Rajkumar Hirani

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Rajkumar Hirani
Rajkumar Hirani 2014.jpg
Hirani at an event for PK in 2014
Born (1962-11-20) 20 November 1962 (age 60)[1]
NationalityIndian
Other namesRaju Hirani
Alma materFilm and Television Institute of India
Occupation
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Distributor
  • Editor
Years active1993–present
AwardsFull list

Rajkumar Hirani (born 20 November 1962), also called Raju Hirani, is an Indian filmmaker, director, producer and editor known for his works in Hindi films. He is the recipient of several accolades, including three National Film Awards and eleven Filmfare Awards. Hirani is one of Hindi cinema's most prominent filmmakers. His movies are often lighthearted but revolve around significant societal issues.

All five films directed by Hirani, which are in partnership with frequent collaborators, writer Abhijat Joshi and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra; the comedy Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003) and its sequel Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006), the coming-of-age drama 3 Idiots (2009), the science fiction satire PK (2014) and the biopic Sanju (2018), have been widespread critically acclaimed and went on to become some of the highest grossing Indian films both domestically and internationally.[2] Hirani is the founder of the production house Rajkumar Hirani Films.

Early life and education[edit]

Hirani was born on 20 November 1962 in Nagpur to a Sindhi family. His ancestors originally belong to Mehrabpur, a city now in the Naushahro Firoz District, Sindh, of Pakistan.[3] His father Suresh Hirani ran a typing institute in Nagpur. Hirani studied at St. Francis De'Sales High School, Nagpur, Maharashtra. He did his graduation in commerce. His parents wanted him to be an Engineer, but he was more keen on theatre and film.[4]

In his college days he was involved with Hindi theatre. He had many friends in Nagpur's medical college and hence, spent much time in theater at the college. Suresh had his son's photographs taken and sent him to an acting school in Mumbai. However, Hirani could not fit in and returned to Nagpur after three days. His father then asked him to apply to the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, but the acting course had shut down and his chances of admission to the directorial course looked slim as there were far too many applicants.[5] Hirani opted for the film editing course, and earned a scholarship.[6]

Career[edit]

Early work (1994–99, 2000)[edit]

Hirani tried his luck as a film editor for many years. Bad experiences forced him to shift to television advertising,[7] and he gradually established himself as a director and producer of advertising films. He was also seen in a Fevicol ad where some men and elephants were trying to pull and break a Fevicol plank, saying "Jor laga ke Haisha".[8] He was also seen in the Kinetic Luna ad campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather.

He was doing fairly well in the advertisement industry, but he wanted to make movies, so he took a break from advertisement and started working with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. He worked on promos and trailers for 1942: A Love Story (1994).[9] He edited promotions for Kareeb (1998).[10] He got his first opportunity as a film editor with Mission Kashmir (2000).[11]

Directorial debut and initial success (2003–09)[edit]

Hirani winning the National Award in 2007

In 2003, Hirani made his directorial debut with the comedy film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. starring Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Gracy Singh, Jimmy Sheirgill, and Sunil Dutt. It was about the titular protagonist (played by Sanjay Dutt), a goon going to a medical school who is helped by his sidekick (Circuit, played by Warsi). The film received a positive response from critics. Hirani's direction was praised, and the film emerged as a major commercial success with a worldwide total of 330 million (US$4.1 million). Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Film, and earned Hirani his first Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay and a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director. The film was the first film of the franchise Munna Bhai.

In 2006, Hirani directed the second installment of the Munna Bhai franchise, titled Lage Raho Munna Bhai, which retained some of the original cast, including Sanjay Dutt, Warsi, and Boman Irani, and added Vidya Balan as the female lead replacing Gracy Singh. The feature proved to be Hirani's highest-grossing release to that point, earning over 1.2 billion (US$15 million) worldwide, thus attaining a blockbuster status and becoming the third highest-grossing film of that year. Just like the previous film, it won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film, and earned Hirani a second Critics Award for Best Film award, a first Best Story award, a first Best Dialogue award, and a second Best Director nomination at Filmfare.

