Bollywood directors who are out to redefine cliches in Indian cinema


Bollywood masala films have had the perfect concoction of done to death cliches. The hero was the underdog, who had to face that magnanimous villain, with some funny jokes and usual love line thrown in. The viewers always knew that at the end, there will be a happy ending. Then came in some directors who spun these cliches on the head and gave a different meaning to Bollywood tropes. These directors experimented with genres, themes, delved into the psychological state of mind of the heroes and the villains and created masterpieces that worked well with the audiences and also garnered critical acclaim. In fact there are many stories nowadays where there are no antagonists, but protagonists struggling with everyday lives, and coming up with extra ordinary solutions are the crux of major storylines. Let’s know these master film makers who are inspiring the current and up coming film makers to make cinema that is not cliche.

Raj and DK

The duo of Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. have created a niche with the work they have done in the last decade. Their kind of cinema is quirky, fresh and humorous. Their films 99, Shor in The City, Go Goa Gone, Happy Ending and A Gentleman were loved by the audience for depicting a very different side to the life they have always seen. They were also the directors behind the very famous series on OTT- The Family Man and their latest work- Farzi starring Shahid Kapoor is garnering a lot of love and praise. The duo has been consciously shifting between genres in their filmography where they produced horror comedy like Stree and espionage dramas like The Family Man. Their upcoming projects include Guns & Gulaabs, starring Dulquer Salmaan, Rajkummar Rao and Gulshan Devaiah.

Puneet Sharma

His directorial venture Chintaa Mani struck the right chord with the audience, for they were amused as well as startled with the story of three friends finding a magical mani or precious stone that could foretell the future. While the streaming release garnered the audience interest, it also received rave reviews, with Puneet being credited for an enticing blend of different genres such as sci-fi, horror and thrill. His next outing as a director is expected to be a sci-fi psychological thriller, something seen rarely in Bollywood. The film has majorly been shot near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh and the cast includes Hiten Tejwani, Sudhanshu Rai, Sourabh Raaj Jain and Shobhit Sujay, among others.

Anvita Dutt

She shot to fame with the musical superhit- Qala that starred TriptoDimri, Swastika Mukherjee and Babil Khan that released on Netflix. This psychological drama is a set in the 1930s and 40s and shows the various facets of ambition and an abusive childhood. The ace director had worked in advertising, then as a dialogue writer in films like Parineeta, LaagaChunari Mein Daag. Her first film Bulbbul about a child bride was lauded by the critics and audience for the depiction of feminism, beautiful background score as well as the beautiful visual effects. The way she depicts emotions and the psychological state of the person, the film just flows without sounding preachy or loud, after all there is beauty in subtlety.

Priyanka Ghose

She started her film making career when she assisted Mira Nair’s The Namesake while she was still in college.  She directed the TV series Chandrashekhar which got her a lot of love from the audience. Currently two of her recent shows as director- Broken but Beautiful and The Night Manager are in the top ten charts. While Broken but Beautiful is a romantic web series about two heartbroken people trying to find love, The Night Manager is a remake of The British TV series by the same name. This film follows the life of Shaan Sengupta, an ex-soldier who has a mission to infiltrate the inner circle of an arms dealer and thus bring it down. The ace director is currently reading scripts that might interest her.

Palash Vaswani- Gullak

The director of Cheesecake, Shuruaat Ka Internal and the much-loved Gullak is also known for his 5 episode series- Awkward Conversation with Parents. The family entertainer, Gullak, now with running in its third season has struck an instant cord with the audience. It is set in a small town of North India where the family is dealing with everyday situations. The gullak or the piggybank is the observer-narrator telling the tale of Mishra family that is always struggling with money. With the earthiness of a story seeped in the small of India, the tale truly is gripping to say the least.

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