The essence of Cinema is editing. It is a combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy
– Francis Ford Coppola
The quote mentioned above immaculately chronicles the brilliance and sensation of the maverick filmmaker, Vishal Bharadwaj. Gifted with the ability to create a perfect blend of noir and humor, his cinema has indeed created new grounds and norms of filmmaking. Ever since his directorial debut, Makdee, back in 2002, he has had a magical transformation in his style of portraying stories and characters on the celluloid. With his sempiternal fascination for Shakespeare, his adaptations of 3 of his most robust and intoxicating dramas have made him one of the most visually and creatively gifted and imaginative storytellers in the country.
So just a day after the release of his magnum opus, RANGOON, let’s revisit some of his most compelling and absorbing works yet.These are some the Best Movies by Vishal Bharadwaj:
5. MAKDEE (2002)
A film exclusively for children, Makdee was a joyride. His maiden directorial venture immediately made him kids’ favorite. Although shot mostly in dark caves and with eery camerawork, it was still everyone’s beloved Bollywood film. Also, who can forget the menacing, spooky and spine-chilling antagonist, Makdee, played to perfection by the always exceptional Shabana Azmi? With a grotesque face and creepy laughter, her hideousness evoked scare and spook among everyone who experienced this cinematic gem.
If you still haven’t discovered Makdee, rent a DVD or watch it online and be prepared to have a chill run down your spine.
4. KAMINEY (2009)
Bharadwaj’s enchantment with noir and complexed characters took a step further with this wildly aberrant and eccentric action drama. Taking Hindi Cinemas’s most favored genre of double roles and giving his Bharadwaj touch, KAMINEY was a heady cocktail of gruesome violence, guns and gore, and idiosyncratic characters. With all the ingredients of a hardcore commercial potboiler in place, it was genuinely an enthralling and entertaining piece of cinema that consolidated Shahid Kapoor’s position in the industry as one of the most dynamic actors.
3. OMKARA (2006)
If you thought Othello was too complicated to crack, watch it is the cinematic adaptation. OMKARA tenaciously captured the reservoir of emotions a human mind and heart go through. The unrequited love of Dolly (Kareena Kapoor), the naivety of Keshu (Vivek Oberoi), the dominance of Omi (Ajay DEVGN) and atop the heap, the jealousy, throes and torment of Langda Tyagi (Saif Ali Khan). With such an arresting and idyllic palette of characters, it was hard not to be swayed away by their complexities and foibles. Easily one of Bharadwaj’s most satisfying works till date, OMKARA is the kind of film that keeps our faith and belief in Hindi cinema alive.
2. HAIDER (2014)
Explosive, intense and nerve-racking. These would be the perfect words to describe one’s experience after watching Bharadwaj’s take on Hamlet, the most emotionally conflicted and complexed character in history. Torn between the political conflict in Kashmir and the death of his father at the hands of his mother and uncle, shahid’s transformation was the major highlight of this brilliant film. The filmmaker proved once again nobody understands Shakespeare with as much finesse as he does. A film not to be missed.
1. MAQBOOL (2004)
His maiden adaptation of the genius writer, MAQBOOL sourced its inspiration from Macbeth. Set against the backdrop of the Mumbai Underwood, the biggest strength of this gripping and compelling crime drama was the extraordinary characterization of the cast. Right from the perpetually dependent Irrfan Khan to the wonderfully understated Tabu. However, the show stealer was the fiery and profound Pankaj Kapur. MAQBOOL has so much intensity and depth, it can be hailed as a treat for all the connoisseurs of cinema. Slightly esoteric and unconventional in its craftsmanship and storytelling, it is an experience that slowly and gradually grows on you and grips you in its blood-soaked saga.