Auckland, December 9, 2017
Indian cinema lost one of its most versatile and handsome actors with the passing way of Shashi Kapoor.
The 79-year-old lost his battle to liver cancer on December 4, 2017.
The youngest son of actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor’s initiation to cinema happened when he was young, playing the role of young Raj Kapoor in Aag (1948).
The incredibly good-looking actor made his debut in Yash Chopra’s Dharmputra’’ in 1961, although the much-needed breakthrough was with the breezy romantic ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’ in 1964.
Success upon Success
Boasting of a successful music score and the fresh pairing of Nanda and Shashi Kapoor, the film primarily shot in Kashmir, proved a winner.
The following year saw him display his comic abilities in the multi-starrer ‘Pyar Kiye Jaa,’ a remake of the Tamil hit ‘Kathalikka Neramillai.’
This film was a template of the trajectory that Shashi Kapoor’s career would follow in commercial cinema. He was a secure actor, comfortable in sharing screen space with other actors, but still being able to leave a mark.
Born in Kolkata, Shashi Kapoor was a true inheritor of his father’s love for theatre. He joined him at Prithvi Theatre at the age of 15 and was then a part of ‘Shakespeareana.’
Run by an Englishman, Geoffrey Kendal, it was here that he met Geoffrey’s daughter and his future wife Jenifer. He also set up the ‘Prithvi Theatre’’ as a permanent entity in 1978.
Shashi Kapoor was one of the first actors from India to star in lead roles in international cinema. His association with the international team of producer-director Ismail Merchant-David Ivory, started with ‘Householder’ in 1963 and continued with six more films, including ‘Shakespeare-Wallah’ and the highly successful ‘Heat and Dust’ (1983), in which he had essayed the role of a stylish Nawab.
The 1970s and 1980s were dominated by multi-starrer action films.
The charming actor, with a crooked and contagious smile, was a perfect fit for these masala entertainers. His prominent releases of the period included ‘Trishul,’ ‘Suhaag’ and probably the best supporting act ever in Hindi cinema- his portrayal of Inspector Ravi in ‘Deewar.’
In 1978, he formed his own production company – ‘Filmvalahs.’
The company provided him avenues to spread his wings as a serious actor.
He produced and acted in critically successful films like ‘Junoon,’ ‘Vijeta,’ and the excellent ‘Kalyug.’
A modern-day adaptation of the ‘Mahabharata,’ it was set in a corporate environment.
Kalyug makes for a gripping watch even today. He suffered major financial losses in his 1984 production ‘Utsav.’
Two years later, he won the National Award for his portrayal of an upright editor in the political thriller, ‘New Delhi Times.’
The Indian government honoured him with ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 2011.
He received the ‘Dadasaheb Phalke’ Award in 2015.
He forayed into direction with ‘Ajooba,’ in 1991 but the fantasy adventure proved a disappointment at the box office.
Shashi Kapoor was one of the most popular stars of Hindi cinema.
He closed the Chapter of the Kapoor Brothers, reminding us that death spares none.