Yes, Amitabh Bachchan’s characterisation goes through quite some analysis by Lal as he brings in his own take on it but a total avoidance of Yash Chopra clearly indicates that the write up here isn’t the kind that would meet the expectation that one originally had from the book. This is the reason why it turns out to be a disappointing read because while half the book has everything which has actually nothing to do with Deewar, a masala entertainer that audience would continue to watch it as for years to come as well, the other half basically is the interpretation and more than that a display and sharing of knowledge that the author may be carrying around the core of a scene or an instance. No wonder, Lal doesn’t even blink when he actually equates the conflict between the two brothers (Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor) as that of India and Pakistan (yup, you read it right!). This is not all, you are also told that the scene where young Amitabh throws a stone at his mother’s tormentors was something that came way before (hold your breath) Palestinians and Kashmiris adopted it as a protest mechanism!!! While there are dozens of such equations being set, right from mythological references to political interpretations, there are also essays being documented, one of them being all about definition of ‘forged signatures’! Of course there are redeeming moments for an average reader (read: a Bollywood follower) when there are actual scenes from the film brought to fore all over again with dialogues to boost. Now more than anything else, they end up adding on to the nostalgia as multiple memorable scenes and dialogues from the film are hard to forget and only so refreshing to revisit all over again. In this respect, Lal does well in bringing back the film to the audience and enticing them to give it a repeat viewing. However, other than, there is hardly any fun to go through this exhaustive write up that only ends up being an indulgent exercise more than giving anything to the reader to cherish. As a paper to be written for a thesis, this book may qualify as a good effort but for someone who is interested in knowing more about the film for what it is, there is absolutely nothing at all to be offered.
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