Book review – Fawzan Husains The Silver Screen and Beyond

Book review - Fawzan Husains The Silver Screen and Beyond

I have been a huge fan of picture books. The last memorable hard cover book that had pictures/posters making it really vibrant, exciting and of course entertaining was Bhawna Somayaa's Bachchanalia that was released way back in 2009. It was indeed a collector's delight.

Now one look at Fawzan Husain's The Silver Screen & Beyond and you are sure that this is going to adorn the coffee table of the living room with much pride and passion.

It is this very pride and passion with which photo journalist Fawzan Husain puts together his 12 yearlong labor of love in the form of The Silver Screen & Beyond – Up Close and Personal with the Bombay Film Industry. The core subject chosen by him is truly exciting as he goes beyond the silver screen and steps into the studios where the line between real and reel life is much thinner than how it appears to a commoner.

So if you wonder how Kareena Kapoor was actually drenched in rain for a sequence in Chameli to the moments that Sunny Leone spent in her long walk from the vanity van to the sets while shooting Ek Paheli Leela to the boredom that set in for the background dancers while waiting for the camera to begin rolling to the extra clothing that a stunning actress demands to put on while not facing the camera to the props that are put together to give an illusion of something real to jumps and falls that happen in front of chroma screen to the fallen moments on the sets that never make it to the screen – it is all there!

It is 300 odd moments like these and more that Fawzan captures in this brilliantly put together book [hats off to the creative, designing and publishing team!] which makes sure that you turn over every page with utmost care, curiosity, intrigue while going through emotions that range from being truly impressed to utterly surprised with disbelief thrown in as well.

The pictures are taken with great conviction and it is quite apparent that his years of experience as a photo journalist have come in handy for Fawzan, hence resulting in such a flawless product that presents a piece of filmmaking to the connoisseur of Hindi cinema. Moreover, the book is not just a picture account of stars (or the ones in the background, who aren't) but also has a caption or two attached to the moment being captured through the lens. That further adds on to the excitement quotient that makes the book's title, The Silver Screen & Beyond, truly relevant.

Furthermore, Fawzan also ropes in four members from the film fraternity to even write a one page chapter each, hence making sure that the monotony of going through the pages is broken to make it a reading, and now just a visual, experience. As a matter of fact, one does feel that the book could have only gained furthermore, had there been more such chapters, and a few testimonials thrown in as well.

Meanwhile, at places one is also reminded of the brilliant opening credits title rolls that had been put together by Zoya Akhtar for her debut directorial outing Luck By Chance. In the Farhan Akhtar starrer, she too had made an attempt to go beyond the glitz and glamour associated with the world of films, and brought to audience the background proceedings that ensured the silver screen to shine the brightest.

Nonetheless, Fawzan holds on to his own strengths and pretty much gifts this book to the fans and followers of Bombay Film Industry. Yes, the book's price is way too steep which would make it out of bounds for many out there who would find it simply unaffordable. However, at least for those from within the industry, as well as the ones from outside who like to catch hold of something as classy as this to grace their living rooms and offices, this one is a must buy!

Price: Rs. 3200/=

Rating: ****1/2

Article written by staff at Bollywood Hungama. Read more

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