Sanjay Leela Bhansali On Shashi Kapoor

“The  first film I ever saw in my life was Jab Jab Phool Khile.I must have been all of 6 at that time. And it left a lasting impression on me.I saw it over and over again and couldn’t stop singing  and dancing to Shashiji’s Humko tumpe pyar aaya. What I remember  the  most is Shashiji’s  charisma and natural performance.He was  so effortless. Even for a 6-year old his charm was infectious. As I grew up I saw him in other films where his  performance was the opposite of theatrical…And yet his  love for the theatre is legendary.My favourite ShashiKapoor films? Oh, so many. My favourites are Sharmilee where Raakheeji had a double role  but Shashiji left an equally strong impact …who can forget  his expressions of  heartbreak in the song Kaise kahen hum pyar ne hum kya kya khel dikhaye?My heart breaks each time  I watch him in that song. Then  my other  favourite  is Haseena Maan Jayegi where Shashijihad a double role as  the Good Hero and Bad Hero.He was  so convincing creating two contrasting characters. He made  a terrific pair with Babitaji in Haseena Maan Jayegi and EkShriman Shrimati  who married  Shashiji’s  nephew.In fact Shashiji looked good with every heroine be it NandajiSharmilaji or Hemaji or Ashaji or even Neetu Singhji in Deewaar andKala Patthar. I can’t think of a single heroine who didn’t suit Shashiji . He was equally at home with  his wife Jenniferji in Shakespearewallah. I will always remember Shashiji  for putting all the money that he made as an actor in Hindi commercial films,  into making non-mainstream films. 36 Chowringhee Lane is one of the finest film I’ve ever seen. I wish I had a producer  like Shashiji when I was starting out. He encouraged talent and art because he had a deep knowledge of cinema and theatre. Among his many talents the most important was his indelible connection with the forces of creativity. Shashiji was  a kindered spirit.”

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