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Salim Khan Remembers Raj Kapoor, Says No New Filmmaker Can Carry On His Legacy

One of the founding fathers of modern Bollywood, Raj Kapoor was known for his distinctive style, love stories, and the portrayal of post-colonial India through rosy frames of Bollywood. On his 93rd birth anniversary, Salim Khan has released a podcast remembering the showman through his words.

Sameeksha | News18.com@s_dandriyal

Updated:December 15, 2017, 2:12 PM IST
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Salim Khan Remembers Raj Kapoor, Says No New Filmmaker Can Carry On His Legacy
Image: News18 Creatives
The first great showman of Bollywood, Raj Kapoor, believed in presenting everything on a larger than life canvas. Born and brought up in a family that was to become a legacy in Bollywood, Raj Kapoor always knew the magic cinema can spell on the minds of people. From big budget locations to sets and stars, Raj Kapoor's films had it all.

A gutsy upfront filmmaker who continuously braved odds and defied the times to weave in his own personal version of aching, heart-stopping and romantic fare. His over the top formulas were always ahead of its time- be it Sangam or Bobby, but that never stopped him from following his heart. He was here to make films that carved the way for other filmmakers and will continue to do so for many more years.

One of the founding fathers of modern Bollywood, Raj Kapoor was known for his distinctive style, love stories, and the portrayal of post-colonial India through rosy frames of Bollywood. On his 93rd birth anniversary, Salim Khan has released a podcast remembering the showman through his words. Available to hear on Apple Podcast, it talks about few of Khan's personal moments with Raj Kapoor and how the actor-filmmaker inspired his work.

In an age when tributes are mostly through video messages and/or a picture on Twitter or Instagram, the idea of an audio remembrance comes as a rarity. When News18 asks the famed writer about the uniqueness of his tribute, Khan says, "It all started with an article that I wrote for a publication for Raj Sahib's death anniversary. Pouring my heart out about all the gratitude and respect I felt for the man. The article was later converted into an audio file for more reach and it touched the hearts of many of Raj Kapoor's family members and friends."





He further adds, "Lataji even told me that though I've written several films, my tribute to him was the finest work I've written as it brought her to tears. During all this, the podcast was then procured by Apple and they wanted to give it a bigger reach. Now everything about Raj Shaib deserves to reach to his wide fan base so I agreed."

At a time when a film like Newton co-exists with Judwaa 2, Khan feels that despite such diverse writing, no filmmaker has the caliber to carry Kapoor's legacy forward as yet. "I don't think anyone is anywhere close to the kind of filmmaking Raj Sahib used to do. They say that it's easy to find a replacement in every industry, first, there was Gavaskar, but post his retirement a Tendulkar came up and now there's a Kohli to match Tendulkar's legacy. Unfortunately the same didn't happen in our industry." he says.

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Khan further elaborates, "All the great auteurs, be it Bimal Roy, Kapoor Sahib or Guru Dutt, those who used to make films with a passion, haven't found their successor yet. The new crop of filmmakers is nowhere close to Raj Sahib's format. "

Raj Kapoor's filmmaking was always associated with socialism, which got lost as generations passed. Now filmmakers choose to stay away from controversial subjects in order to avoid sentimental threats and controversies. However, Khan feels that this is a part and parcel of any good filmmaking. He says, "I've always said that filmmaking is an art with a lot of power. I remember when I watched Attenborough's Gandhi, I saw how people entered the cinema hall and how they left as a completely different person. Cinema has the power to influence people and Raj Sahib was its master. He knew his craft very well and used to make socially relevant films with required entertainment. His cinema spoke about relevance to a wide range of audience."





When asked how Raj Kapoor would've dealt with the kind of environment now, regarding freedom of speech and expression, Khan replies, "If Raj Sahib would've been alive, his cinema would've hurt sentiments of few but that's the thing, the required art will always speak the truth and it will hurt people. But that doesn't mean you have to stop. Raj Sahib conquered controversies in his time, he would've dealt with them today as well, through his sensible art. "

A fan of Raj Kapoor himself, both personally and professionally, the acclaimed writer from the Salim-Javed duo, finds it impossible to pick one of his Kapoor's favorites. "It would be really unfair to choose one. As I've mentioned in my podcast, his film Awaara was one of the first that I saw and it made us (children) think that we all are Raj Kapoor," he explains. Raj Kapoor laid the foundations of modern Hindi cinema and Salim Khan built stories on it for the larger part of the 70s and 80s. As an advice for the aspiring writers and filmmakers, the screenplay writer says, "My message to the younger generation will be to read. Today's scripts are weak because people have stopped going to the libraries and reading. Padhoge nahi toh likhoge kaise?"

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| Edited by: Sameeksha
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