Outstanding Directorial Debuts of 2009

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Bollywood is a treasure trove of controversies, mindless action, soulful stories, touching performances, too hard to handle emotions, amazing music and many fulfilled dreams and needless to mention, unlimited success. It is entirely up to the captain of the ship to look for his own treasure in that heap while he leads the ship and its people to unmatched glory. Some of the directors managed to hit gold this year while some walked away with lessons for their next project. We are presenting before you names of a few story tellers who knew their stories well enough and yes, it was the first time they ever told the story. Needless to say, the nation listened patiently to the stories the stories they were being told.

Ayan Mukherjee – Wake Up Sid

They say that a story can be said in a million different ways. When Bollywood was getting repetitive with their style of storytelling that bored audiences to death, Ayan Mukherjee, who wrote SRK starrer Swades, took the challenge and presented the same old story in a new format making it easier for the members of audience to relate to. He picked up small elements from our own lives and represented them on the screen portraying a realistic image of a father, mother, son and an independent ambitious girl. The characters were quite close to what we would see around ourselves and yes, the story that he said wasn’t about a miraculous escape and a bare handed guy smashing 50 odd villains, it was about us, being us. All in all, Ayan’s Wake Up Sid starring Ranbeer Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma became an instant hit and none of us really cared for the loopholes, even if there were any.

Zoya Akhtar – Luck By Chance

Luck By Chance starring Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma, is more than a movie. It is a sneak peek into the lives of many who come to Mumbai flooded with dreams of being a renowned name in the film industry. It is rather the reflection of what happens. The issues it puts up front range from casting couches and star kids to media controversies, etc. The movie is clear, straight forward and is served to the viewer sans the nonsense, and each complexity was handled with great ease. As per the speculations, it would have been little difficult for a new comer like Zoya to deliver a movie that showcased the other side of the screen and the hearts of those who make stories. But, Zoya did it, making her characters as close to life as possible and now she lives on tell the tale. Luck By Chance is simple, yet an effective movie. Seems like her experience as the Assistant Director for films like Lakshya, Dil Chahta Hai and Bombay Boys worked the magic.

Nandita Das – Firaaq
All in all, the year 2009 saw two great female directorial debuts. One was Zoya Akhtar and the other was Nandita Das for her movie Firaaq which was considered more to be on the lines of docu-drama. The movie starring veterans like Naseeruddin Shah and Paresh Rawal also included actors Sanjay Suri, Tisca Chopra, Shahana Goswani and Deepti Naval who played other crucial roles. The movie is based on the relationships of people that changed during post Gujrat riots and managed to mesmerize critics but at the same time, it drew unwanted controversies which affected the movie big time. Nevertheless, a wonderful actor Nandita Das proved her mettle in the field of direction too by coming up with Firaaq. It was a clear reflection of the movies or short films that she has done in the past. The USP of Firaaq is the unmatched potential of the cast utilized well by the director for a story that is set over 24 hours, one month after the Gujrat riots in 2002.

Rensil D’Silva – Kurbaan

The script writer turned director Rensil, came out with Kurbaan, starring Saifeena (Oh! Saif Ali Khan and Kareena), but even before the movie hit the cinema halls it created a whole lot of issues with the local political group for its provocative posters. Rensil, in the past, has written the script for Rang De Basanti which shattered many barriers, raising the expectations higher for his own film. Many have claimed that it was a movie across genres, but in fact it had too much to be contained into one single genre. It is a perfect blend of ingredients – a love story, global terrorism, political tension, thrilling action, etc. served on the platter of a religion focused delicacy. The controversies were bound to happen and among those controversies, Rensil managed to present a strong comment on Islam, picking up where Rang De Basant ended. However, it can be said that he strayed too far, managing to get a striking resemblance to John and Katrina starrer New York which released earlier this year.

Prabhu Deva – Wanted

At BollySpice, we believe in the content of the movie but we do not deny the commercial aspect attached to it. It takes a great amount of courage to choose between the commercial and the creative, and one fellow who ended up making a blockbuster is none other than our very own Prabhu Deva, formerly and better known as the dancer without bones. With his Wanted starring Salman Khan and Ayesha Takia he did set the cash register ringing throughout. Critics believe that it was some Tamil movie with Bollywood stars in it but critics should have stayed quiet because the movie was meant for the masses, not for them. Flooded with mindless action and bad treatment, the movie managed to reach the peaks of commercial value and the credit goes to none other than the director himself. Shhh! We do realized that it’s a frame to frame remake of Pokiri.

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