"Madhur Bhandarkar is the new age Hrishikesh Mukherjee" - Amitabh Bachchan

By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Last Saturday, on 21st June, Amitabh Bachchan felicitated Madhur Bhandarkar as the best contemporary film director. In a ceremony organized by 'Spandan Art', Big B presented the title in the form of a Memento to Madhur for winning the National Award for Best Director for his film Traffic Signal. This is his third National Award after Chandni Bar and Page 3.

Well, if receiving the Memento from the legendary actor wasn't good enough, there was more to come for the filmmaker who is busy wrapping Fashion. In front of a packed audience, Big B said that Bhandarkar was the new age Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

"What can I really say about appreciation like this and that too from a person of the stature of Big B", says Bhandarkar who is still trying to come to terms with the comment made by Amitabh Bachchan.

"It is a huge honor to be even talked in the same breath as the filmmaker who has made close to 50 movies. I can challenge that there won't be a single Indian who wouldn't have seen a Hrishikesh Mukherjee film."

Talking about his experience of watching Hrishikesh Mukherjee films, Bhandarkar says, "I have grown on his films. Anari, Anupama, Satyakam, Guddi, Anand, Bawarchi, Namak Haram, and Golmaal - just look at the kind of films he has made over the years. There are so many genres that he touched upon; the list is endless."

Amitabh Bachchan also complimented Bhandarkar for being one of the rare film makers whose films work both commercially and critically. He also added that the film maker has never believed in making escapist cinema and instead kept reality on the forefront.

"As a kid I used to watch Hrishikesh Mukherjee films in my video library. His films inspired me as they spoke about real issues and treaded a real path while being commercial and entertaining. Though I am still learning over the years, I try to be inspired by great filmmakers like him. I hope a few decades down the line, I get the same kind of love, affection and recognition as greats like Hrishikesh Mukherjee get more than 50 years after making their first film", concludes an emotionally charged Bhandarkar.

On a side-note, some of the best work of Amitabh Bachchan in his early years in the industry has been with Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Together they made some memorable films like Anand, Mili, Abhimaan, Namak Haraam, Chupke Chupke and Jurmana.

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