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Updated: October 30, 2013 17:06 IST

Behind the glitz

UTHRA NAGARAJAN
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Crashing B-Town by Tulika Mehrotra.
Special Arrangement Crashing B-Town by Tulika Mehrotra.

A young actress’s experience with the Bollywood industry, ‘Crashing B-Town’ is a good read.

The big bad Bollywood industry. That’s what Crashing B-Town is all about. With dreams of making it big in the cinema industry, Lila — the protagonist, arrives in Mumbai for a second time after her disastrous modelling stint in Delhi earlier. She lands a leading role in a movie produced by one of the biggest production houses in the country, which would be her ticket to fame and more movies. And what follows is her story of struggle to complete her debut project.

Caught in a web of hatred, ego, lust and deceit, Lila’s journey gives a peek into the industry behind the facade of glamour and fame.

Numerous pitfalls

The book has a melange of characters that one would expect — an egotistical and narcissistic co-actor, a clueless director, a production house which uses her as a pawn to boost the film… the list goes on. And then there are the usual scandals that come along with the job and the industry.

Victimised time and again, Lila’s short stint in the cinema industry is one disaster after another. With her brother being her only support, Lila is tested as she encounters many a treacherous character in the industry. Innocent and smart at the same time, she gets caught in the superficiality of it all, trusts the wrong people and realises her mistakes a little too late.

The story is simple and the author’s writing style, precise. The problem I found with the book, however, was that it lacked the connection between the protagonist and the story. Lila’s emotions weren’t explored as much and her character graph oscillates a bit. The way her problems are resolved is a little too easy and convenient to be believable.

Clichés

The book reminds one of Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine in a few places and inclines towards stereotype and cliché, but it redeems itself and gets back on track soon. The ending is a bit contrived and abrupt as it doesn’t give a sense of the story coming to an end. Barring the minor problems, the book is a good read overall.

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