Friday, October 11, 2002

a Big Birthday...and an elusive critic resurfaces

Splashed over the front pages of the electronic editions of the leading Indian newspapers (and tabloids) is the news of commercial Hindi cinema's biggest icon Amitabh Bachchan turning 60. {TOI: swinging sixty, TOI: a journey in photos, Rediff: Everybody wants him to be Amitabh Bachchan, The Hindu: Amitabh turns 60}. Look closely at the article on Rediff titled you don't know where you stand with him and you'll notice it's by everyone's favourite desi Waldo Lydecker (don't know what I'm talking about?) turned screenwriter turned director Khalid Moham(m)ed. Forced by the failure of his directorial début Fiza {Planet Bollywood's review} to retreat into the shadows, Mr. M also lost his cynicism (guess his words weren't a very delectable dish), besides vanishing from the general print circles (apart from being the editor of Filmfare)

To celebrate this occasion, little wife Jaya Bachchan has released a coffee-table book titled To Be Or Not To Be {aah the corn}, with contributions by every member of the Bachchan family and a long interview (catch the link above) and analysis of the Big B's career by Khalid Mohamed.

and what better gift could he ask for than to see his son Abhishek (as an actor, a pale copy of his father, minus any visible potential) get engaged into the Kapoor family (to Karisma Kapoor). The biggest film family in Bollywood unites with the biggest superstar of Bollywood ... what can we expect? Stay tuned for an undocumented episode of Star Trek: Where No Talent Has Gone Before.

This event also merits a mention on Rick McGinnis' MovieBlog, which refers to him as the Burt Lancaster of Bollywood. An interesting comparison there. I'd have to study Mr. Lancaster's career more closely to even begin to comment on that, but the variety of roles he has essayed to success both in the mainstream and non-mainstream sections) may prove to be a useful indicator.

October 18, 2002: Sensational 60

Incidentally, Madame Rekha (the big B's unofficial extra-marital flame) celebrated her birthday yesterday. Not many people noticed, I guess...

On a sad note, veteran actress Dina Pathak passed away at the age of 82 late today IST. I'll always remember her as the elusive Mrs. Srivastav squeezing herself into the kitchen of the Sharmas through an open window in Gol Maal. {filmfare tribute: requires a free registration}

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