi
Extent: 301, Price: Rs. 275











Sudhirendar Sharma

Sudhirendar Sharma

Trained as an environmental scientist, Sudhirendar Sharma efficiently performs multiple roles of writer-commentator, academic, activist and development strategist. Having varied interests and rich experience gained from travelling all over the world, he enjoys playing with words and sharing ideas. 


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