Directors From Parallel Cinema Entering Mainstream Bollywood

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Saeed Akhtar Mirza’s Naseem (1995) is a tender film dealing with a sensitive subject like communal violence without portraying bloodshed. He has an impressive portfolio comprising Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989), Arvind Desai Ki Ajeeb Dastaan (1978), Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho (1984), Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyon Aata Hai (1980), to name just a few. When he suddenly disappeared from the scene to focus on writing books, it was a major loss for lovers of good cinema.

A hiatus is not unheard of in the case of creative people who have their inner compulsions to battle with, who need to decide whether they should make the next film or not. Many offbeat filmmakers appeared to lose steam. Kundan Shah comes to mind first. The auteur who gave us unforgettable Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983) was seen struggling to find a foothold in the choppy waters of commercial cinema with Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994) starring Shah Rukh Khan and Suchitra Krishnamoorthy. While Kundan Shah remained active behind the camera till his last years, he failed to repeat the earlier magic in the commercial format. This raises the question of whether a filmmaker should stick to the kind of cinema he believes in or make adjustments to stay afloat and keep making all kinds of movies in the hope of finding success.

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