For Raju Hirani, it has proven to be both. He has written and directed only four films so far, all of which have gone to become not just major critic’s favorites but also commercial successes.
Be anxious for his result, make him sit for nerve-wracking entrances, send him to an elite engineering college and swell with pride when he passes out with flying placement packages in the next four years.
So, let me rephrase the question.
Let him be. Let him find himself. Let him try his hands on 50 different things before he feels passionate about choosing one career to build his life on. No pressure, no anxiety – only freedom.
Staying true to what we expect, Rajkumar Hirani has proved that he doesn’t make movies solely for commercial success. His movies are reflective of his personal ideologies:
“Me and my writers have decided to make few films but always bring out real, unique stories. My films take time- but good work always does. You cannot measure a movie by its blockbuster collection. ‘Sholay’ and ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ might have been flops, but they were brilliant artwork.”
And somewhere, we can identify where did his ideology for ‘3 Idiots’ come from.
“Kabil bano, kabil … kamyabi toh jhak maarke peeche bhagegi.”
In many ways, he says, his life improved from there. He didn’t have much classes to attend, so he started watching different genres of movies. He did theater too – until he realized this is exactly where his passion lies.
Hirani accepts that in spite of getting into direction, editing has always stayed with him, helping him edit his own work in the process.
In fact, he thinks the outside world is more perturbed by our failures than even we ourselves are.
‘Lage Raho Munnabhai‘ was his first movie and in many ways a first Bollywood comedy movie entrusted with Gandhiji’s message of truth, kindness and compassion.
No one still knows how he mixed a Gandhian message in a masala movie which ended up not just entertaining but making people think and feel.
He agrees that he is greatly influenced by Gandhiji ever since he watched Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’. He wanted to make a film on Gandhi and his ideologies but he was disappointed with the way people thrashed him up in film institutes.
People are often surprised about how this man finds good in every bad. He says he believes in “Pick the best, leave the rest.”
“If you call me and I don’t pick up, you will automatically assume I’m a big celebrity and that’s why I don’t care enough. However, I was just busy. This is exactly how we become reasons for our own misery.”
The ideology behind “jaadu ki jhappi” was not just to create an epic scene in the movie, but something Hirani has lived by.
While it’s a great thing to make art and preach to the world, it’s much more humbling and greater to practice that. I for one, have become, a fan of Rajkumar Hiran i- a lot for his work, a lot more for the truthfulness of his work. No wonder, he is one director to top every actor’s wishlist.