Cover: Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation, from Harvard University PressCover: Amar Akbar Anthony in HARDCOVER

Amar Akbar Anthony

Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation

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$53.00 • £46.95 • €48.95

ISBN 9780674504486

Publication Date: 01/04/2016


344 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

29 halftones


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One of my most stimulating reads of the last year… [It] is scholarly and playful at the same time, which is a very rare thing.—Jai Arjun Singh, Forbes India

Among the most in-depth books you’ll read about a single Hindi film… Here is a scholarly work about a popular film that also tries to mimic something of the film’s controlled lunacy, winking at itself every now and again.—Jai Arjun Singh, The Hindu

It brilliantly manages to pull off a magical feat in film writing of this kind. It digs deep into and elaborates upon the film text from various sociopolitical angles, critical perspectives and film theoretical, anthropological and ethnographical discourses. Most importantly, it is an eminently readable book that will delight any cineaste for its sheer passion for cinema and for the delightful theoretical dexterity with which it weaves a complex and rich web of information and analysis.—C. S. Venkiteswaran, Frontline

Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation should please both long-time Bollywood enthusiasts and those who are encountering Hindi cinema for the first time… Delightful and adventurous.—Kathryn C. Hardy, Journal of Religion & Film

In an analysis that is nearly as much fun to read as the film is to watch, Elison, Novetzke and Rotman reveal a film rich in cultural metaphor, sophisticated in its use of parody, and weighty beneath its seemingly featherbrained revelry… Like the film it investigates, the book Amar Akbar Anthony delivers insight and fun in equal measure. It is monumental accomplishment that should be widely read.—Anne Vallely, Reading Religion

Sprinkled with humor, this well-written book is an excellent scholarly account of a film that became a critical part of the Bollywood canon… [A] blockbuster.—Rachel Ball-Phillips, Religious Studies Review

We have in our hands is a book that is as daring and inventive, as zany and counterintuitive as the film itself that it is about. If one of the prime pleasures of the Desai film was its absolutely no-holds-barred trip through the gullis of Bollywood masala cinema, then the book lives up to that spirit of adventurous derring-do… The book roots its playful speculative swing in robust interpretations of the film through first-rate scholarship in Indic religions. The web of erudition is woven through with a light touch making it a book for one and all, lay and specialist alike.—Kaushik Bhaumik, The Wire

Like the blockbuster from which it borrows its vitality, Amar Akbar Anthony: Bollywood, Brotherhood, and the Nation uses a cocktail of humor and irony, magic and just a touch of madness to analyze one of the major blockbusters of Hindi cinema. Elison, Novetzke, and Rotman have produced a version of fan writing that fans will actually want to read. In light, sparkling prose, they bring formidable interdisciplinary gifts to remind us what made Manmohan Desai’s film the legend it is, and why it continues to matter now more than ever.—Priya Joshi, author of Bollywood’s India: A Public Fantasy

A brilliant, rollicking read. Grounded in authoritative scholarship on South Asian religion and society, this extended analysis of—and riff on—one of Bombay cinema’s all-time classics is as playful and enjoyable as the madcap capers of the film itself.—Rosie Thomas, author of Bombay before Bollywood: Film City Fantasies

Lively and highly readable and, like the film itself, quite a zany offering—this book does something new with the film, in that its close readings spin out into a broad study of Indian culture, and religion in particular.—Rachel Dwyer, Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema, SOAS, University of London

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