Widespread success (2009–present)[edit]

Hirani at the 41st International Film Festival in 2010

Hirani's next directorial venture was the coming-of-age comedy-drama 3 Idiots (2009), which starred Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, and Boman Irani. It follows the friendship of three engineering students, and was a satire about social pressures under an Indian education system. 3 Idiots received positive reviews from critics, and proved to be the highest-grossing Hindi film up until then, earning 4.60 billion (US$58 million) in global ticket sales. Hirani won his third National Film Award for Best Popular Film Award, first Filmfare Best Film and Best Director Award, and second Filmfare Best Screenplay and Best Story Award, for his direction. The film established Hirani as one of Hindi cinema's most prominent filmmakers.

Hirani directed PK, which was released on 19 December 2014. Upon release, it received positive reviews, with praise directed towards Aamir Khan's performance and the film's humour, though certain criticism was received for "hurting religious sentiments". The film received 8 nominations at the 60th Filmfare Awards, winning two. Additionally, it won five Producers Guild Film Awards, and two Screen Awards. PK garnered the Telstra People's Choice Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. Produced on a budget of 850 million (approx. $12 million), PK was the first Indian film to gross more than 7 billion and US$100 million worldwide. At the time, it emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time and ranks as the 70th highest-grossing film of 2014 worldwide. The film's final worldwide gross was 854 crore (US$140 million). It currently stands as the 5th highest grossing Indian film worldwide and 7th highest-grossing film in India.

He also directed Sanju (2018). The film follows the life of actor Sanjay Dutt (one of Hirani's closest collaborators), his addiction with drugs, arrest for alleged association with the 1993 Bombay bombings, relationship with his father, comeback in the industry, the eventual drop of charges from bombay blasts, and release after completing his jail term. Upon release, it generally received positive reviews from critics and was praised for Ranbir Kapoor's performance; some criticised its image-cleansing of its protagonist. With a worldwide gross of 586.85 crore (US$73 million), Sanju ranks as the highest grossing Hindi film of 2018, the second highest-earning Hindi film in India of all time, and one of the highest-grossing Indian films. Sanju earned seven nominations at the 64th Filmfare Awards, including Best Film and Best Director for Hirani. It won two; Best Actor for Kapoor (who played Dutt) and Best Supporting Actor for Kaushal.

Hirani is next directing Dunki, a comedy-drama film on immigration produced by himself and Red Chillies Entertainment and written by him and Joshi. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, Boman Irani, Sunil Grover, Deepak Dobriyal and Divya Dutta and will be released theatrically on 22 December 2023, coinciding with Christmas.[12]

Filmography[edit]

Key
Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director Writer Producer Editor Notes
2000 Mission Kashmir No No No Yes
2003 Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. Yes Yes No Yes Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Director
2006 Lage Raho Munna Bhai Yes Yes No Yes Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Director
2009 3 Idiots Yes Yes No Yes Won: Filmfare Award for Best Director
2012 Ferrari Ki Sawaari No No No Yes
2014 PK Yes Yes Yes Yes Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Director
2016 Saala Khadoos No No Yes No Bi-lingual film; producer of the Hindi version
2018 Sanju Yes Yes Yes Yes Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated: Filmfare Award for Best Director
2023 Dunki Not yet released Yes Yes Yes Yes Filming[13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rajkumar Hirani makes entertainment profound: Boman Irani". The Indian Express. IANS. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Sanju box office collection day 5: The Rajkumar Hirani film earns Rs 167.51 crore". The Indian Express. 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ Hasan Ansari, PK' director Hirani to visit Pakistan in April, The Express Tribune, 20 February 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Aiming to Please". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Will Munnabhai now take on religion". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 28 September 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  6. ^ "From Nagpur to 3 Idiots, Raju Hirani's amazing journey".
  7. ^ "Raju Hirani's interview about 3 idiots". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Raju Hiraniin fevicol ad". Youtube. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  9. ^ "IMDB Title for 1942". IMDB. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  10. ^ "IMDB Title for Kareeb". IMDB. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  11. ^ "IMDB Title for Mission Kashmir". IMDB. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  12. ^ "No More FOMO For Shah Rukh Khan, Because Rajkumar Hirani's Dunki".
  13. ^ "Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu's film with director Rajkumar Hirani titled Dunki; to release on December 22, 2023". Bollywood Hungama. 19 April 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2001.

External links[edit]