Book Review: In a Cult of Their Own- Bollywood Beyond Box Office by Amborish Roychoudhury


Picture (C) Privy Trifles
ISBN 978-8129151353

Genre: Non-Fiction/ Bollywood

Publishers: Rupa Publications

Price: Rs. 295/-  ( I got the book for review from the publisher)
Behind the Book

‘Cults become cults, they are not made. It’s the becoming that is interesting, not the making.’

There are some films that sure fizzle out of the theatres in a heartbeat, but figure out a way to survive. Through a torrent leaked online, on an old bootlegged DVD or VHS, or YouTube upload and then in the hands of the omnipresent Twitterati—the films form a ‘cult’ of their own.

This book is a tongue-in-cheek ode to these cult movies of Hindi filmdom, ones that despite not having made moolah at the box office, still made it to viewers’ memories for reasons—good or bad. Drawing from his own reminiscences of growing up on these delectables and also face-to-face interviews with actors and directors such as Aamir Khan, Pankaj Kapur and Deepti Naval, the author celebrates these underdogs in a manner that is extremely readable and relatable.

About the Author

Amborish Roychoudhury is an advertising professional by day and movie maniac by night. He’s been trying his hand at writing about movies and blogs at This is his first book. He lives in Mumbai, India.

I am a diehard Bollywood fan. Having grown up on a healthy diet of Hindi movies, I have followed their cult like a religion in my teenage years. From trying to dress up like the lead actress of the latest blockbuster to getting my hair cut like her I have done it all and have no qualms about admitting it. Reading this book for me was like a walk down the memory lane.
Cults become cults, they are not made. It’s the becoming that is interesting, not the making.
This book aims at talking about such cults based on movies that bombed at the box office but went on to win hearts nevertheless. Author Amborish Roychodhury covers twenty three such cults covering twenty one movies and two ideologies that became synonymous with their work. Quirky, funny and insightful this book is an entertaining read. The movie buff is me was thoroughly satiated after a three hour marathon of reading this book end to end. It was nothing less than a roller coaster ride full of adventure and thrill!

Amongst other gems, he also covers some of my ultimate favourite movies like Kaagaz ke Phool, Chashme Buddoor, Silsila, Chameli ki Shaadi, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Andaz Apna Apna and Jaane bhi do Yaaron. It was a treat to know the acumen that was behind these masterpieces. I like how the author has also included some links as references while quoting something about the relevant movie. Those links have been extremely resourceful for me, as I have been binge watching them now trying to connect it to the entire story of how the movie came into being. It is a treat to read this book. There were many portions that made me laugh out loud at their sheer honest description. This book is an insider’s view of Bollywood and is truly compelling. It reveals a lot of unknown facets of that world which make an engrossing read.

Strongly recommended for all movie buffs, this one is a gem!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like the Watermelon milkshake - Super cool companion for a lazy summer afternoon!

Source: Ranjani's Kitchen