Vishal Bhardwaj

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Vishal Bhardwaj
Vishal Bhardwaj 2010 - still 110691 crop.jpg
Born (1965-08-04) 4 August 1965 (age 50)[1]
Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh, India
Occupation Director, producer, screenplay writer, music director, singer, lyricist
Spouse(s) Rekha Bhardwaj

Vishal Bhardwaj (born 4 August 1965) is an Indian film director, writer, screenwriter, producer, music composer and playback singer, known for his works in modern Hindi cinema.[1] He produces films under his banner VB Pictures. He has received six National Film Awards. His directorial debut Makdee was screened in the Spotlight on India section at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.[2] His films Maqbool and Omkara got screened in the Marché du Film (market section) of the 2004 and 2006 Cannes Film Festivals respectively.[3][4][5]

In 2014, he directed Haider which was premiered at the 19th Busan International Film Festival.[6] The film received wide critical acclaim, and garnered attention from the media due to its controversial subject matter.[7] Bhardwaj's direction, screenplay, and film score received acclaim from film critics.[7][8] The film was also screened at the 9th Rome Film Festival where it won the People's Choice Award in the Mondo Genere category making it the first Indian film to achieve this feat.[9] The film received awards for Best Male Playback Singer, Best Dialogue, Best choreography, Best Costume Design, and Best Music Direction at the 62nd National Film Awards.[10]

Early life[edit]

Bhardwaj was born in Bijnor, but raised in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh[11] to Satya Bhardwaj, a homemaker, and Ram Bhardwaj,[12] a popular poet and lyricist. His father was a government employee and was a sugarcane inspector. As a young man, Bhardwaj moved to Delhi. He pursued his graduation in the Hindu College[13] of Delhi University where he nurtured his talents and also met his wife, Rekha Bhardwaj. He was also involved with Delhi theatres.[14][15]


Bhardwaj started playing harmonium for little known ghazal singers at the various food festivals in Delhi's Pragati Maidan. He was later introduced to R.V. Pandit, who offered him a job in his CBS music company in Deli.[12]

Music composer[edit]

Bhardwaj was recommended by a friend to the filmmaker Gulzar, with whom he successfully collaborated on TV serials such as The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland and Gubbare. Bhardwaj composed the music for Maachis, a film directed by Gulzar.[16] The musical score for Maachis was received to critical and commercial acclaim and gained Bhardwaj the Filmfare R D Burman Award in 1996. In 1999, Bhardwaj received the Rajat Kamal award for Best Music Director at the National Film Awards for his critically acclaimed score in Godmother.

In 2011, he has won the same category award for his score in Ishqiya. Bhardwaj has scored music for several Hindi films such as—Satya, Chachi 420, Maqbool, Omkara, Kaminey, Ishqiya, 7 Khoon Maaf—and a host of other popular projects. He also scored the title track for Star Plus' STAR Parivaar Awards, along with the channel's new anthem, titled "Tu Hi Tu".[17] Vishal has worked with leading female playback singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, K. S. Chithra, Sadhna Sargam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shreya Ghoshal and male singer like K. J. Yesudas, Hariharan, Suresh Wadkar, Udit Narayan, Shankar Mahadevan, Roop Kumar Rathod, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet Bhattacharya & KK. He is known for his collaborations with Gulzar, who had Bhardwaj as his music composer in all his directorial ventures since Maachis. And Gulzar provided lyrics to all of Vishal Bhardwaj's films.

Film craft[edit]

Bhardwaj came to Mumbai to become a music composer, he took to directing films only to create the opportunity to compose music.[18] His interest in film direction kindled after watching the retrospective of Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski during a film festival in Kerala.[19] His first directorial debut was children's film Makdee which was critically acclaimed. He then made the first of his Shakespearean adaptation, Maqbool, based on Macbeth. This was followed up by another children's film, The Blue Umbrella based on Ruskin Bond's story of the same name. This film also met with critical acclaim throughout. Omkara marked the second of Bhardwaj's Shakespearan endeavours, this time an adaptation of Othello. Omkara was a great success internationally and a musical hit, affirming his status as a music director as well.

