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Top 10 Bollywood directors in 100 years of Indian cinema


Film directors shape a film and the future depends on them. From the beginning, Indian cinema in its glorious 100 years has produced some of the finest, rarest and exceptionally talented directors who have made path breaking films and established several stars. Here’s a look at such top 10 Bollywood directors who have set the blue print for the Hindi film industry.

Raj Kapoor belonged to the first family of Hindi cinema and was fondly nicknamed as the Showman of Bollywood. He won all the major awards and launched several actresses that went on to become established names. He was multi talented and was known for his acting and direction. He was also a producer. But Raj Kapoor outdid himself in every film and his body of work became so exemplary that people continue to get inspired by him. Raj Kapoor’s popularity went beyond India and he became a huge success in Europe. Till today, in countries like Turkey and Russia, people know him by his songs. He was truly a legendary performer and showman.


Hrishikesh Mukherjee (fondly called Hrishi-da) continues to inspire film makers even today. Director David Dhawan openly confesses to being inspired by his style of direction. And who wouldn’t be? Films like Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Anupama, Anand, Abhimaan, Guddi, Gol Maal, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, and Namak Haraam enthralled masses while solidly establishing the stars.


Bimal Roy had a flair to blend art and cinema in a realistic way. He was legendary and contributed to films in a way perhaps no other film maker did in his time. He won awards nationally and internationally and his highly acclaimed Do Bigha Zamin won the prestigious International Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. But Bimal Roy’s films were not only about bagging the big awards. They had strong content that was backed by very good music and powerful actors. What distinguished him from the others was his pure passion for cinema and the capacity too woo audiences, even with out the mirch masala seen in films today. He was truly sui generis.


Manmohan Desai was a visionary whose family oriented films stirred audiences with its masala. His best works include Amar Akbar Anthony and Dharam Veer. He formed a special working relationship with Amitabh Bachchan in films like Coolie, Mard, Suhaag and Amar Akbar Anthony. He was also popular with other actors like Jeetendra, Shashi Kapoor and Shatrughan Sinha. He managed to stay above the others with his hit films and continues to remain an inspiration for many.


Guru Dutt’s work is exemplary and his classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand are considered as some of the finest works of art that Indian cinema has witnessed. But Guru Dutt moved beyond direction. He was also a choreographer and actor. Guru Dutt was voted as one of the top 25 Asian actors of all time by CNN in 2010.


His story is legendary as was his film making. With a humble beginning, he went on to rule the silver screen. His films delved into human relationships and although he faced a set back in his career at one point, he never gave up on his love for film making. From movies like Chandni, Silsila, Deewar, Daag: A Poem of Love to Darr and Jab Tak, Veer Zaara and Jab Tak Hain Jaan, he never stopped making love stories and was rightly coined the king of romance. With the formation of Yash Raj Films, Yash Chopra has left his legacy behind to sons Uday and Aditya Chopra.


Shyam Bengal is one of the rarest of rare directors. His films are topical, hard hitting and he has the flair to bring out the best in his actors. Noted for films like Ankur, Nishant, Manthan, Bhumika and Dev, Benegal has been intrepid, daring to fiddle with themes that flouted conventional forms of thinking. He’s also responsible for blurring the line between commercial and parallel cinema. He is certainly one of the finest film makers of the century.


Mani Ratnam is one of the few directors who is popular and highly acclaimed for the films he’s made, in both Hindi and South cinema. In Bollywood, he has directed hard hitting films like Roja, Bombay and Dil Se and also made a biographical film Guru on the life of Dhirubhai Ambani. He’s an international star who has been recognized for contribution to cinema. His films have traveled at several international film festivals and he is the recipient of awards such as the Padma Shri, National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards.


Sanjay Leela Bhansali is one of the greatest Indian film makers who has made beautiful films like Khamoshi: The Musical, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Black and the commercially successful Rowdy Rathore (as producer). His art of storytelling, the heightened emotions in his films, the extravagant sets make him a director par excellence. He is currently directing Ram Leela with Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in the lead.


Rajkumar Hirani has emerged as one of the most promising directors of Hindi cinema. His last film, 3 Idiots broke all records at the box office in India and internationally to become the highest grossing Hindi film ever. Prior to that, Hirani created hysteria with the Munna Bhai series (Munna Bhai M.B.B.S and Lage Raho Munna Bhai) which were feel good films that drew audiences in large numbers. Hirani’s films have been loved by audiences who are eager for what’s coming next. Pee Kay will be his next directorial that stars Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma.



Source : TOI
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