In a cult of their own: Bollywood beyond box office, Amborish Roychoudhury, 2018

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Publishers: Rupa Publications
Synopsis:
‘Cults become cults, they are not made. It’s the becoming that is interesting, not the making.’
There are some films that sure fizzle out of the theatres in a heartbeat, but figure out a way to survive. Through a torrent leaked online, on an old bootlegged DVD or VHS, or YouTube upload and then in the hands of the omnipresent Twitterati—the films form a ‘cult’ of their own.
This book is a tongue-in-cheek ode to these cult movies of Hindi filmdom, ones that despite not having made moolah at the box office, still made it to viewers’ memories for reasons—good or bad. Drawing from his own reminiscences of growing up on these delectables and also face-to-face interviews with actors and directors such as Aamir Khan, Pankaj Kapur and Deepti Naval, the author celebrates these underdogs in a manner that is extremely readable and relatable.
My review:
I must first admit that I am not a fan of non-fiction. However this book gripped me like no other.
In a cult of their own: Bollywood beyond box office is a wonderful review of several Bollywood classics, 28 to be exact. The author is obviously a person who is a genuine fan of these movies and is very-well read about it all, like one can decipher from his words.
The movies that made it to this list are all cult movies- movies that may not have been blockbusters, and yet so famous that people from even Gen Z may be considered their fans. The synopsis states that “Cults become cults, they are not made”, and this pretty much sums up the relevance of the myriad of movies named in this book.
The content of the book was very enlightening as well as entertaining. The author has done quite the bit of research to deliver impeccable reviews on the storylines, acting roles, directorial roles, the dialogues with their English translations, the music and the songs etc. There are also a multitude of interviews shown, quotes quoted, and various interesting conversations as well.
Coming to the cover, I loved the concept of the faded movie posters in the background of a very colorful cover. If not for the content, this book can certainly be a cover-buy. It couldn’t have been more apt than it is.
Verdict:
In a cult of their own: Bollywood beyond box office, is a treat for cinephiles and I would definitely recommend it to all the Bollywood fanatics, and I rate this a 4/5 stars.

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