He venture released in October, 2014 was Haider, an adaption of Shakespeare's Hamlet. This is the third installment of Bharadwaj's Shakespearesque trilogy after Maqbool (2003) and Omkara (2006). Haider is co-written by Vishal Bharadwaj and Basharat Peer with direction by Vishal Bharadwaj. It is set in Kashmir and the entire movie shooting was in Downtown Srinagar, Baramulla, Pahalgam, amongst other places. The film stars Shahid Kapoor in the titular role and Tabu plays the role of his mother who marries her brother-in-law Kay Kay Menon after his father disappears. The film also stars Shraddha Kapoor as the character Arshi, a journalist by profession and character Haider's love interest in the film. The film released on 2 October 2014.

He also did some second unit work for the legendary Francis Ford Coppola on the latter's film Youth Without Youth.[20] His next directorial release was Blood Brothers, an 11-minute short film, which is part of Mira Nair's series of HIV-AIDS awareness films.[21] Guillermo Navarro is the cinematographer on this film. He has also done music direction in the film No Smoking.

Kaminey, starring Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, released on 14 August 2009, met with early commercial success and critical acclaim. Ishqiya, (not as a director, but as a producer, writer and composer), starring Naseeruddin Shah, Arshad Warsi and Vidya Balan, received mostly positive reviews earning more than 150 million in the first two weeks of its release.

7 Khoon Maaf, the film, based on the Ruskin Bond short story, Susanna's Seven Husbands, revolves around Susanna (Priyanka Chopra) and her seven husbands; Naseeruddin Shah, John Abraham, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Irrfan Khan, Annu Kapoor and Russian actor Aleksandr Dyachenko, playing the roles of the six husbands, while the seventh husband is a mystery in the film. The film released on 18 February 2011 and met with overall mixed reviews.[22]

Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola produced and directed by Bharadwaj and starring Imran Khan, Anushka Sharma and Pankaj Kapoor in the lead roles, with Arya Babbar and Shabana Azmi was released in January 2013 to critical acclaim and had his best opening collection for a movie. The movie was an average hit. Filming began on 14 February 2012 and the film released on 11 January 2013. In May 2014, he was involved in Design and Stage Direction for a new production of John Adams' A Flowering Tree at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, France. It is an opera which originally premiered on 14 November 2006 in Vienna. The story is based on an ancient Indian folk tale of the same title with translations by A.K. Ramanujan.


Year Film Role Notes
2016 Rangoon Director, Composer Announced
2015 Talvar Writer, Composer
2015 Drishyam Composer
2014 Haider Composer, Director, producer
Writer (Dialogue & Screenplay)
Winner the People's Choice Award at the 9th Rome Film Festival in the Mondo Genere section
Winner National Film Award for Best Music Direction
Winner National Film Award for Best Dialogue
Winner Filmfare Best Director Award
Dedh Ishqiya Producer, Composer & Writer
2013 Ek Thi Daayan Producer Composer & Writer Co-Produced with Ekta Kapoor's Balaji Motion Pictures
Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola Director, composer, Writer & Producer
2011 7 Khoon Maaf Director, producer, composer,
Writer (Dialogue & Screenplay)
2010 Ishqiya Composer, writer, producer Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction
Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award
2009 Kaminey Composer, Director,
Writer (Dialogue & Screenplay)
Nominated, Filmfare Best Director Award
Nominated, Filmfare Best Music Director Award
2008 Haal–e–dil Composer
U Me Aur Hum Composer
2007 No Smoking Composer, producer
Nishabd Composer
Dus Kahaniyaan Writer (Dialogue & Screenplay)
Blood Brothers Director, Writer (Dialogue)
Migration Writer (Dialogue)
2006 Omkara Composer, director, Writer (Dialogue & Screenplay) Winner, National Film Award – Special Jury Award
Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Director
Winner, Cairo International Film Festival, Best Artistic Contribution in Cinema of a Director
Winner, Kara Film Festival, Best Music Director
Nominated, International Indian Film Academy's Popular Award for Best Dialogue, Best Director, Best Music Director, Best Screenplay (shared) & Best Story
2005 The Blue Umbrella a.k.a. Chhatri Chor Composer, director, producer Winner, National Film Award for Best Children's Film, shared with Ronnie Screwvala
Ramji Londonwale Composer
Bhagmati Composer
2003 Maqbool Composer, director, producer, Writer (dialogue & screenplay) Winner, International Indian Film Academy's Technical excellence award for Best Dialogue & Best Screenplay (shared with Abbas Tyrewala)[23]
Nominated, Golden Kinnaree Award for Best Film at Bangkok International Film Festival
Winner, Zee Cine technical Award for Best Dialogue and Best Screenplay
Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Director & Best Story
Paanch Composer
Chupke Se Composer
Danav Composer
Kagaar: Life on the Edge Composer
2002 Makdee Composer, director, producer, Writer (Story & Dialogue) Winner at 2nd Place, the Adults Jury Award, at the Chicago Children's Film Festival in the 'Live-Action Feature Film or Video' category
Mulaqat Composer
2001 Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega Composer
Choo Lenge Akash Composer
2000 Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!! Composer
1999 Hu Tu Tu Composer
Godmother Composer Winner, National Film Award for Best Music Direction
Jahan Tum Le Chalo Composer
1998 Daya Composer Malayalam film
Chachi 420 Composer
Satya Composer
Sham Ghansham Composer
1997 Betaabi Composer
Tunnu Ki Tina Composer
1996 Maachis Composer Winner, Filmfare – R.D. Burman Award for New Music Talent
Sanshodhan Composer
1995 Fauji Composer
1995 Abhay Composer

