Book Review : Decoding Bollywood
15 directors. 15 stories.

The challenges are as easy or as difficult for a woman director as they are for a man. The Mumbai film industry does not discriminate. All they want is someone who can deliver.
Farah Khan

We adore Bollywood (popular name for Indian film industry) as much as we are a Cricket loving nation. Recently, we became the largest movie industry in the world. Cinema in India has had a sordid history but at the same time it has churned out inspiring movies for decades now. No doubt, this fraternity which keeps us entertained is a powerhouse of creativity and talent. It gives us everything from flashy, cinematically eye-catching mainstream films to social, youthful, inspiring, heart rendering art movies.

Decoding Bollywood, a new book by author Sonia Golani is a compilation of interactions with some of the influential and important directors in India. The best part about the book is that the conversations are unpretentious, authentic and truly inspiring. We have often read interviews of actors, actresses, and directors in newspapers, magazines but this book is different.

Sonia does not touch upon their lives superficially but has tried to bring forth the turning points of their extraordinary journeys. The feature on each director is in such a way that we feel the person talking in real and this keeps the reader hooked start to finish. For those who prefer to read book in parts, they can always pick their favorites film-makers first and come back to others later.

Some of the directors included in the book are Ashutosh Gowariker, Kabir Khan, Nagesh Kukunoor, Prakash Jha, Mahesh Bhatt, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Sudhir Mishra, Vipul Shah, Farah Khan and Zoya Akhtar. Each of them has made a mark for themselves and when you read about their experiences, battles, observations and learning during their journey in the film world, you are ought to feel inspired.

Creativity is addictive like a drug… You have to be constantly creating something new to feel good.
Anurag Basu

The book brings out many courageous stories. Everyone should understand one thing that nothing comes easy in this world. The names that we talk of are the people who have fought the odds to make a living out of their passion. In the times where jobs of doctors and engineers were lucrative and no one backed for making movies, these people have trodden the least traveled path. Read Nagesh Kukunoor’s story and you would know how he quit his job not once but twice to do something that he desired, something which was not a part of the corporate rat race.

Oscars, exclusivity of 100 crore club, adventure, Corporatization, film sets, box offices and inner passion for film making is all packed in here.

Real and Riveting…

Anurag Basu was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2004 and he underwent chemotherapy, fought with cancer and returned to give us a beautiful film ‘Barfi’. Ashutosh Gowariker would audition for folk dances. Kunal Kohli says Filmmaking is a gamble but he says he wants to go his boots on, just like his mentor Yash ji. Mahesh Bhatt is known to talk blatant and like always he doesn’t mince words. At one side he says that he is there to help new talent, he welcomes them and says that people should come to use him as a spring board for their career and it will be a mutual gain for both, but on the other side he did not help his own daughter Alia because he wanted her to know that she can compete for herself.

Honestly, I enjoyed the book and it will interest every person who loves to watch movies. Actors are the face of movies but the effort of a strong team goes in the background. And a film maker, director is the creator of it all.

Rather I would love to read more elaborate stories of many people who are behind the camera.

The book review was originally posted on Writersmelon and the interview of the Author can be read here.

Happy Reading!!!

Written by

Manjulika Pramod

An engineer who loves to be called a blogger more!
Traveler, short-story writer, voracious reader, foodie is the better me!
Reading, eating, traveling, exploring, observing and blogging are the beautiful highs of my life.