Another great thing about Shashi Kapoor is what a good co-star he makes. Maybe it's his early background of so much theater work, maybe it's being the baby in a family of egos, maybe it's because he didn't have any energy to waste on on-camera attitude. I've yet to see him hog the screen when it wasn't called for by the script, and he seems to have an easy rapport with everyone in the frame.
All week I've been thinking about doing a jodi post, but I haven't been able to single out anyone who makes an especially notable pair with Shashi. Every time I start to write something about how Hema Malini dishes back every mischievous eye twinkle, I realize Sharmila does too.
And she's brave enough to let him drive!
Neetu Singh can be an earthy foil for his cheesey 70s moments, but Asha Parekh was sassing him in the 60s.
He and Rakhee melt the screen and make me believe their romances, but so do he and his sister-in-law Felicity Kendal.
I like him with everyone, and I like everyone with him. There are certain actors you associate strongly with others - Kajol and Shahrukh, Madhuri and Anil, Nargis and Raj - but I haven't gotten that from Shashi (yet? - readers who have seen more films, is it going to happen?). I've never even read any interviews in which he states who his favorite costars were. I like to think it's because he's versatile enough to be solid, appropriate, and believable with almost anyone.
[Insert needle skidding off the record.]
SCRATCH THAT. Who says the jodi has to be romantic? Shashi does have historic, famous, undeniable chemistry with one particular someone: enter Shashitabh! So beloved it's promoted in the trailer!
So immortal it's commemorated in song!
So strong, so cemented, so powerful it survives shabby outfits, vaudevillian physical threats, romantic and familial rivalries, embittered childhoods, fratricide, helicopters, class and religious differences, blindness, engineering debacles, fire, drunkenness, gigantic sunglasses, bald megalomanic villains, and foam crocodiles!*
The superstar supercharged love of the century!
* Some day I'll analyze Shashitabh more thoughtfully, but today is not that day. I'm too hopped up on Shashiccinos.