Remembering A Handsome Bollywood Star

Shashi Kapoor

Handsome, smart, boyish and with a crooked smile, Shashi Kapoor had all right ingredients for a hero, his rich lineage notwithstanding.

There were two shades to the Shashi Kapoor we know. There was that typical Hindi cinema hero who just needed to exhibit his good looks, run around trees and pose when required. He did that well too, with style and élan.

However, there were the serious side which earned him widespread acclaim. He kept his love for the stage alive with Prithvi Theatre and started his own production house to experiment with cinema and come up with some great films,

Here is a tribute to a great actor who passed away on Monday night:

Kalyug (1981)

Kalyug (1981)Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Rekha, Victor Banerjee, Raj Babbar, Anant Nag, Supriya Pathak, Kulbushan Kharbanda
Director: Shyam Benegal

This modern-day Mahabharata involves two business families of Ramchand and Bhishamchand who are hell bent on destroying each other.

Also involved is an orphan Karan (Shashi Kapoor), adopted by Bhishamchand, who tries to play mediator.

But Ramchand’s son Dhanraj (Banerjee) and his brothers seek revenge. The battle takes a bad turn and blood is spilt. There is a love triangle too which ends in a tragedy. Kapoor is brilliant along with Rekha and Banerjee.

Junoon (1978)

Junoon (1978)Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Jennifer Kendal, Deepti Naval
Director: Shyam Benegal

A reckless chieftain Javed Khan (Shashi Kapoor) is caught in an awkward position during the Mutiny of 1857 when a massacre by anti-British forces in a church leaves Miriam (Kendal), her mother and her daughter Ruth (Nafisa) as the only ones to survive.

They take shelter with a Hindu family but Javed storms into the house and takes the three hostage. Things get more complicated as Javed falls for Ruth. This sparks jealousy from his wife Firdaus (Shabana).

Miriam makes a deal with Javed over Ruth and says if the British were defeated then Ruth would his. But the underprepared Indian forces cannot take on the British.

New Delhi Times (1986)

New Delhi Times (1986)Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Om Puri
Director: Ramesh Sharma

A brave newspaper editor Vikas Pande (Shashi Kapoor) is caught in a nexus between media barons and political leaders when an MLA is murdered. There is a lot of political wheeling dealing between the chief minister and another local political leader Ajay Singh (Puri).

Ajay Singh is ambitious and wants to be chief minister. At the same time he is involved in many illegal activities. Pande comes across a lot issues as he pursues the case.

The plot takes twists and turns before justice is finally meted out. The film won Shashi Kapoor a Best Actor National Award.

Utsav (1984)

Utsav (1984)Cast: Shankar Nag, Rekha, Amjad Khan, Shashi Kapoor, Shekhar Suman
Director: Girish Karnad

Produced by Shashi Kapoor, wherein he plays a small role, the film is based on an ancient Sanskrit play. It follows the life of a courtesan (Rekha) who dances at King Palaka’s court and flees to Charudatta’s house to avoid the amorous attention of the king’s brother-in-law.

She falls in love with Charudatta despite he being married and a pauper. Charudutta then helps the king’s brother who is the rightful heir to the throne.

The courtesan is strangled and left for dead by the king’s brother-in-law because she refuses to submit. Charudatta is jailed when he tries to pawn the courtesan’s jewels. The plot thickens.

Shakespeare Wallah (1965)

Shakespeare Wallah (1965)Cast: Shashi Kapoor, Madhur Jaffrey, Felicity Kendal, Geoffrey Kendal
Director: James Ivory

The Ivory-Merchant production features a story by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala on a British theatre family group going around India performing Shakespeare’s plays.

Tony Buckingham (Geoffrey Kendal) and his wife look after the group while their daughter Lizzie (Felicity Kendal) falls in love with Sanju (Shashi Kapoor).  Sanju is romancing a Bollywood star Manjula (Madhur Jaffrey)

The British troupe has a difficult time traversing India as Hindi cinema is taking over audiences. Shashi Kapoor met his wife Jennifer during the making of the film.

Babu Kalyanpur

Babu Kalyanpur, ( Consulting Editor) has rich experience in both sports and business journalism. Babu has led news desks in Pune and Bahrain and writes extensively on his passion, sports and business besides current affairs and matters of importance to Pune.

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