Bollywood has finally come of age. The epicenter of cinema in India has, for decades been stagnated by larger-than-life story-lines, over-the-top performances and exotic song and dance sequences. For long people thought that all you need to know for becoming a Bollywood actor was to sing and dance. Yes, the early years, up until the 50s, gave us some extraordinary filmmakers and great movies, but the years since have been a slog. So while the mass popularity and financial wealth of Bollywood grew exponentially, regional Indian cinema left Bollywood far behind in the quality of film-making.
But over the last ten years or so, things have changed. A new generation of filmmakers have made their mark, bringing out stories never told before; making our cinema truly international, while never losing the Indian touch. Mainstream cinema became more nuanced and mature during this period, while the parallel cinema movement, which was all but dead, was revived and rejuvenated. Today, we can finally be proud of what Bollywood has achieved and be hopeful of even greater things to happen in the years to come. So, we at The Cinemaholic, pay our tributes to those filmmakers, who have ushered in this new era of film-making in Bollywood, by listing the top Bollywood directors.
But we would like to begin with a note of caution. No list is truly perfect, and no list can fully satisfy everyone. We, at The Cinemaholic, do not claim to hold the last word on cinema. Every film is a personal experience, so is the impact of a filmmaker; this list is just a compilation of our favorite directors. You may not agree with our ranking, maybe your favorite director is missing from our list, but we sure can vouch for the fact that each of the below-mentioned filmmakers has enriched the craft of film-making, and left his/her mark on the annals of history. So, without further ado, here goes:
20. Vikas Bahl
Initially, a producer at Phantom Films, Vikas Bahl was an accidental filmmaker. However, one must be glad that he decided to become one, because with his debut feature ‘Queen’, he gave us one of the finest movies on liberation and empowerment that India has ever seen. A story of a shy, conservative Delhi girl discovering herself, ‘Queen’ displayed Bahl’s control over his craft, by telling a story so universal that it tugged our hearts. While his second flick (‘Shaandaar’) was less impressive, we believe he has what it takes to be in this list.