2011: New breed of directors arrive in Bollywood

By Hindustan Times

Bollywood tasted fresh blood this years with as many as 30 directors making their foray into films. Newcomers like Kiran Rao, Sohan Roy, Luv Ranjan, Bejoy Nambiar, Abhinay Deo, Parvin Dabas and Nila Madhab Panda impressed audiences with their new take on movie-making. Dhobi Ghat,
Bollywood star Aamir Khan's wife Kiran Rao's directorial debut, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, was critically acclaimed for the director's new vision towards Mumbai life.

Despite the film being unconventional, it was marketed and promoted well, all thanks to Kiran and her spouse, who also starred in the film. The film's budget was about Rs 10 crore and it went on to make more.

Delhi BellyAbhinay Deo, an advertising professional, got two chances this year, first with Game for Farhan Akhtar's production house and then Delhi Belly for Aamir Khan's productions. Although he failed in his first attempt, he made sure that nothing goes wrong with his second venture.

The comedy, which made news for being "irreverent" with its expletive-ridden dialogues, was an instant success as it delved into an untapped and brand new terrain, coupled with superb performances and chartbusting music.

Southern film director Siddique made his Bollywood debut by remaking his Malayalam hit Bodyguard in Hindi starring Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor. The film received tremendous response at the domestic box office as well as in the overseas market, making it one of the biggest hits of the year.

Dam999Debutante director Sohan Roy's Dam 999, an English 3-D UAE-Indian co-production, re-ignited the Mallaperiyar dam fight between the Tamil Nadu and Kerala governments and is banned in the former state.

But the film is making the right ripples internationally after being included in the list of films eligible for a Best Picture Oscar nomination, besides its soundtrack being in the longlist of the Best Original Score.

Stanley Ka Dabba saw Amol Gupte behind the camera for the first time after his riveting performance in Kaminey and Phas Gaye Re Obama last year. The low-budget film attracted positive reviews from critics across India.

Veteran actor Pankaj Kapoor also made his Bollywood directorial debut with 'Mausam', pitted to be one of the much-awaited films of the year, with his son actor Shahid Kapoor in the lead.

Mausam created quite a frenzy before its release. It's cinematography and Shahid's performance were praised but the film did not receive good reviews and failed to rake in the moolah.

MausamCritically acclaimed short film director Bejoy Nambiar moved to the big screen with Shaitan produced by Anurag Kashyap. The thriller starring Rajeev Khandelwal and Kalki Koechlin, managed to impress critics and the audience alike. Nambiar is currently working on his next, a gangster-comedy film called David.

Prominent Tollywood film director and producer Puri Jagannath also ventured into Bollywood with Amitabh Bachchan starrer Bbuddah... Hoga Terra Baap. The film saw Bachchan in an all new avatar as a funky old man but the audience and critics did not care much for the experiment. As a result, the film did not create magic in the Box Office, despite extensive promotion and innovative marketing strategies.

Some youth-oriented films by debutante directors found takers. Choreographer turned director Remo D'souza's film F.A.L.T.U had nothing much or nothing new to offer, except for a pacy party song 'Char baj gaye', but it proved to be a surprise hit among youngsters.

Director Luv Ranjan's 'bromantic' film Pyaar Ka Punchnama, with a bunch of fresh faces, was another surprise hit this year. Ranjan along with his producer Abhishek Pathak is planning a sequel to the film.

Chillar PartyHorror-thriller film Ragini MMS opened doors for Pavan Kriplani in Bollywood. The combination of scandal and horror worked perfectly for this Ekta Kapoor-produced film, which recovered its cost within two days of its release.

Chillar Party, a children's film directed by Nitesh Tiwari and Vikas Bahl and produced by Salman Khan under his SKBH Productions (Salman Khan Being Human) became popular among not just kids but grown ups as well. A story of great determination presented in an entertaining way made the film a good watch.

Another children's film, I Am Kalam by director Nila Madhab Panda, earned international acclaim even before its release here. The child star of the film, Harsh Mayar, also won a National Award for the film.

Some films with A-listers failed to impress viewers. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan saw Yash Raj Films give a cast comprising of Imran Khan, Katrina Kaif and a sizeable budget to debutant director Ali Abbas Zafar, but he could not create wonders. Although the film was declared a hit, it did not have much to talk about. Zafar is also set to direct another film with the same actors for another Yash Raj production.

With Desi Boyz, comedy king David Dhawan's son Rohit Dhawan made his directorial debut. Although the film had a star cast comprising Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, it was panned by critics.

With Sahi Dhandhe Galat Bande, actor Parvin Dabas forayed into direction and the flim received critical acclaim. Raghav Dhar's My Friend Pinto, produced by Sanjay Leela Bhnsali sank without a trace.

There were more disappointments than achievements for debutante directors this year with films like Deepa Sahi's Tere Mere Phere, Sahil Sangha's Love, BreakUps, Zindagi, Satyajit Bhatkal's Zokkomon, Roshan Abbas's Always Kabhi Kabhi, Barnali Ray Shukla's Kucch Luv Jaisaa, Mrigdeep Singh Lamba's Teen Thay Bhai failing at the box office.

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Box Office Results

  1. Happy New Year INR 45 cr.
  2. Sonali Cable INR 0.46 cr.
  3. Ekkees Toppon Ki Salaami INR 1.45 cr.
  4. Bang Bang! INR 172 cr.
  5. Haider INR 53.4 cr.

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