Punnu wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was born on September 30, 1922 in Culcutta. He graduated in Science and took up to teaching. He taught Mathematics and Science for a while before he left everything to join hindi films. He joined B.R.Sircar’s New theatres and worked as a cameraman and later as an editor.
Hrishi-da’s saw opportunities coming when he joined Bimal Roy and worked with him as an assistant director and editor for films like Do Bigha Zameen (1952), Parineeta (1953), Biraj Bahu (1954) and Devdas (1955). In 1957, Hrishikesh Mukherjee turned to direction and made his directorial debut with Musafir (1957). Despite being well-made and having many famous names, Musafir didn’t do very well at box-office.
However, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s next film was Anari (1959) was a big hit, and established Hrishi-da as a good film-maker. He then made Anuradha, (1960) which was very acclaimed critically. He then made many films but barring Asli Naqli (1962), none of them were a success at box-office. Hrishikesh Mukherjee made a comeback with Anupama (1966), which was both a critical acclaim and a commercial success. After Anupama, Hrishi-da entered the A-league of film makers.
Hrishi-da went on to be known as one of the most respectable and popular film maker in the 70s. After Anupama, He made a small-budgeted Majhli Didi (1967), which won a lot of praise. He followed up with Aashirwaad (1968), which was a surprise hit. Satyakaam was another critically acclaimed failure that set back Hrishi-da’s career to some extent. However, Hrishikesh Mukherjee had established himself as a simple film maker. But Hrishi-da struck back only like he can. He made Guddi (1971) and then Anand (1971), which won all the hearts. After Anand, The 70s had many more gems from Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Bawarchi (1972) was a moderate success, while Hrishi-da also made serious and sensitive films like Abhimaan (1973), Namak Haraam (1973) and Mili (1975) with equal panache. However, Hrishi-da came to his full boom with his feather-light entertainers. In 1975, He made Chupke Chupke (1975), which is considered almost a cult classic in comedies today. Hrishi-da also made many serious films alongwith like Arjun Pandit (1976), Alaap (1977), Jurmana (1979) and Bemisaal (1982), but it was his comedies that won him a special place in the minds of a common cine-goer. Golmaal (1979) was a huge success, while Khoobsurat too was a hit. Moreover, these films are remembered to date for their sheer simplicity. After Golmaal, Hrishi-da paired up with the team of Amol-Palekar in two more films Naram Garam (1981) and Rang Birangi (1983) and came up with great results, thought not as same as Golmaal. He also made Kissi se na Kehna (1983) which did average business. Unfortunately, Hrishi-da’s touch decreased with each surpassing film as films like Jhoothi (1985), Laathi (1988), Namumkin (1988) faired badly. Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s last film was Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate (1998), which failed to lure the audience. In Aug 2006, Hrishikesh Mukherjee died of heart attack in Leelavati Hospital. And an era came to en end of hindi cinema.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee won 6 FILMFARE Awards in all – Best film for Khoobsurat (1980) Best film, Best story, and Best editing for Anand (1971) Best editing for Madhumati (1958) Best screenplay for Anokhi raat (1968) Best editing for Naukri (1954) Although, one of the top and favourite directors, Hrishikesh Mukherjee did not win any Award for best director.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was the chairman of Film censor board and NDFC for many years. His Anuradha (1960) was nominated for the Golden Berline Bear at the Berlin International film festival. He also directed a TV serial “Hum Hindustani” in 1986, which was quite popular. In 1992, He again made a TV serial “Talaash”, which was not so successful. He had a severe Arthritis attack in 1961, and directed Anupama and Asli Naqli from his wheel chair. He remade his film Mem Didi(1961) as Achha Bura in 1983. Raj Kapoor used to call Hrishi-da Babu Moshay. Hrishikesh Mukherjee penned the story of Anand in 1954,and the eponymous character was inspired by Raj Kapoor.