Sonia Golani’s Decoding Bollywood – A Book Review

Hi, Folks,

Sonia Golani is known for her offbeat books like Corporate Divas and My Life, My Rules: Stories of 18 Unconventional Careers. Now, she is back with her third book “Decoding Bollywood: Stories of 15 film directors”. While she discussed about 18 not-so-conventional jobs in her previous book, in this book she has covered the stories of 15 Indian film makers.

Priced at Rs. 250, published by Westland Publishers, this book is now available online on Amazon, Flipkart, and other online stores. Also, read the reviews on GoodReads.

Among the 15 names are Farah Khan, Ashutosh Gowariker, Kabir Khan, Anurag Basu, Nagesh Kukunoor, Nandita Das, Prakash Jha, Rohit Shetty, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Sudhir Mishra, Vipul Shah and Zoya Akhtar.

While one might expect this non-fiction to move on a monotonous way, we are in for a surprise as most of the stories are more of a casual and frank chit chat between the author and directors. Sonia has personally met each and every film maker and had got their stories. Instead of the routine interviewing session, this was more of a chit-chat session where the directors had revealed their dreams, troubles, and life stories.

Adding to the memorable stories that start from the early days of the writer to their upcoming works, there are acute descriptions on how each of the meeting places, be it office or home, looked. This made the readers actually imagine each and every backdrop with precision.

There were some tongue-in-cheek interviews and also some totally to-the-point stories, but Sonia has done justice in writing them in an interesting way. Apart from the basics of success stories, movies, and personal life, Sonia had probed in about the academy awards and thoughts about Hollywood movies to the directors.

There were places where she had out righteously asked directors about their blah phase or flop movies, and some of the directors indeed gave some convincing replies. Although, particularly there wasn’t anything new or scintillating in the book (thanks to the page 3’s and social media), this book was a fresh and light read.

What was WOW?

  1. The brilliant and steady flow of narration that keeps the book alive throughout
  2. The pick of directors – conventional to nonconventional, young to old, there were film makers from all walks of Bollywood.
  3. The interesting chit chat session instead of a conventional interview.

What was OOPS?

  1. Proofreading: The book seems to have been failed in proofreading, as there were evident typos and other errors.
  2. The book had more of known facts (no complaints though!)

Do I recommend?

Yes, if you like to know about these 15 incredible filmmakers and their life journeys.

Rating: 3.5/5

This book is a part of book review program by Writersmelon.

Read other book reviews by me here.

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