Veteran actor Shashi Kapoor, on Monday became the third in the Kapoor clan to be bestowed with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award in cinema. This award is given to a person for his or her ‘outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian cinema’.
Prior to him the award has been bestowed on Shashi Kapoor’s father Prithviraj Kapoor, popularly recognized for his splendid performance as King Akbar in K.Asif magnum opus MUGHAL-E-AZAM. In addition the award has also been conferred upon Shashi Kapoor’s elder brother Raj Kapoor, the great filmmaker and actor.
Responding to the award Shashi Kapoor’s first reaction was "Me? I got it? And then he chuckled."
Frankly speaking Shashi Kapoor’s reaction is valid because the film industry has never taken Shashi Kapoor seriously. In his career ranging over four decades he has always been written off by critic despite giving hard hitting and sensitive performances in movies like DEEWAR, KABHI KABHIE, JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE’, KALYUG, JUNOON etc.
The Filmfare awarded him just one award for his superlative performance in DEEWAAR but that too Shashi Kapoor declined to receive as he was awarded Best Supporting Actor award. Shashi Kapoor argued he was the hero as he not only played a pivotal role but also had two songs with the heroine (Neetu Singh). Hence he did not accept the award.
Though the so called popular awards discarded Shashi Kapoor, the National Award was kind to him as he won three national awards, two national awards for his brilliant performances in offbeat movies like NEW DELHI TIMES (1986) and IN CUSTODY (MUHAFIZ In Urdu) (1993). Shashi Kapoor won one national award as Producer for making a masterpiece movie JUNOON (1979).
Kunal Kapoor, son of Shashi Kapoor, who played the protagonist in Shashi Kapoor’s movie VIJAYTA commenting on his papa’s reaction said, "I think he must be quite chuffed because his father won it as well.”
Rishi Kapoor, nephew of Shashi Kapoor elated at his uncle receiving the honor said, "I don't think the award is delayed honour. Shashi Kapoor was a visionary who did films that were ahead of their time."