Madhur Bhandarkar was born in a Maharashtrian Saraswat Brahmin family. He ran a video library at Khar which gave him access to a huge collection of movies and attracted him to the world of movies. He was very fascinated by the movies made by Guru Dutt and Vijay Anand.
Madhur got his first break in Hindi films as an assistant to director Ashok Gaekwad in the film Doodh Ka Karz (1990). He went on to assist Ramgopal Varma on three films including the superhit Rangeela (1995) (where he played a small role as well). He finally got a break to direct his first film from producer Rafiq Latiwaala with Trishakti (1999) which was considered to be a safe, commercial film. The movie sank without a trace but Madhur’s directorial ability was appreciated. Madhur went introspect and decided to make films which were close to his heart and mirrored the reality.
Madhur approached R. Mohan with a script based on the life of a girl working in a dance bar. Mohan who had seen Trishakti, agreed to produce the song-less Chandni Bar (2001) starring Tabu. The film went on to be a commercial as well as critical success. The film went on to win 7 awards including 4 National Awards and carved a niche for Madhur in Bollywood.
Madhur’s next films Satta (2003) based on the political power play and Aan: Men At Work (2004), an action film based on the life of police officers, saw lukewarm response at the box-office. In 2004, Madhur was allegedly accused for casting couch and dragged to the court by an actress Preeti Jain. She stated that she slept with him from 1999 to 2004 as he promised her a role in a movie and marriage. Preeti was later arrested in September 2005, when she paid the underworld to have Madhur killed. In January 2006m this complaint against Madhur was dismissed by police who found all the allegations to be false. Madhur made a striking comeback with the trilogy of hard hitting social films Page 3 (2005), Corporate (2006) and Traffic Signal (2007). Page 3 based on the behind the scenes look at the A list celebrities, won a National Award for the best film and became a surprise hit at the box-office.
Madhur is directing a film based on the life in the world of fashion starring Priyanka Chopra and Kangana Ranaut. The film aptly titled Fashion is “Under Production” and expected to release in 2008.
Madhur’s innovative and bold story-telling has got him a slew of awards. He won the Golden Lotus National Award in 2005 for best film for Page 3 and the Silver Lotus National Award in 2002 for best film on other social issues for Chandni Bar. He has also won the Screen Award for Best Story for Chandni Bar in 2002. Recently, he won the National award for the best director for Traffic Signal.
Madhur married his girl friend Renu Namboodri on 15th December, 2003 in Mumbai. They have a daughter Siddhi who happens to share her birthday with Shabana Azmi.
In Rangeela, Madhur plays an Asst director to Steven Kapoor and is there in a single scene where informs the latter that a BEST bus cannot be organised for the shoot.