SHAMMI KAPOOR was an bsolute original, who redefined the profile of the Hindi film hero in the late’ 50s and cast him in a unique, highly individualistic mould. He was a far cry from the self-righteous ‘hero’ of the time. He broke the existing rules, made his own. After a spell of initial shock the audiences went berserk over his machismo, the roguish demeanour and the flamboyance with which he sang and danced. And he became the first hero to break into the formidable cordon f the Big Three of the times: Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand, who had doinated the scene unchallenged for more than a decade.
Shammi’s uncanny sense of music revolutionized the song-and-dance routine which led to the evolution of a new genre of ‘musical romance’. Unfortunately, the critics of the time failed to comprehend his highly individualistic style and swagger. And the way he violated the image of the conventional hero of the time made them pass him over as a ‘freak’. Nevertheless, history hasn’t denied him his niche.
As film scholar Dr. Punita Bhatt succinctly avers, “Shammi Kapoor represented the blending of unique elements rooted in times, place, and his own talent. More important and less appreciated, is the fact that Shammi Kapoor’scotribution, like Dilipp Kumar’s, has seped into the mainstream of popular cinema in India, becoming a part of the larger tradition every actor is heir to. Jeetendra in the first phase of his career, Rajesh Khanna in early films lie The Train and Aradhana and Rishi Kapoor on many occasions, are only a few of those in whom Shammi Kapoor’s influence was pronounced. In dozens of others it is less visible but these, nevertheless.”
Journalist and film critic, RAUF AHMED has made a mark in mainstream print, film and television media. Starting out as a trainee at The Times of India, he joined the Free Press Journal as a Sub-Editor in the early’ 70s, rose to be the Features Editor, then Magazine Editor of the Sunday Journal. He them switched to film journalism and became the Founder Editor of film magazines Super (1977) and Movie (1982). He later joined The Times of India Group as Editor of Filmfare. During his tenure, he was instrumental in in relaunching the Filmfare Awards in a new format in 1990. Filmfare Awards had been abandoned in 1985. In 1994, he returned to mainstream journalism as Chief of Bureau of the newly launched daily, The Asian Age, Mumai. After a three-year stint, he moved to The Indian Express Group to edit the weekly Screen. He then joined The Zee Group as Founder Editor of a premium film magazine, Zee Premiere. At Zee, he also produced and directed several film-based shows for the Zee Network. In 2001, he became Vice President – Programming on Zee Cinema and Zee Music. In 2002, he won the RAPA Award for the best film-based show across channels, Zee Talkies, on Zee Television. In 2011, he was Content Advisor on a documentary, Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, produced by Shekhar Kapur for UTV and directed by Rajesh Omprakash Mehra. The documentary was the opening film at the Cannes Fastival in 2011.
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