September 30, 1922|
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
|Died||August 27, 2006
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Hrishikesh Mukherjee (Bengali: হৃষিকেশ মুখোপাধ্যায়/মুখার্জী Hrishikesh Mukhopaddhae/Mukharji (see naming conventions)) (30 September 1922–27 August 2006) was a famous Indian film director known for a number of films, including Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Anupama, Anand, Abhimaan, Guddi, Gol Maal, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, and Namak Haraam.
Popularly known as Hrishi-da, he directed 42 films during his career spanning over four decades, and is named the pioneer of the 'middle cinema' of India. Renowned for his social films that reflected the changing middle-class ethos, Mukherjee "carved a middle path between the extravagance of mainstream cinema and the stark realism of art cinema".
He also remained the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC),. The Government of India honoured him with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1999 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001. He received the NTR National Award in 2001.
Early life and background
Mukherjee 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, where he learned his skills from Subodh Mitter ('Kenchida'), a well known editor of his times. He then worked with Bimal Roy in Mumbai as film editor and assistant director from 1951, participating in the landmark Roy films Do Bigha Zamin and Devdas.
His debut directorial venture, Musafir (1957), 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 numerous films. Some of his most notable films include: Anuradha (1960), Asli-Naqli (1962), Anand (1971), Chemmeen, Anupama (1966), Aashirwad (1968), Satyakam (1969), Guddi (1971), Bawarchi (1972), "Namak Haraam" (1973), Mili (1975), Chupke Chupke (1975), Khubsoorat (1980) and Bemisal (1982). He was the first to introduce Dharmendra in comedy roles, through Chupke Chupke, and gave Amitabh Bachchan his big break with Anand in 1970, along with Rajesh Khanna, he also introduced Jaya Bhaduri to Hindi cinema in his film Guddi. Having worked with his mentor, Bimal Roy as an editor, in films like Madhumati, he was much sought after as an editor as well.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee 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, the second highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian cinema by government of India 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.
The films were realistic and unlike the other Bollywood films do not feature crime or 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 they usually include a character engrossed in music, such as Anuradha, Aashirwad, Chupke chupke, Abhimaan, Khubsoorat, GolMaal, Alaap, Bawarchi, Aashiq, Mili, Saanjh Aur Sawera and Phir Kab Milogi. He did not belong to any "camp" but worked with a variety of producers, lyricists and music directors - including Hemant Kumar, Pandit Ravi Shankar, S D Burman, R D Burman, Vasant Desai, Salil Chaudhury, Madan Mohan and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
His last film was Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate. Since his original hero Amol Palekar had grown old he had to cast Anil Kapoor. He has also directed TV serials like Talaash. Another director making films akin to him is Basu Chatterjee.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was suffering from chronic renal failure and would go to Lilavati Hospital for dialysis. He was admitted to Leelavati Hospital in Mumbai early on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 after he complained of uneasiness. Mukherjee died ten weeks later on 27 August 2006.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was married and has three daughters and a son. His son died at Delhi railway station in 2001 due to asthma attack. His wife died more than three decades before him. He was an animal lover and had many dogs and sometimes an odd cat at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai. He used to stay alone with servants and pets in his last phase of life. Family members and friends would visit him regularly.
- 1956: Filmfare Best Editing Award: Naukari
- 1959: Filmfare Best Editing Award: Madhumati
- 1970: Filmfare Best Screenplay Award: Anokhi Raat
- 1972: Filmfare Best Movie Award: Anand shared with N. C. Sippy
- 1972: Filmfare Best Editing Award: Anand
- 1972: Filmfare Best Story Award: Anand
- 1981: Filmfare Best Movie Award: Khubsoorat shared with N. C. Sippy
- 1957: Certificate of Merit for Third Best Feature Film in Hindi - Musafir
- 1959: President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi - Anari
- 1960: President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film - Anuradha
- 1999: Dada Saheb Phalke Award
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)
- Buddha Mil Gaya (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)
- Kissi Se Na Kehna (1983)
- Rang Birangi (1983)
- Achha Bura (1983)
- Jhoothi (1985)
- Lathi (1988)
- Namumkin (1988)
- Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate (1998)
Films as Editor, Writer and/or Assistant Director
|1951||Do Bigha Zamin||Scenario, Editor, Assistant Director|
- Great Masters of Indian Cinema: The Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winners, by D. P. Mishra, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 2006. ISBN 81-230-1361-2. page 122.
- Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterjee, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Encyclopaedia Britannica (India) Pvt Ltd. p. 592. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- The common man lure of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's films Rediff.com.
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee's best films Special Photo feature, Rediff.com, 28 August 2006.
- Duara, Ajit (2006-09-03). "A touch of realism". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- Remembering Hrishikesh Mukherjee Hindustan Times, 26 August 2008
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee Biography on winning, the 31st Dada Saheb Phalke Award.
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee Upperstall.com.
- Remembering Hrishida Rediff.com, 28 August 2006.
- "Hrishikesh Mukherjee wins Dadasaheb Phalke Award".
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee is dead.The Times of India, 27 August 2006.
- Filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee dead CNN-IBN, 28 August 2006.
- Veteran Bollywood director dies BBC News, 27 August 2006.
- Awards Internet Movie Database
- "5th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
- "7th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- "8th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Retrieved September 7, 2011.