Veteran Bollywood superstar Dilip Kumar breathed his last on July 7. He was admitted to the Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai due to age-related problems. Senior actor Naseeruddin Shah was also admitted to the same hospital during the same time. Mourning the demise of the legendary actor, Naseeruddin Shah praised his performances and his contribution to acting. But wondered why Dilip ‘chose to play safe’ the way he did, despite being a star and immaculate at his craft.
In a piece for The Indian Express, Naseeruddin acknowledged the ‘undoubted greatness’ of Dilip’s performances but questioned his contribution to cinema. “Some of those works doubtless will survive the test of time but, given the position he was in, it is more than evident he didn’t do enough apart from acting and being involved in social causes close to his heart,” Naseeruddin said.
“He produced only one film, didn’t direct any (officially at least), never passed on the benefit of his experience, didn’t bother to groom anyone, and apart from his pre-1970s performances, left behind no significant lessons for future actors; even his autobiography is but a rehash of old interviews,” he added.
Naseeruddin further said that it is baffling why a man as conscious of Dilip’s place in history as he was should be reluctant to record his interaction with some of the admittedly great filmmakers of his time. “It’s baffling why a man as conscious of his place in history as he was should be reluctant to record his interaction with some of the admittedly great filmmakers of his time or say anything really informative about the nature of his work and technique. I wish, at some point, he had at least been forthright about the travails involved in retaining legions of devoted fans,” he added.
Naseeruddin also expressed gratitude to the late actor for the magic he created in Hindi Cinema.
Meanwhile, Naseeruddin Shah had a ‘small patch’ of pneumonia in his lungs and was undergoing treatment for the same.