This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
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USA: Oye! Times readers Get FREE $30 to spend on Amazon, Walmart… 'Mughal-E-Azam' – the very subject is such that it leads to intrigue, excitement, surprise and euphoria practically every time it comes under discussion. It was no different when I caught hold of yet another book on the subject, this time by author Anil Zankar, who termed his take on affairs as 'Legend as Epic' no less.
No wonder, I was excited too to read an epical tale around this legend that has been a subject of many a debate.
Unfortunately though, this 190 page tale turned out to be a boring affair that succeeds in holding, well, just academic interest. Academic, because this is what the entire content appears, as there is hardly anything belonging to the entertainment quotient. Instead, it is the author's own perspective on what the film meant to him. So what one gets to read are Zankar's take on the technical aspects of the film, the music, the shot divisions, the costumes, the dialogues and stuff alike.
Now even that could have made for a fairly interesting read, had the presentation been engaging enough. Sadly, that doesn't quite happen and from a reader's perspective, you lose interest in the proceedings quicker than you must have imagined.
A few years back there was another book on the same subject, which was titled 'Mughal-E-Azam – An Epic of Eternal Love'. Though not flawless either, that Shakil Warsi written book had still managed to entice some good response, courtesy many anecdotes that were shared about the making of the film. It had succeeded quite well in bringing some spicy details, scoops, gossips, grapevine, speculations, rumours, bitter truths and outright lies about Mughal-E-Azam, hence packing in quite a lot for the reader to have a non-stop read.
In case of 'Legend as Epic' though, there is none of that on display. Instead, it comes as a white paper study which isn't fluid enough to make you actually flip around the pages with excitement and check out what the author has to offer.
Still, one can't discount the fact that at least in terms of bringing his own perspective about what would have gone into the making of the film or his own study of the film available to him; he has gone into good details. To be actually appreciating the film for what it is worth and to appreciate its finer nuances is something which is appreciable by all means. However, in the process it also means that the target base becomes quite limited as for an average reader, there is very little to actually munch on.
Of course one may argue that for a film made half a century ago, there is hardly anything that can be unearthed, especially considering the fact that with an exception of Dilip Kumar, no one from the principle cast or crew is alive today. Well, in that scenario, perhaps a different subject may have been the chosen one! Reason being that for something as big as 'Mughal-E-Azam' which carried such tremendous potential to be explored, it is heartbreaking to lay hands on a book which doesn't deliver even close to what is expected out of it.
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