New Delhi: Gulzar is a man of his words in the literal meaning of the saying. The lyricist is a man of multiple talents. He is a poet, director, short story writer, screenwriter, dialogue writer and also writes literature for children. But all in all, Gulzar is all this and much more.
He is one of the last surviving links to Hindi cinema's golden era. Born in the year 1934, he has been in the film industry since 1956 and in the years 1971-1999, he put on the directors' cap too.
Talking of awards, Gulzar Saab has been honoured with a multitude of them. Whether it is the Academy Award, the Grammy Award, National Film Award, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Sahitya Akademi Award or the Padma Bhushan, Gulzar has all of them.
Although, ‘And the award for best lyrics goes to Gulzar' is commonly heard at awards functions, the art for which he hasn't received due credit are his movies. Movies directed by Gulzar touch the soul. These simple tales of love woven around raw human emotions bring upon the viewer an ocean of feelings.
As the living legend turns 81, we list five of his best directed movies:
Mere Apne (1971)
Gulzar's directorial project was a frame to frame remake of Bengali movie ‘Apanjan.' But the master's Midas touch added the adjective classic to it. At a time when the Indian youth was caught up with issues like unemployment on the one hand and feeling proud of the win against Pakistan in the 1971 war on the other, this movie reflected the mindset of them. Starring Meena Kumari, Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha in the lead roles, it still feels timeless and relevant many years later.
Aandhi courted controversies due to the uncanny resemblance between the lead character depicted by Suchitra Sen and Indira Gandhi. The film also starred Sanjeev Kumar and is a political drama which was said to be inspired from Indira Gandhi's relationship with her estranged husband. The film was banned during the state of emergency ordered by Indira Gandhi but when the Janata Party came to power ‘Aandhi' saw a release. A saga of longing and love, this movie depicted the lead actors as alienated lovers who experience closeness even after decades. The movie won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best movie.
Ijaazat is a powerful tale dealing with feminism and patriarchy. Starring Naseerudin Shah, Rekha and Anuradha Patel, this movie discussed themes like love, betrayal and extra-marital affairs. It is shot in both the present and past lives of the characters and the powerful narration of this one forced the audiences to drown in their own tears. The film was appreciated and was called Gulzar's most sensitive movie. The movie won two National Awards in the music category.
Set in the desert of Rajasthan, Lekin is the story of the soul of a woman. Starring Vinod Khanna and Dimple Khanna in the lead, this movie is the quintessential representation of those who have gone through a traumatic experience and wish to escape it. Gulzar won the National Award for best lyrics and the Filmfare award too.
Maachis was Gulzar's take on terrorism and it tasted critical and commercial success. Chandrachur Singh's debut movie, this one saw potent performances by Tabu and Om Puri. The metaphorical title of the movie sends a message that the youth is a matchstick that gets ignited due to the deficiencies of the political system. This hard-hitting tale portrays the youth of Punjab in the 1984 riots and Gulzar's direction is considered one of his best.