Calling Bollywood's debutant directors
Ever wondered what happened to all those directors who made their very high profile debut in 2002-03?
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
While Raj Kumar Hirani who made the most successful debut film "Munnabhai M.B.B.S." since Ashutosh Gowariker's "Lagaan" in 2001 is still planning his next film, his debutant colleagues are groping in the dark.
Goldie Behl, who made his debut with "Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai" featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Sushmita Sen and Rani Mukherjee, seems to have gone into a state of hibernation. He's seen running his television software company with his sister Shristhi Behl. But there's no news of any directorial venture.
Other hot shot names like Shashanka Ghosh ("Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part 2"), Nikhil Advani ("Kal Ho Na Ho"), Ashwini Chaudhary ("Dhoop"), Chandraprakash Diwedi ("Pinjar"), Chandan Arora ("Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon"), Robby Grewal ("Samay"), Yusuf Khan ("Khel"), Rohit Shetty ("Zameen") and Shona Urvashi ("Chupke Se") seem to be far from achieving that crucial post-debut project, which can make or break a directorial career.
Fortunately, three directors whose first film couldn't enjoy any success are back in the reckoning.
Star-director Ramesh Sippy's son Rohan Sippy is ready to make a road movie with Abhishek Bachchan, who starred in the junior Sippy's debut "Kuch Na Kaho", and Saif Ali Khan.
Hriday Shetty, whose "Plan" with Sanjay Dutt, Dino Morea and Bikram Saluja went awry, probably because the film bore producer Sanjay Gupta's mark more than his, is all set to make his second film.
Tentatively titled "Yeh Dil Hai Nadaan", the film brings together Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia who created a sensation together 30 years ago in "Bobby". The film also stars the gifted Sammir Dattani in a pivotal role along with Soha Ali Khan.
Shetty is relatively lucky. It took him barely six months to put together his second project.
Gurudev Bhalla, who made the exemplary "Sharaarat" about life in an old folks' home, made the mistake of releasing his small classic on the same day as Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Devdas".
"At that time I thought I was being brave. Now I think it was perhaps foolhardy to release the film with 'Devdas'. It just killed my little film," says Bhalla, who has been keeping busy for over a year directing quality-conscious TV serials.
It's been tough for Bhalla. But he's all set to return to direction with two projects, the first of which will star his "Sharaarat" star Abhishek with Sammir.
Says Sammir: "I love working with second time directors. They're as driven to prove themselves as I am. I'm looking forward to working with Shetty and Gurudev Bhalla. To me their first films, 'Plan' and 'Sharaarat', were among the most interesting Hindi films in recent times.
"Their box office performance is immaterial. Even my first film "Uuf Kya Jaadoo Mohabbat Hai" was a failure. I guess both the director and I need to move beyond the initial failure."