Vishal Bharadwaj - critical acclaim to blockbusters

Aug 23, 2009 Robin Bansal

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) His directorial debut "Makdee" didn't rake in the moolah but was widely appreciated. So were "Maqbool", "The Blue Umbrella" and "Omkara" for their alternative climaxes and literary influences. Now with the huge success of his latest "Kaminey", versatile filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj has also proved to be a box-office hit.

"Vishal has always been critically-acclaimed but commercially not that successful. For example, 'Omkara' was a lazy proposition business-wise... it didn't even have a good opening. But the opening for 'Kaminey' has been huge and it has had a good first weekend too," trade analyst Taran Adarsh told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

"He has proved his credentials with the movie that he is also commercially viable. At the end of the day everything boils down to how rosy your balance sheet looks because the stakes are very high and Vishal, after this film, has realised that it's good to make critically-acclaimed films but it's also necessary to strike a balance," he said.

Film critic Omar Qureshi also had something similar to say.

"Vishal is now top of the ladder. He is multi-talented and is of a different league altogether post-'Kaminey'. He is a very intelligent filmmaker and versatile...who even writes, composes and sings apart from directing," said Qureshi.

"He made a movie like 'Maqbool' with lesser-known stars and a great story and then graduated to A-list stars in 'Omkara'. He then decided that he wanted to make an out-and-out big-budget masala movie and so graduated to level three and that too with a very intelligent film," he added.

Bharadwaj started his Bollyood innings as a composer for Gulzar's "Maachis" (1996) followed by movies like "Satya" (1998) and "Chachi 420" (1998) before taking on the director's mantle. He proved his genius with his movies and his versatility as a music composer, singer, writer and filmmaker.

Noteworthy is his association with poet-filmmaker Gulzar and singer Sukhwinder Singh in all his films. And he has successfully explored the best in actors like Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor in "Omkara" and Shahid Kapoor in "Kaminey".

"Vishal is a very dangerous director... It's a challenge for an actor to work with him but at the same time it's very fruitful too... he brings out a new talent in you every time he takes a shot," Shahid had said of the director.

In "Kaminey", Shahid plays morally-incompatible twins -- one a ruffian with a lisp and the other a simpleton who stammers. Not only has he bagged accolades for his performance, the film has also changed his image -- from the chocolate boy-next-door to an A-lister.

"With 'Kaminey', Vishal has given Bollywood its own Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie combo. He has proven that behind a media shy and quiet face lies a calculating mind. He is indeed Bollywood's new maverick," said an industry source.

"Kaminey" was also praised for its songs -- specifically "Dhan tan tan" -- and its cinematography.

"Vishal has been been a very underrated director for a long time and with 'Kaminey', he has taken entertainment to another level and that too without compromising on the aesthetic side. He is a supremely talented person," said Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures that has produced and distributed the movie.

Bharadwaj's future projects include "Ishqiya" and a movie with Hrithik Roshan. Click the Movie button below for more info:

Priyanka Chopra Pictures


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