Breaking the mould: Bollywood directors who veered away from stereotypes
Some prominent filmmakers are moving away from the safe path they trod on. We tell you about directors who have consciously taken a detour
Even as the music plays in the background, the lead actor is romancing his lady, who’s clad in a diaphanous chiffon saree. Indeed, many films from the Yash Raj Films’ stable have followed this successful formula. But then came the Rani Mukerji-starrer, Mardaani. This film, directed by Pradeep Sarkar, was the first YRF production to feature at its helm, a tough, hard-hitting, female protagonist. What’s more, it didn’t even have any songs — a big risk for any film, let alone a YRF production — and it went on to become the first film from the production house to bag an A certificate.
By choosing to make a film that dealt with human trafficking, the production house is clearly looking at venturing into a new territory. The idea, it seems, is to bend stereotypes that have been associated with the production house all along. hitlist points out other filmmakers who have worked on offering something different from their usual fare...
Lowdown: With films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna under its belt, KJo’s Dharma Productions has enjoyed the image of being a family film production house.
SRK, Kajol, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
But the grapevine has it that the filmmaker is now all set to produce a sex comedy. Though, he’s shying from going on record about it, he admits that they are going to enter a terrain that Dharma has not yet explored.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Lowdown: After making magnum opuses like Devdas, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Guzaarish, Saawariya and Ram Leela, Bhansali chose to produce a biopic on boxing champion Mary Kom, starring Priyanka Chopra.
Shah Rukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit in Devdas
In fact, after directing Guzaarish, he switched to producing films such as My Friend Pinto, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, Rowdy Rathore and Mary Kom. Now anyone who has followed his career closely will reveal that the filmmaker has an affinity for darker stories. The filmmaker recently conceded that he produces films that he wouldn’t do as a director.
Lowdown: After making social dramas such as Kaamchor and Khudgarz in the ’80s and ’90s, the filmmaker launched his son Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and followed it up with the superhero franchise, Krrish. Now the latest news is that the filmmaker is taking a break from the franchise and is planning to make a love story. When contacted, he said, “I am looking at three to four scripts.
Hrithik Roshan in Krrish 3
I have still not decided about the film I will be working on. So I cannot comment on what I will do next.” A source close to the filmmaker, however, asserts that the filmmaker will be taking a break from the superhero franchise.
Lowdown: After doling out art house cinema with films such as Gangs of Wasseypur, That Girl in Yellow Boots, The Lunchbox, Kashyap has now ventured into the commercial domain with his upcoming Ranbir Kapoor-Anushka Sharma starrer, Bombay Velvet.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Huma Qureshi in Gangs of Wasseypur
Reportedly costing a whopping R100 crore, this is easily his most expensive film ever. The filmmaker, though, doesn’t wish to acknowledge the distinction. He says, “I don't know who decides what is commercial and what is art house. I have always made films that I wanted to and it's the same with Bombay Velvet irrespective of whether it is a commercial or arthouse film.” Point noted.
Lowdown: After winning over audiences with the Golmaal franchise and action drama Singham, industry watchers expected Shetty to stick to his comfort zone.
SRK and Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express
But last year, the director surprised everyone with his rom-com, Chennai Express that starred Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. The director says that at theend of the day, entertainment is his main priority. “I just want to make films that entertains the masses and yes, they should also recover their money,” explains Shetty.
Directors who have stuck to their own brand of cinema
Madhur Bhandarkar: Real life has always fascinated Bhandarkar and the filmmaker is still looking at it for inspiration. So after offering us a peek into the lives of bar girls with Chandni Bar, the world of entertainment journalism with Page 3, the fashion sphere with Fashion and the film universe with Heroine, he’s now busy with a film titled Calendar Girls, that will put the lives of pin up girls under the spotlight. This apart, he is also making Priyanka Chopra-starrer Madamji that will have politics as its backdrop.
Sooraj Barjatya: Known to make family dramas that uphold traditional Indian values, Barjatya’s formula has kept him in good stead and this has been reiterated by the success of films such as Maine Pyaar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun and Hum Saath Saath Hain. He is now making Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, which is also a family drama. Need we
Vikram Bhatt: Bhatt has become synonymous with Bollywood’s horror-thriller genre. Be it the Raaz franchise, or films such as Aatma and the latest release, Creature 3D, this genre is clearly close to his heart.