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Hrishikesh Mukherjee

Hrishikesh MukherjeeHrishikesh Mukherjee (September 30, 1922–August 27, 2006) was a Hindi film director known for a number of films, including Anand, Abhimaan, Guddi, Gol Maal, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, Satyakam, and Namak Haraam. He was popularly known as Hrishi-da.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee studied science in college, and graduated in chemistry. He taught mathematics and science for some time, but chose to begin working, initially as a cameraman, and then film editor, in B. N. Sircar’s New Theatres in Calcutta in the late 1940s. He worked with Bimal Roy in Mumbai as film editor and assistant director from 1951, participating in the landmark Roy films Do Bigha Zameen and Devdas.

His debut directorial venture, Musafir, was not a success, but he persisted and received acclaim for his second film Anari in 1959. The film, crew and cast won five Filmfare Awards, with Mukherjee only losing the Best Director Award to his mentor, Bimal Roy.

In the following years he made numberous movies, some of his notable movies include: Anuradha 1960, Asli-Naqli 1962, Anupama 1966, Aashirwad 1968, Satyakam 1969, Guddi 1971, Bawarchi 1972, Mili 1975, Chupke Chupke 1975 and Bemisal 1982. Mukherjee was also responsible for casting Amitabh Bachchan in a prominent role in Anand (film) 1970, along with Rajesh Khanna.

He was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award by the Government of India, in 1999. Mukherjee was chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and of the National Film Development Corporation. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his contribution to Indian cinema in 2001. The International Film Festival of India honoured him with a retrospective of his films in November 2005. He holds the distinction of working with almost all the top Indian stars since independence of India in 1947.

His films were realistic and unlike the other Bollywood films do not have crime, violence. The simple plots contain deeper meaning, but are generally straightforward in form, theme and treatment. He directed around 50 films most of which were valued by audiences and critics alike because of their middle-of-the-road accessibility, heart-warming irony and literary sensibilities. His characters inhabited a middle-class, urban, educated milieu. One more characteristic of his films was that it had a character engrossed in music. Such as Anuradha, Ashirwad, Chupke chupke, Abhimaan, Khubsoorat, GolMaal, Alaap, Bawarchi, Aashiq, Mili, Saanjh Aur Sawera and Phir Kab Milogi to name a few.

Hrishikesh MukherjeeHis last film was Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate. Since his original hero Amol Palekar has grown old he had to choose Anil Kapoor. He has also directed TV serials like Talaash. Another director akin to him is Basu Chatterjee.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee was admitted to Leelavati Hospital in Mumbai early on Tuesday, 6th June 2006 after after he complained of uneasiness. Mukherjee passed away ten weeks later on August 27, 2006. He is survived by three daughters and a son.

Selected Filmography

  • Musafir (1957)
  • Anari (1959)
  • Anuradha (1960)
  • Asli Naqli (1962)
  • Aashiq (1962)
  • Saanjh Aur Savera
  • Anupama (1966)
  • Gaban (1966)
  • Aashirwad (1968)
  • Satyakam (1969)
  • Anand (1970)
  • Guddi (1971)
  • Bawarchi (1972)
  • Abhimaan (1973)
  • Namak Haraam (1973)
  • Chupke Chupke (1975)
  • Mili (1975)
  • Gol Maal (1979)
  • Khubsoorat (1980)
  • Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate (1998)

Films as Director

  • Musafir (1957)
  • Anari (1959)
  • Anuradha (1960)
  • Memdidi (1961)
  • Chhaya (1961)
  • Asli Naqli (1962)
  • Aashiq (1962)
  • Sanjh Aur Savera (1964)
  • Do Dil (1965)
  • Gaban (1966)
  • Biwi Aur Makaan (1966)
  • Anupama (1966)
  • Majhli Didi (1967)
  • Aashirwad (1968)
  • Satyakam (1969)
  • Pyar Ka Sapna (1969)
  • Anand (1970)
  • Guddi (1971)
  • Sabse Bada Sukh (1972)
  • Bawarchi (1972)
  • Abhimaan (1973)
  • Namak Haraam (1973)
  • Phir Kab Milogi (1974)
  • Mili (1975)
  • Chupke Chupke (1975)
  • Chaitali (1975)
  • Arjun Pandit (1976)
  • Alaap (1977)
  • Kotwal Saab (1977)
  • Naukri (1978)
  • Gol Maal (1979)
  • Jurmana (1979)
  • Khubsoorat (1980)
  • Naram Garam (1981)
  • Bemisal (1982)
  • Sadma (1983)
  • Kissi Se Na Kehna (1983)
  • Rang Birangi (1983)
  • Achha Bura (1983)
  • Jhoothi (1985)
  • Hum Hindustani (1986)
  • Lathi (1988)
  • Namumkin (1988)
  • Talaash (1992)
  • Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaate (1998)

Films as Editor, Writer and/or Assistant Director

  • Tathapi (1947)
  • Maa (1950)
  • Do Bigha Zameen (1951)
  • Parineeta (1953)
  • Biraj Bahu (1954 )
  • Devdas (1956)
  • Madhumati (1958)
  • Heera Moti (1959)
  • Char Diwari (1961)
  • Dastak (1970)

TV Serials

  • Hum Hindustani
  • Talaash
  • Dhoop Chhaon
  • Ujaale Ki Or
  • Rishte

Trivia

  • Hrishi da’s Bawarchi was inspired by an old Bengali film Golpo Holeo Shotti starring Rabi Ghosh. The part played by Rabi Ghosh was played by Rajesh Khanna in Bawarchi
  • Hrishi da penned the story of Anand in 1954, and the eponymous character was inspired by Raj Kapoor
  • Raj Kapoor used to call Hrishi da Babu Moshay
  • Satyakam was his favourite film
  • Khubsoorat was specially written with Rekha in mind
  • Hrisha da had a severe Arthritis attack in 1961, and directed Anupama and Asli Naqli from his wheel chair
  • Chaitali was completed by Hrishi da after the demise of director Bimal Roy (earlier named it Sahaara)
  • Gaban was completed by Hrishi da after the demise of director Krishan Chopra
  • He remade his film Mem didi (1961) as Achha Bura in 1983
  • His first film Musafir featured a song sung by Dilip Kumar

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