Looking back at the year gone by, it’s definitely been a year of content. Although 2017 begun this, 2018 has cemented it. Directors who have managed to take a story and bring it to life successfully are many and they are being given much more credit than they used to enjoy. This year has arguably been the year of the director – the year when the directors gave such socially relevant and entertaining stories treatment that truly wowed the audiences. These weren’t without controversy in some instances but this perhaps added to the valour shown by filmmakers as the years go by.
BizAsiaLive.com looks at the five directors who particularly presented stories in a way which made the audiences sit up and take notice.
Anurag Kashyap – ‘Manmarziyaan’
With ‘Manmarziyaan’, Anurag Kashyap forayed into romance for the first time. However, this was the kind of romance that cinema hadn’t seen before. It was stubborn, unreasonable and unfulfilling at the best of times. Despite this, it was a hit with the audiences. The characters and situations became relatable to the audiences and they identified emotions which were an inner battle somewhat. The film was a highlight within 2018 and Kashyap gets much of the credit for this, as do the actors Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali – ‘Padmaavat’
After many protests, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Padmaavat’ released in January, starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. The film was received unbelievably well by the audiences and Bhansali managed to achieve the unachievable from his actors. He derived the best performances from them with the most amazingly set up scenes, in fitting with the age the film was set in.
Sriram Raghavan – ‘AndhaDhun’
It was the film of the year and, if it was possible, Sriram Raghavan outdid himself totally. Ayushmann Khurrana played a blind man who wasn’t really blind with Tabu and Radhika Apte added to the mix. Such a stellar star cast would have been enough to lift the film but the thrills that Raghavan gives in this one just don’t stop. The predictability factor went out of the window.
Shoojit Sircar – ‘October’
Varun Dhawan starred in ‘October’ with newbie Banita Sandhu, under the directorship of Shoojit Sircar. Sircar is known for his social message films, shot well and awaited by audiences. ‘October’ was on the sombre side, showing the bond between a man and woman who hardly knew each other before Sandhu’s character suffers a life-changing injury. Sircar set a tone for the entire film which saw some of the year’s best performances.
Amit Sharma – ‘Badhaai Ho’
In Ayushmann Khurrana’s second offering, ‘Badhaai Ho’ saw him play a man whose parents are pregnant. The emotions, comedy and characteristation of these were perfect to keep the audience in splits. Amit Sharma can be creditted for the success the film saw. With such a relevant and unconventional subject, Sharma’s film was a sureshot to be a winner with the audiences and critics.
As far as special mentions go, with another socially relevant topic, ‘PadMan’ saw the story of the man who made sanitary towels in India. With Akshay Kumar in the lead role, this was a film which only one director could have given the treatment is needed. R Balki was the one who brought this story to the screens with as much humility as it could have been delivered with a thought-provoking feel.
Another special mention would have to go to Aanand L Rai for his vision in ‘Zero’. Although the film wasn’t as successful as it perhaps could have been, the entire feel is of a fantasy. The characters were symbolic and, even though the film received mixed reviews, Rai should be given his due for the film.
The third special mention goes to Abhishek Kapoor for ‘Kedarnath’ which was a tribute to the floods in the region of 2013. This was a truly heartrenching depiction of a love story during tat time and the Shiv mandir being absorbed by the water. It was wonderfully shot.