A man of multiple talents, Ashutosh Gowariker has been making films for decades now. Over the years, he has donned several hats in his career. Surveying his filmography, one can discover that the filmmaker embraced patriotism much before Bollywood picked it up. He is an equally talented actor, and has featured in films like Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Chamatkar and National Award-winning film, Ventilator. Ashutosh is well-known for his period dramas and trials with the genre. He is admired for his storytelling process and screenplay, which sets him apart from his contemporaries. As the ace filmmaker turns a year older today, let’s look back at some of the memorable films directed by him.
This film became one of the most iconic movies in Bollywood. It went on to gain a cult following and almost instantly catapulted Ashutosh Gowariker and Aamir Khan to success and fame. The story revolves around how the dhoti-clad Indian villagers rise above religion and caste to beat the suited-booted British at their own game. A critical and commercial success, the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Based on the subject of patriotism, this film extracted one of Shah Rukh Khan’s most memorable performances. This masterpiece had SRK light up the screen with an endearing simplicity. The story revolves around Mohan Bhargava who decides to return to his hometown in India instead of enjoying the American Dream. The NASA engineer rediscovers his roots upon return and works to bring electricity to his village. SRK delivered his finest performance and also his least ostentatious.
Jodhaa Akbar (2008)
Riveting and well-cast, Jodhaa Akbar is known for its opulent and magnificent sets and the majestic characters. The stunning chemistry between Mughal emperor Akbar and Rajput princess, Jodhaa Bai, played by Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai made this film a delight to watch. Jodhaa Akbar with its larger-than-life detailing can easily feature in the top five among all the historical period dramas made in Bollywood. Ashutosh, who has mastered the art of making period films, showed that he has a keen eye for details and dealt every aspect with utmost perfection.
Mohenjo Daro (2016)
This epic tale marked the second collaboration between Ashutosh Gowariker and Hrithik Roshan. Although the film did not fare well at the box-office, the CGI effects, the aesthetics and film sets of Mohenjo Daro were commendable. The plot is set in the backdrop of Mohenjo Daro in the Indus Valley civilization. The story revolves around a man who rises against a dictatorial senate chief to seek revenge and save the civilisation.
Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010)
The film is based on the novel Do and Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34 by Manini Chatterjee. It follows Surya Sen portrayed by Abhishek Bachchan as he and his group of revolutionaries lead an armoury onslaught against the British. The film garnered positive responses on its opening from the critics. While the story and recreation of the era worked well, the film’s duration was unrewarded.