Some men are destined to do their best to make their contribution to the fields they excel in , but are not given their deserved recognition because they don’t blow their own trumpets , they don’t have the kind of media blitzkrieg which goes around making the media and others know and sing the praises of their bosses. Shashi Kapoor was undoubtedly one of them. What he gave to the world of entertainment is what not many can even dare to do.
Shashi , the actor started his acting career when he was only four and had a long and illustrious career spanning almost five decades. He was never recognized as a great or legendary actor , but he had his own winning ways which made him one of the most popular actors among filmmakers , the media and above all the lakhs of people who were swept of their feet by his sheer magnetic personality and his charm. The only films in which he was genuinely appreciated were in the films he produced under his own banner , Filmwalas , but he kept being the winner he was born to be.
It was while he was still struggling to find his place as an actor that he took active interest in Shakespeareana , a travelling theatre company founded by the Kendall family of Great Britain and performed the best plays of Shakespeare and it was at this time that he fell in love with Jennifer Kendall and married her.
It was while Jennifer was still alive that she encouraged him to build Prithvi Theatre on a piece of land which belonged to his father , the great Prithviraj Kapoor ,in Juhu . The Theatre was to the some kind of a shelter for all those who depended on theatre for a living and a reputation. During the last forty-five years thousands of theatre actors , writers , directors and others associated with theatre have taken their first steps at Prithvi , some of whom have grown into living legends and icons today. It has been all because of the initiative taken by Shashi and Jennifer and they all owe a deep sense of gratitude to the Kapoor couple, or should . Prithvi Theatre is now being managed by their son , Kunal Kapoor.
It was Jennifer who also encouraged him to start a new wave film movement meant to inspire young filmmakers to make meaningful and sensible films under their banner. It was out of this inspiration that Shashi produced films Junoon, Kalyug,36 Chowringhee Lane, Vijeta and Utsav . The
films were commercial duds , but were critically acclaimed and awarded , but the failure of these films made Shashi a bitter man and he once said , “Inn daadiwalo ne toh ek garib Shashi Kapoor ko barbad kar diya”. It was his sarcastic comment on the directors who made these films and he vowed never to make such films again.
It was in retaliation to the death of his move for meaningful cinema that he decided to strike back and directed his own big Indo- Soviet film called “Ajooba” with Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor,Dimple Kapadia and Amrish Puri, but this brave attempt also failed and he threw up his hands in despair and lost all interest in films and in life. His last big ambition was to direct Dilip Kumar , but that could not be and will now never be .
Shashi was perhaps the only Indian actor who made it big on the international level when he did leading roles in films like Siddhrtha directed by Conrad Rooks and the films he made for Merchant- Ivory Productions, The Householder, Pretty Polly, Heat and Dust and In Custody, the only film directed by his best friend ,Ismail Merchant.
The much-loved man was a man with a big heart. He played an active part in the founding of the Cancer Aids Society and other social welfare institutions. ..
Ever since he died , volumes have been written about him , but very few have given him the due that was so very rightfully all his.
This edit is our tribute to a man who was much greater than he was described as. We at Bollywood and Tv Reporter pay our tribute to the man who was more than just another man as many made him out to be.