By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network
In the series of 'The Legend Of Indian Cinema', there have been six releases so far. While the ones on Shammi Kapoor and Mehboob did make an interesting read, the ones on PC Barua and Sivaji Ganesan were just OK. As for the book written on Guru Dutt (from which one had most expectations to begin with), the less said about it better. Hence, one looks forward to how interesting does the author Amrit Gangar make the sixth in the series which is done on Sohrab Modi.
Though the cinema followers of the current generation have definitely heard the name Sohrab Modi, more or less they aren't too clued into his work during a cinematic journey which lasted close to 50 years (1934 - 1983). Yes, the word 'historical' comes to the mind immediately since Modi has always been known as a man who made Jhansi Ki Rani. However, what is really ironic is that though Jhansi Ki Rani has made him a known name today, the film by itself was a box office failure while there were countless other social films which he made decades back.
What really surprises is to know that Modi, who made quite a few historical movies in his time, actually hated history classes in his childhood. However, it was only later when he started making movies and on exploring history further did he realize the immense importance of history in making one's future. In addition, he may well have been a politician if he hadn't entered into the world of movies. That's because after his matriculation, when he was contemplating a career path to choose, his school principal had commented - "Sohrab, looking at the quality of your voice, I think you should either be a politician or an actor."
As is pretty obvious, Modi choose the later and the rest, as they say, is history!
Talking about his voice, any student of cinema would vouch for the fact that Modi's USP was his voice. Whether it is his debut film Khoon Ka Khoon (which was based on 'Hamlet') or Pukar or Sikandar or Prithvi Vallabh, his voice always loomed large. In his younger days, Modi had earned quite some reputation of being a Shakespearean actor and along with his brother's theatrical company; he used to travel throughout India while enthralling audience all over due to his towering presence and depth in voice.
Another great facet of Modi was his relentless approach when it came to sheer grandeur in his films. Amrit Gangar takes a reader through number of Modi's films which boasted of great sets, huge canvas and sheer lavish approach when it came to providing big screen entertainment. Films like Pukar, Sikandar (starring none other than Prithviraj Kapoor in the lead role), Jhansi Ki Rani and Mirza Ghalib amongst others were huge in canvas and can easily be counted amongst the best in Indian cinema. In fact, for Jhansi Ki Rani, the technicians roped in were the same who had worked on Gone With The Wind!
Talking about historical films, not many are aware that Sohrab Mo