Thursday, July 2, 2020

Khantastic by Sanjukta Nandy (Book Review: 3.75*/5) !!!

20th Book of 2020!

Reading books on Bollywood personalities becomes a different experience altogether as we come to know about the stories we are not aware of about the people we have adored on screen. And the motivation in our life comes only after reading the approach of the actors, directors and movie-makers behind the screen on how they worked and prepared for the same. There is no denying that for people who are born after 1980 feels a deep-connect with the Khan trio of Bollywood i.e. Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan. They are someone who came and changed things for Bollywood and movie-lovers who knew nothing except Amitabh Bachchan at that point of time. They shall always have special place in heart for people who love movies. Hence, reading about them is always very exciting.

This book named “Khantastic” written by Sanjukta Nandy claims to be speaking about the untold story of Bollywood’s Trio in the 210 pages. It took me very less time to finish this book for obvious reasons as it was talking about the Superstars I grew up adoring and copying in my school and childhood days. Author has taken due care to make us feel the same we felt when these guys were coming up with their multiple movies in their 1st and 2nd decade respectively which has made them the star they are today. Even today if these Khans fail, they are and shall always be remembered as Success Stories due to what they did in their career’s first twenty years.

Author starts with the background of each of the family and tells how they are connected through the similar kind of roots. Then she discusses their birth story and finally about their childhood days. Each story is unique in itself of all the stars. I personally liked reading about Shahrukh Khan here as his struggles are very less known as he is an outsider and never generally speaks about his early life. Then author discusses how they got into the industry and the challenges faced by them then and how it all changed after they delivered their first hit so superbly. The way how their love stories are discussed is the best segment of the book. SRK-Gauri’s story is in fact so filmy that you would not believe that it’s a true love story at all. Similarly, Aamir-Reena’s story is fascinating in itself. The best part is how author has humorously written about Salman’s ever-changing girlfriends and his dynamics with them post relationship.

The book then discusses about their several films and how they got few roles which were either first discussed with some other actor or with one among them but how then they profited from it by coming in at the last minute and taking up the rejected role. Their biggest success in the 90s are discussed vastly along with their recent successes in the days of 100-200-300 crore clubs. Author also talks about the relationship of three Khans among themselves and how they have survived all the bad days when they didn’t get along and even fought publicly. All the controversies of Salman Khan are briefed without trying to white-wash him – her stance is similar with mentioning controversial events of Shahrukh and Aamir too. I liked author’s daring to pour everything she knew as it is without modifying facts pushing it on sources etc.

I liked how a chapter is almost dedicated to Hrithik Roshan on whose entry in 2000, there were talks and discussions that Khans’ careers would now be immensely affected and the new generation is up there. How it even got connected with the then political conditions was something I wasn’t aware about which author mentions very clearly. Without putting anyone down- Hrithik or the Three Khans, author does a great justice to that chapter.

Talking about the drawbacks, I would say that it is not the author’s fault but because media covers these stars so passionately that almost everything is known to the general public hence there weren’t many stories with her to reveal in this book as a Shock or Surprise hence there’s nothing which can be called as untold stories. Secondly, I felt that many important events from their life has been ignored which could have been given nice presentation in the book. Then, a book which talks about journey of actors must have their filmography in the end for readers to understand their career-graph which is missing. The total count of movies that each star has done should also have been discussed in some manner and their approach towards how many movies they like working on.

Saying it all, this is a light and entertaining book which tells you about the most talked-about Khans in our country. I give this book 3.75 stars out of 5.




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