In terms of career years in the industry, he is not even a teenager. But his cinema is meaningful and his messages are strong. He is a name that is synonymous with real cinema – a man who took the world by storm by giving us movies like Corporate, Fashion and Chandni Bar. It’s difficult to say what really goes on in Madhur Bhandarkar’s mind, but we do know his thoughts spell out genius on screen. From the 10 films he made in the last 12 years, he won three national awards and was nominated for the Filmfare honours too.

Often accused of producing judgmental movies Madhur claims that his movies merely hold up a mirror to society, they are not exposes of any kind. “I just show what happens in our society, sometimes there could be a solution and sometimes there may be none. Life goes on.”

His story is much like the tale of Eklaviya, where he learnt from observing his gurus but never really took any lessons from them. He worked as an errand boy at the local video library. He dropped off cassettes to people from many walks of life including dance bar girls and film stars. He has also sold chewing gum at traffic signals, worked as an assistant to small time directors for a measly pay of a thousand rupees. He also travelled to Dubai in search of work. His only sibling, his elder sister was based here. He had to use the bus for travel, his pay was lowly, he was mocked at by his juniors –but never felt belittled. He was always confident about better things to come.

After an insignificant role in Rangeela, he made his a forgettable directorial debut with Trishakti. The movie was a half hearted attempt to give the audience what they want – Madhur was himself not too convinced of its strengths and surely it bombed badly. He took this as a sign to reinvent himself and do what he really wanted – along came Chandni Bar and as they say there has been no looking back!

His movies are hard hitting often spiced with a dash of realism. He also likes giving the reigns to the female lead – Tabu in Chandni Bar, Raveena Tandon in Satta, Konkona Sen Sharma in Page 3, Bipasha Basu in Corporate, and Priyanka Chopra in Fashion. Apart from the awards and nominations Madhur is honoured to have his films preserved in the Indian Government’s Archival data for Indian Films.

A master who believes in experimental subjects, a director who connects the real world with the reel industry and an artist who enjoys challenging his own art – Madhur Bhandarkar is indeed a man who proves that one does not need a godfather or sugar daddy behind them to make a place in the industry. He has picked from the lessons of life, his interaction with everyday people and events – he understands the value of what he has. He has grown from it and he will continue to grow forever more…

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