Naseeruddin Shah: “Dilip Kumar left no important lessons for future actors”
Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah admires actor Dilip Kumar as much as any other movie buff. But, while acknowledging Dilip Kumar’s irreplaceable contributions to Indian cinema, Shah raised the question “whether his (Kumar’s) example as a star deserved to be emulated and whether he helped move things forward. or if he facilitated the downward spiral of Hindi cinema in the total centering on the stars in which he wallows today.
In an opinion piece written by Naseeruddin Shah for Indian Express, he pointed out that Kumar’s mode of expression did not follow the standards of “false theatricality, bowed voice intonations and constantly waving hands.”
“His haunting stillness and impeccable poise established a paradigm for good acting in Indian films. His economy of movement and gesture seemed to be little understood by his peers and even those who followed, although many superficially imitated his style, ”Shah said.
However, he added that despite Dilip Kumarof his greatness, he did not do much to elevate his genre of cinema. Naseeruddin Shah added in his article: “Given the position he held, it is more than obvious that he did not do enough other than playing and getting involved in social causes close to his heart. “
The actor, who was recently admitted to Mumbai’s Hinduja Hospital with pneumonia, claimed that Kumar, in his acting career, had only produced one film and had not officially directed any. “He never shared his experience, didn’t bother to prepare anyone, and apart from his pre-1970s performances, didn’t leave any important lessons for future actors.”
In fact, Shah believed that Kumar’s autobiography was “a rehash of old interviews.” He wrote: “It is baffling that a man so aware of his place in history would be reluctant to record his interaction with some of the great recognized filmmakers of his time or to say anything really informative about the nature of his work and his technique. I wish he had at least been upfront at one point about the difficulties of retaining legions of dedicated fans. “
In the article, Naseeruddin Shah wrote that Dilip Kumar is among the best in the country, whose mere presence could uplift a movie. But, despite all the fame, the legend “chose to play it safe”.
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