Music direction for non-film music[edit]

  • Barse Barse (2011)
  • Ishqa Ishqa (2002)
  • Boodhe Pahadon Par
  • Sunset Point (2000)
  • Jungle Book

Playback singer[edit]

VB Pictures[edit]

VB Pictures
Industry Motion picture
Founded 2007
Founder Vishal Bhardwaj
Headquarters Mumbai, India
Key people
Vishal Bhardwaj
Products Film production

VB Pictures is an Indian motion picture production company company, based in Mumbai. The company was founded in 2007 by Bollywood filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj.


Year Film Director Other notes
2007 No Smoking Anurag Kashyap
2010 Ishqiya Abhishek Chaubey
2011 7 Khoon Maaf Vishal Bhardwaj
2013 Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola Vishal Bhardwaj
Ek Thi Daayan Kannan Iyer
2014 Dedh Ishqiya Abhishek Chaubey
Haider Vishal Bhardwaj


  1. ^ a b Vishal Bhardwaj at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ "Vishal Bharadwaj's Makdee to be aired at Cannes". The Times of India. 
  3. ^ "Aishwarya Rais's presence makes up for absence for Indian films in Cannes : SOCIETY & THE ARTS - India Today". 
  4. ^ "A book on the making of Omkara to be released at Cannes". Bollywood Hungama. 
  5. ^ "Omkara arrives at Cannes too". 
  6. ^ "'Haider', 'Finding Fanny' to Screen at Busan Film Fest". Indiatimes. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Vikas Pandey (7 October 2014). "Haider: Why is 'Indian Hamlet' controversial?". BBC News. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "I have had the longest and the shortest hair in Haider: Shahid Kapoor". The Times of India. 3 February 2014. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Official Awards of the ninth edition of the Rome Film Festival". 25 October 2014. Archived from the original on 26 October 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Literally pleasing". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 11 May 2007. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ " 'You need a hit film song to get work in the film industry'". Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Of being Gulzar". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 24 September 2005. 
  17. ^ Star Network. "STAR Plus anthem, Tu Hi Tu". Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "'Mein Sabse Bada Kamina Hoon: Vishal Bhardwaj'". 21 August 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "'Krzysztof... In Meerut'". Outlook, India. 
  20. ^ "'So what if it's Coppola' – Mid-Day". 20 September 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  21. ^ "Mira Nair, Farhan Akhtar to make films on AIDS – Rediff". 22 January 2007. Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  22. ^ Sharma, Smrity (22 October 2010). "Priyanka outdoes herself in Saat Khoon Maaf". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  23. ^ Awards Internet Movie Database.

External links[edit]