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Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible Story of a Global Bollywood Star Hardcover – 20 Jul 2018
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‘She is our hugest crossover success story… Today the sky could be her limit.’ —Karan Johar ‘Priyanka is an amazing actor…even if you give her a flawed character, she will find humanity in it. That’s who she is.’—Zoya Akhtar ‘Priyanka Chopra was an absolute go-getter.’—Suneel Darshan, who gave Priyanka her first Hindi film ‘She is always stretching to do better….’—Vishal Bhardwaj
About the Author
Aseem Chhabrais the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed book Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, the Star (2016). A film journalist, freelance writer, and film festival programmer in New York City, he has been published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Outlook, Mumbai Mirror, and Rediff.com; has a regular column in The Hindu; and has been a commentator on Indian cinema and popular culture on NPR, CNN, BBC, as also ABC's 'Good Morning America', Associated Press, and Reuters.
Aseem is the festival director of the New York Indian Film Festival and the Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival in Pittsburgh. He is also the voice of Shadow Puppet #1 in director Nina Paley's award-winning animated film, Sita Sings the Blues.
Aseem is from Delhi, lives in New York, and visits India often. He can be followed on Twitter @chhabs.
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When I was requested to review this book, I instantly accepted because like I already wrote, she is one of my favorites. What I did not anticipate however, was how I may not end up liking the book.
Yet, I think it is better to start with all the things I loved about the book. Here's a start:
I love that someone thought up of writing a book for Priyanka Chopra. Does she deserve to have a book written on her? I'm not sure about that, but for anyone who wishes to know more about "our hugest crossover success story" as said by Karan Johar, this is a definite start.
The cover of the book was a beauty in itself.
A lot of interviews and research has been undergone to make this book happen, and as it is, I'm an appreciator of research and effort. Of course, I would say that's a great thing about the book.
The book features her life from almost starting to till date. Or at least, all the major things there were. Her obstacles in becoming who she is today, her successes, her mistakes—basically, everything that can picture her as a flawed person and yet, a beautiful one at that.
The writing style in the book was rather intriguing. I, for one, enjoyed reading a non-fiction book (which, I sometimes don't)! But then, I think my major inspiration was that it was a PC book.
However, despite this, there were a few things that I did not like about the book. Starting from the basic, it bothered me a lot that Priyanka Chopra wasn't there herself to direct the book. Of course! It isn't the author's fault, or the publishers' or even Chopra's, because she might have had a really busy schedule considering how things are there. But it bothers me still to think that it could have been made into a better book had it not only contained the facts collected from media and her friends, but also from her. Perhaps, the book would have done better to have a little bit more of Priyanka in it along with her friends and family and of course, the ever-present, media!
I just think that the book could have been delayed a bit, if that would have fit her schedule and then written once she was available. Not only because it would give us, the readers and her fans, a lot more idea about the truth behind those mysterious rumors, but because it could give us an insight over who she really is.
Who is Priyanka today? All that we know about her is through the media. Of course, barely anyone of us knows her for who she really is. And so, when we read a book on her, we expect a little more than what is there in the media.
Not that the book was bad. I mean, there were interviews conducted with so many of her colleagues and friends. So many previous interviews looked over. Honestly, had I committed that much research in my studies, I would have topped the state, if not the nation! (And I wasn't a brilliant student in my Science section.) So you get the hint, right? There were things about her life that were disclosed, which a lot of us did not know about. So if you're a fan, you should definitely give it a try. The only thing that upsets me is that she couldn't co-ordinate the book herself. Maybe, a lot of questions that were asked in the book would have been answered then.
The book comes in hardback cover and has a lot of pictures to tell the tale. Unfortunately, those pictures are not unfamiliar (thanks to Google). I have read other biographies too and the key feature of a biography is to project that side of the story that is not common to all. This book lacks originality.
Priyanka Chopra: The Incredible story of a global Bollywood star is an unapproved biography that is Priyanka herself has not contributed to it and this fact has been very well admitted by the author in the book.
The book onsets with Priyanka’s life in Bareilly and schooling days in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. Then her years as a beauty pageant for Miss World title. Afterward, the book includes the amusing account of her acting career, her films and how and when she started getting all the recognition and attention. Later, bits of information on trying her hands-on production as well.
The part of the book where Priyanka’s Hollywood crossover is narrated by the author kept me so much absorbed that I didn’t stop reading that part until I’m done. Moreover, this part of the book is well researched giving out all the intriguing stories that as her keen follower we always wanted to know. I loved to read the account of how she bagged the Quantico project and how her singing sensation got the requisite boost. I must say this part of the book was gripping and compelling along with the author’s imposing narrative.
The book includes quite fascinating stories and Priyanka’s sketch from point of view of other interviewees which were interviewed by the author. The interviewees include Anjula Acharya, Sharbari Zohra Ahmed, Madhur Bhandarkar, Vishal Bhardwaj, Karan Johar, Dia Mirza etc.
Well, it’s satisfying to read all the tales of one of your admired personality all fitted into one book.
The book is a delightful read and one not to be missed for Priyanka’s followers.
What wasn’t Good
While reading a few chapters, I felt that the things have just been mere documented and there was nothing more than compilations.
Well, it’s an unauthorized biography so the touch of Priyanka would obviously be missing but somehow incorporating few not so known recitals may have made the book a complete five star read.