The year 2010 will probably be remembered as being the year of the success of new directors in Bollywood. There have always been new directors making their presence felt in Bollywood but last year many of them achieved a certain modicum of success and the audience sat up and took notice of their talent and abilities. Most of them were not part of any Bollywood royalty and yet they managed to storm a tightly held bastion.
Her main claim to fame earlier was as Aamir Khan’s wife. She had been an assistant director when he first met her, and only in January 2011, she released her maiden film Dhobi Ghaat which was her personal directorial venture through and through. The film did not do too well at the box office, but she left us with no doubts about her directorial abilities. After all she had been trained by Ashutosh Gowarikar and Mira Nair.
Casting Vidya Balan as a sexy, sultry, manipulative village woman required courage and a belief in her and your own talent. Abhishek Chaubey did just that in Ishqiya and gave us one of the greatest hits of 2010. Set in the rural areas of North India, the rustic atmosphere, the down-to-earth story and the no-holds barred performances of the three main performers – Vidya Balan, Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi, told us that here was a director who we were not likely to forget in a hurry.
The year’s biggest hit – Dabangg not only gave a fillip to Salman Khan’s career but also brought debutant director Abhinav Kashyap to the fore. He combined the earthy charms of Salman Khan and his macho image to give us a rollicking film about a fairly corrupt, yet highly likeable police officer. Once again, we had a combination of a rural setting where reality and entertainment were combined together into a winning formula.
He cannot really be called a debutante director, since he has been directing films since 2004, but it is Dev D, released in 2010, which is his true masterpiece. A dark, melancholic take on the famous Devdas story, it has been received with rave reviews from the critics and a great deal of success at the box office. He took a fairly well-known story, took unconventional stars such as Abhay Deol and Kalki Koechlin and gave us a film which was superb and unforgettable. He also happens to be Abhinav Kashyap’s elder brother. Maybe, this will be the start of a new dynasty.
Anusha Rizvi :
One of the most talented female directors in Bollywood, her film Peepli Live was a sleeper hit in the year 2010. A former journalist, she won the award for the Best First Film at the Durban Film Festival. She chose a story which she was very familiar with and showed us how media and politicians can play havoc with the lives of innocent people.