B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Abbas Alibhai Burmawala and Mustan Alibhai Burmawala are brothers, who grew up in a chawl one of the most densely populated areas of Bombay. Their ancestors were Business-men, but the brothers were fascinated with films from their childhood. They did their family business for a few years, but soon left it to join Manmohan Desai as assistant directors on Ganga Ki Saugandh (1978).
They got a break in 1985 when they got to direct Sajan Tera Sambharna. However, they came into limelight with Agneekaal (1989), starring Jeetendra. This was their much-needed break through, which got them noticed by a few producers who were looking for new directors to make masala films.
They shot to fame big-time with Venus films’ Khiladi (1992), a thriller, which also made Akshay Kumar an overnight star. Then they made Baazigar (1993), which was a huge hit and took Shah Rukh khan, then a rising star, to new heights. This film also helped them to establish their image of thriller films’ specialist. They followed this with Daraar (1996) (a flop) but Soldier (1998), become a bit hit and proved that they knew what the audience wanted. Then, they decided to make a film with Shah Rukh khan, who was the top-most hero by then. The result was Baadshah (1999). Although, it wasn’t a hit as big as their earlier works, it still managed to recover its costs and make some profit. After Baadshah, they made Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001), starring Salman Khan, Rani Mukherji and Preity Zinta. It was a family drama, much different from their genre. But still, it became a Hit, and Abbas-Mustan proved they can tackle different subjects too. Later, They came up with Humraaz (2002), which was again one of the biggest hits of an year which hardly saw any films that recovered its costs.
Although Abbas-Mustan have been very consistent at the Box-office, they delivered a few failures too. Taarzan (2004), which was the debut vehicle of Vatsal Seth and Ayesha Takia, was a disaster. But the movie went to become one of the biggest hits on Television. Also, after Aitraaz (2004), which was a hit, they gave 36 China Town and Naqaab (2004), which were no where near to the finesse and the success of their previous films.
In 2008, their thriller, Race, with a big star cast of Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Bipasha Basu, Katrina Kaif and Sameera Reddy hit the bull's eye and the movie became a superhit. Right now they are also making Mr. Fraud with Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt and Bipasha Basu in the lead roles.
Although they never got any awards for their work, They were nominated for Best director for Humraaz (2002), which lost out to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas.
Most of their films are inspired from Hollywood thriller films. They are always dressed in white. Their thrid brother Hussain Burmawala is an established editor and always works with them.