India is a country of billions with myriad customs, rituals and languages. However, there’s one thing that ties all the Indians in one chain—and that’s nothing but our good ol’ Bollywood flicks. Romantic, serious, action or comedy, there’s one Bollywood blockbuster for every Indian. Now, while we are celebrating the glorious 100 years of Bollywood, let’s take look at some of the marvellous directors that we had/have—
10. Vijay Anand
Remember those yesteryears’ masala hits like Teesri Manzil, Tere Ghar Ke Samne and Guide—the evergreen hits with soothing as well as feet-tapping songs? Well, those were the gifts of Vijay Anand, whose films are remembered for the gorgeous star casts and great performances as much as for the nice storyline and the superhit songs. If you’re into music, then a hit from Anand’s film is surely to be in your list.
9. Yash Chopra
Can there be any introduction to this maestro without whom Shahrukh Khan wouldn’t have been what he is today? The long line of hits from Trishul and Silsila to Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Veer Zara are enough to speak of his genius.
Further Reading: 7 Yash Raj Films That Made Us Believe In True Love
8. Mani Ratnam
This director from down South has won the hearts of many with his films like Roja, Bombay and Dil Se among others. In many of his Bollywood stories, he dealt with the theme of love in the time of political adversities which he made into a genre of his own. Besides, are we not owed to him for bringing A.R Rahman into Bollywood?
7. Raj Kapoor
There cannot be any Indian who isn’t acquainted with Raj Kapoor and his films like Mera Naam Joker, Shree 420, Anari and the likes. Born to Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor was sucked into the world of theatre and performing arts from a very early age, and it is a glimpse of this renovated with his modern thinking that we see in his films. Besides, the songs in his films by Mukesh have a charm of their own.
Although we consider Gulzar more as a poet and a lyricist, this genius had tried his hands at filmmaking too, and boy, how good was he at that! If you still haven’t watched any movie of his, do watch at least Aandhi, Maachis, Ijaazat, Angoor and Namkeen to start with! You’d be mesmerized!
5. Basu Chatterjee
Come 1980s and people were already bored with the “angry-young-man” stereotype. And, here came in Basu Chatterjee for rescue with films like Rajnigandha, Chitchor, Baaton Baaton Mein, Chameli Ki Shaadi, etc. with humble heroes, middle-class setting and a clean and impressionable acting. Even the songs were devoid of any difficult words and symbols!
4. Bimal Roy
One of the first one to bring realism on screen with humble tales of common people, Bimal Roy’s films can never grow old. With hits like Do Beegha Zameen, Madhumati and Sujata, he can be termed as one of the stalwart directors of Bollywood. Try watching Parineeta and Dev Das by him, and you’ll forget the “modern” ones!
3. Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Hrishi da (as he’s fondly known as) started his journey with the film Musafir and then went on to give great hits like Anuradha, Anupama, Anand, Guddi, Mili, Golmaal, Khubsoorat—well the list never ends! He, too, was adept in focusing his films on the middle class, common men and his sets were devoid of the grand décor that Bollywood swears by!
Further Reading: Five Great Film Directors From Bengal
2. Shyam Benegal
One of the flag bearers of Indian New Wave, Shyam Benegal is an institution in himself. His films always focus on the social perils that the downtrodden and the women have to live with. Films like Mammo, Bhumika, Manthan and Ankur (among the rest) are enough to speak about his genius.
1. Guru Dutt
Like always, the best person is saved for the last. Though a misfit in Bollywood, Guru Dutt had the unique power of blending the artistic appeal of a film with the mainstream, and produced some of the evergreen classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Sahib, Biwi aur Ghulam among others. The S. Dev Burman hits are another reason of watching his films over and over again.
Further Reading: Top 7 Reasons why Guru Dutt was a Misfit in Bollywood