Success is never easy, the rocky road to it and the arduous task of maintaining it needs a lot of effort. The film industry is a plane where the glamour, glitz and shine overpowers the sheen of hardwork and determination. Entering this industry and making your mark without the support of any insider is considered to be an achievement.
One such film maker who has managed to weather the storm and emerge successful without any industry godfather is film maker Madhur Bhandarkar. Madhur is known to be a master at storytelling who prefers telling people the hard-hitting truth, instead of sugar-coated, candy-flossed tales of love or rich children going on a soul searching trip.
Madhur is from a Maharashtrian family and was raised in Mumbai. He hails from a family that was not financially strong as his father worked as an electrical contractor. He was not a keen student and failed STD 6. He decided to drop out of school and began working as an errand boy at a video library. His job was to deliver video cassettes on a cycle to people in Juhu and Bandra, including celebrities. He did this for several years but over time the video cassettes business saw a dramatic fall and he decided to go to Muscat to stay with my sister and find work. However, that didn’t last long as he wanted to come back and make films.
Time and again success tests a person’s strength on different parameters and only those who manage to stand tall after crossing all the hurdles are the ones who get to keep the badge. He first began doing odd jobs at the studios and soon began assisting small-time directors. Ram Gopal Verma was one such director when he was making the blockbuster Rangeela and Madhur got to assist him.
After that Madhur wanted to make his own film but couldn’t get any big star to sign it so he made Trishakti with Arshad Warsi who was then a newcomer. The movie took three years to complete and became dated by the time it was released. Not to mention it the movie did not even get a proper release and performed poorly at the box office. It was a very bad patch of Madhur’s life and a big disaster for his career.
“I was staying in a one bedroom- hall and had no money. I used to travel in buses along with a lot of junior artistes and it was very embarrassing for me because sometimes they would even pay for my ticket,” he says.
Film industry takes failures very seriously. Madhur says he was told by everybody that his career was over. He was advised to go back to Muscat to find a job. But a fighter doesn’t give up and I don’t give up easily.
Madhur is known to show the underbelly of society in a way that was never seen or shown before. Be it the calculated competition of the corporate or the shadows of the fashion world, he has successfully told his stories. While ‘happy endings’ are not a norm of his films, he has managed to capture a slice of life of this society in a more realistic way.
He is the youngest film maker to have won the Padma Shri in 2016, which is the 4 highest civilian award. His movies Chandni Bar, Page 3 and Traffic Signal have been honoured with the national award. The central characters of all his movies are women and each film shows them dealing with the unforgiving society with gumption.
In an industry where women are like mere props to add the glamour quotient, Madhur has made a difference and that is why perhaps he has won himself admiration from people from all the strata of the society. With four national awards in his kitty, some hard hitting films and a list of controversies, this man has been like a phoenix rising up to an opportunity time and again.
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