Friday, July 6, 2018

In a Cult of Their Own - Bollywood Beyond Box Office - A Book Review

"In a cult of their own" is my second book based on Bollywood. The last book I read was "Khwabon Ka Safar with Mahesh Bhatt", which has wonderfully covered Bollywood period when whole movies were being produced in studieos. That book has increased my curiosity towards Bollywood related books. "In a cult of their own" had two eye catching features why I selected it. The first was the blurb. It started with lines from Shahenshah & Andaz Apna Apna, both movies are my favorite but flopped in terms of box office collection at the time of its release. The second reason was a collage type cover picture of the book.

Book Blurb
'Cults become cults, they are not made. It’s the becoming that is interesting, not the making.'

There are some films that sure fizzle out of the theatres in a heartbeat, but figure out a way to survive. Through a torrent leaked online, on an old bootlegged DVD or VHS, or YouTube upload and then in the hands of the omnipresent Twitterati—the films form a ‘cult’ of their own.
This book is a tongue-in-cheek ode to these cult movies of Hindi filmdom, ones that despite not having made moolah at the box office, still made it to viewers’ memories for reasons—good or bad. Drawing from his own reminiscences of growing up on these delectables and also face-to-face interviews with actors and directors such as Aamir Khan, Pankaj Kapur and Deepti Naval, the author celebrates these underdogs in a manner that is extremely readable and relatable.
You may not believe me but I finished this book in just one sitting. Last Sunday morning, I was checking pending books and this book came to my hand. I was checking book in a random manner, the first chapter I read was about "Gunda" movie. The moment I read that chapter, I kept all the books aside and went after other chapters or I would say movies. And before evening I had finished the book. Four hours and 45 minutes were invested. A breakfast and a lunch were taken while reading the book. Starting from Gunda to Andaz Apna Apna to finally Shahensha, I was completely drawn into this book.

Every chapter is narrated with author's initial reaction when he watched movies the first time, followed by interviews of director/actor of the movie, internet activities (cult creation if any) for the movie and finally current view about those movies. Interviews and articles about movies were really interesting to know. For example blog post on Gunda movie which was dedicated to its poetic dialogs, in that post blog author has tried to explain hidden meaning of them. Another example is a character contrary to Mogambo in movie Andaz Apna Apna which was conceptualized but didn't materialize.

Things that made me love this book
Section of movies - Though I have watched only 9 out of 21 films (the Last one was for whole Ramsay collection so not counted that chapter) I know how unique each movie was. So I think the remaining movies must be as interesting.
Narration Style - Instead of giving just facts, the author has given a good amount of entertainment with help of movie's legendary dialogues.

If you are movie buff this a must have and must read the book for you.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Concept - 5/5
  3. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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