Reviews - What do customers think about The Essential Guide to Bollywood?
A personal choice of the best Bollywood movies 1940-2003 Dec 30, 2007
Subhash K. Jha is one of the most informed and read film critics of Hindi movies, and his work is easily accessible also on line. He shares, I believe, a long time friendship with Amitabh Bachchan who has written the foreword to this nice and useful booklet. Basically this lavishly illustrated guide to Bollywood movies from the 1940's to 2003 is divided into film categories such as drama, comedy, war drama, thrillers, romance, historical, action and parallel cinema. Each movie is a small card with a synopsis, detailed even if brief movie information, but expecially pleasing tidbits of gossip and crossreferences to other movies or contemporary Hindi culture. The real value of this book among the many Bollywood movie guides is the exceptional insight of the Author in the choice of the reviewed movies. Leafing through the text we have the impression that he is actually describing the movies he liked and that he deams important as having influenced modern Indian culture. Bollywood industry has the curious characteristic of making classifications in hits and flops, blockbusters, superhits and hits, etc, but even if these are mentioned at the end of the book, the choice of the 200 Hindi movies is not conditioned by this philosophy. Very useful if you want to learn something about this colorful and particular film world. I will definitely try to see all the mentioned movies!
Brief Topical Guide to Hindi Cinema, Hardly Essential Sep 5, 2007
If looking for an abbreviated introduction to Hindi cinema, this thin (172-page) movie guide may be a place to begin. Movies from about 1950-2005 are represented, not alphabetically or by number of awards, but by subject genre. Many Hindi movies are considered to have plots of masala (spice), where drama, romance, & comedy are intermingled in a three-hour long plot, so the book's categorization of Hindi films by genre seems arbitrary. The book index works as a more focused finding aid to locate entries on movies and individuals. The author's language in the brief movie descriptions tends toward hyperbole, but the listed information for each movie on major actors, director, music composers, lyricist, and plot line are a helpful introduction to Hindi movies. There are color photographs of movie posters & stars on nearly every page of this guide, so it can be fun to flip through for topical browsing. However, as there are more comprehensive, academic guides to Hindi cinema in print this guide is hardly essential reading. Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema (Routledge Film Guidebooks) by Tejaswini Ganti, published in 2004, contains a more in-depth treatment.
The Bollywood Phenomenon! Feb 13, 2007
`The Essential Guide To Bollywood' by Subhash K. Jha is a beautifully done compendium of what the author considers to be the 200 best Hindi films from the `40's to the present. It is a nicely produced book printed on thick, high quality paper and filled with wonderful photos of all your favorite Hindi stars. The films discussed in this 176 page paperback volume are divided into ten chapters along with a two page forward by Amitabh Bachchan and index.
Contents; - Drama - Comedy - War Drama - Family Drama - Thrillers & Mysteries - Romance - Historical - Action - Parallel Cinema - Hits & Misses
This book is not meant to serve as an in-depth study, no film included in the book gets more than one page of description and discussion. Actually most of the pages are divided in half in a two column format, one film per column. It is a fast read, but you'll come back to it again and again to enjoy the pictures and reread the short excerpts in nostalgic bliss. Whether you're an expert in Bollywood cinema or new to the Hindi experience you'll love it!
Here is what this book is about... Sep 15, 2006
I was sad not to find a description of this book on this site, and the one review posted wasn't much help. So I went hunting for a description and thought I'd share what I found. The following description helped me decide - I hope it will help you too!
The Essential Guide to Bollywood Foreword: Amitabh Bachchan
ABOUT THE BOOK: The Essential Guide to Bollywood is an invaluable guide to lovers of Hindi films. Choosing the best 200 Hindi films ever made from the 1940's onwards, Subhash K. Jha gives concise and enjoyable reviews of the films, along with trivia and anecdotes about actors and actresses of that time and about the making of the films. The book also has a timeline of films and landmark events in Indian cinema. Entries are arranged genre-wise -- take your pick of drama, comedy, action, romance and many more!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Film critic Subhash K. Jha's opinions on Hindi movies are extensively read in more than thirty newspapers across India. Currently residing in Patna, Bihar, he is an incorrigible sucker for the `Friday-first-day-first-show'.
The Essential Guide to Bollywood Aug 3, 2006
This book is definitely a must for all those who want the scoop on Bollywood! Well-written and informative. I wish I had bought it sooner. As a Bollywood writer, this is a reference book, which will be close by my writing desk.