Indian cinema has seen a drastic improvement in past 15-20 years in terms of scripts,subjects and performances courtesy some directors who have tried to travel the road less travelled and made some unique cinema without using established stars but solely through unique story telling.
In the times where we are used to saying that the quality has deteriorated for different things that touch our lives, if there is one thing which has improved drastically in last 15-20 years, it is the kind of cinema that we see. But this change did not take place automatically. This has been due to some directors who with their movies ventured into areas hitherto less travelled. These directors have continuously and consistently touched subjects which are unique and more importantly have entertained us by making cinema on those subjects. Movies like Udaan, Masaan, Madras Café, Vicky Donor are a testimony to this transition. Also,not only movies, these directors while telling their story to the world have also given us some of the finest actors and performances and have tried to shy away from using stars to grab the eyeballs.Examining the contribution of some of them:
1)Ram Gopal Verma: With movies like Siva, Satya and later with Company, Sarkar, Ramu took us to that dark world of crime and criminals , a world which was very close to reality and not superficial and where Indian cinema had not entered.His characters used to die with a single bullet and seemed very real.He made no nonsense movies which were very near to the real world.Through his movies , he gave us actors like Manoj Vajpayee(Bheeku Mhatre in Satya) and directors like Anurag Kashyap and Madhu Bhandarkar assisted him before jumping into making movies.He also produced crtitically acclaimed movies like Ab Tak Chappan,Shool ,Road. Rangeela remains both his and Amir Khan’s one of the best work.
2) Anurag Kashyap: Remember that gripping chase sequence in Black Friday through the most dirty and congested lanes of Mumbai ,that is Anurag Kashyap , as real as it can get. Kashyap’s cinema is dark and is very real (the way he treated Dev D). Although beating Black Friday is difficult but Kashyap has maintained his high benchmarks with movies like Gulaal, Gangs of Waseypur.His recent work Ugly being one of his darkest movies.He has shied away from directing stars (except Ranbir Kapoor in Bombay Velvet) and he wont shy away from directing your neighbour if that suits the script. He also institutionalized the change in movie making through his production Phantom and AK films and has given movies like Udaan,Lunchbox,Masaan.He through his movies also gave us some interesting lyrical and musical work done by Piyush Mishra, Sneha Khanwalkar and Varun Grover.
3)Tigmanshu Dhulia: In one of his interview Tigmanshu tells us that in order to convince producers of his movie he first shot the climax of his debut movie as director Haasil (in Allahabad) and beautifully captured the Magh Mela. Haasil thereafter became a cult movie and has some the most widely used and catchy dialogues, it also has one of the best work of Irfan as Ranvijay Singh. Being a Allahabadi it is a personal favourite. But Tigmanshu did not stop there, again partnered Irfan and gave us one of the best movie of our times Paan Singh Tomar in which Irfan is lethal as protagonist and movie itself is a brilliant piece of story telling.Saheb Bibi Gangster/Returns and Shagird are some of his other notable work. Tigmanshu through his cinema gave us another fine actor Jimmy Shergill with whom he has made multiple movies.
4) Aanand Rai: Although , he had a bit shaky start with movies like Strangers, but if there is one contemporary director (other could be Imitiaz Ali) who changed the way we see love stories on big screen its him. Be it Tanu Weds Manu/Returns or Ranjhana , he presented love stories to us in a completely new way.While Ranjhana did not have a happy ending , shades of Kangana Ranaut’s character as presented in Tanu Weds Manu/Returns was yet undiscovered by Hindi cinema.His stories revolve around small cities and perfectly capture the demeanour of the city.In his next movie Rai is partnering Shahrukh Khan and the movie will be eagerly awaited
5)Neeraj Pandey: Although a bit late entrant , by the time he arrived multiplexes and the directors above discussed had sufficiently changed the cinematic world , nevertheless his contribution to the contemporary cinema and the way he uplifted the kind of scripts/subjects we see cannot be ignored.With movies as The Wednesday,Special 26 , Baby and recently MS Dhoni he has traversed different unique subjects and keeps surprising and delighting us with