Book Review: Spot Girl
Author: Komal Mehta
Released in: 2014
Rating: Four Stars
‘Bade bade deshon mein, aisi chotti chotti batein hoti rehti hai’
Every day, thousands flock to Mumbai, the land of dreams, to make it big and become the next Bachchan, SRK, Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai or Deepika Padukone in the Hindi film industry. The biggest stars create pandemonium and frenzy every time they appear, reaching cult and demi-god status with fans going berserk. Every Spot boy or girl, on the sets, dream to make a film one day whether it’s on the silver screen or in short format. Komal Mehta’s Spot Girl is a tribute to the arch lights, adored superstars and talented strugglers dreaming of making it big.
Jia is living her greatest dream. She’s the manager cum girl Friday of the country’s hottest film star Shezad Khan, She loves her job and she loves her boss.
In a place where everyone pays a price, how far will she go for her love? From Mumbai to Cannes, Spot Girl is the journey of an ordinary girl who ends up finding something real in this fascinating world of make belief.
‘Mard ko dard nahin hota’
As the story oops camera rolls, Spot Girl offers an insight into the life of Jia is the life line to superstar Shezad Khan where she dabbles into everything to make her boss happy. The book takes you into the world of cinema that infuses oxygen into our lives. The idiosyncrasy of stars, mad world of cinema, media and fans frenzy, a manager that first appear to be a despo but turns to be a simple-cum-hardworking guy and a starlet Ayesha makes Spot Girl a sure shot winner. The deadpan humor and one-liners that Komal injects is worth throwing taalis aur seethis on Spot Girl. She is effortless in sketching the narrative that makes every sequence paisa vasool.
“You are a weird dude. You’re not gay, are you? With feelings for Shehzad or something?”
The humor is not forced on readers but sketched naturally that gels with the story flow. The quotes paint the true-to-life story of being a celebrity, industry funda and the words used to sign stars. There can’t be a better way to describe the performance of an artist through the words of Komal, “The way your audience love you was really unconditional. It takes one dialogue, one gesture, one role for you to woo them, but once you do that…they are truly yours.” It holds true in describing the ongoing romance and palatable chemistry between a film star and the audience. Remember Amitabh Bachchan’s Aaj Khush to Bohot Hog Gaye in Deewar or Vijay Dinanath Chauhan in Agneepath.
For me, Spot Light is not just another book to describe lives of people associated with a film star or films but an emotion that has been tapped in a powerful manner. The author touches an emotional chord, be it taking us to discarded film reel and restoration in the dialogue between Jia and Falak. It’s sad that reels forming part of the legacy and history of cinema lies in shamble today and stand deteriorated where little effort is made to restore them. Or, the sequence where Jia chides Falak for using the word, Chutiya which is common parlance on film sets. The best thing about the book is that Komal Mehta takes us in a world that makes us live every moment on set or frame. The book breathes cinema in all its forms, whether the shoot or locations. Truly, Light, Camera and Action!
What’s a book designed for the young generation without the flavor of romance! The author injects love and freshness felt during the Cannes festival in Paris…Love and Lamhe: Love is ready when you are ready for it. Of course, the cowbell on the door makes us revisit the most adored love epic, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge in an endearing fashion.
The sequence where Shehzad makes Jia sit with him throughout the night to emulate our superstars’ epic lines is, nonetheless, hilarious but appears a tad repetitive. Or, the way Jia is introduced to Shehzad where both fall into the swimming pool to make it on the front page seems a bit over realistic. But, then it’s the author’s creative call.
‘One two ka four, four two ka one’
Spot Light is a book that plays like movies that have all the masala ingredients and of course, the heart-pounding climax. There is the chase, Falak’s past and Jia’s conflict with Shehzad towards the end where her hard work is duplicated…I ain’t spilling the beans for you gotta read. Komal Mehta describes her love for cinema through her character, ‘This was our first baby. Every single shot, every moment, everything was a discovery, a joy.’
The book is a must-read for lovers of Hindi cinema where Komal Mehta has done full justice in making us explore and discover a world that boasts of all the commercial ingredients. It’s truly a winner and box office bonanza. Lights! Camera! Action!