Writer-director Meghna Gulzar, daughter of poet and lyricist Gulzar and actress Rakhee Gulzar, has made commercially and critically successful films that focus on social issues. She began her career as a writer, then worked as an assistant director and eventually started making her own feature films. On the occasion of her birthday, we take a look at the five best films directed by her.
In Meghna Gulzar’s directorial debut film, best friends Rewa (Tabu) and Sia (Sushmita Sen) are happily married to Dhruv (Sanjay Suri) and Sahil (Palash Sen), respectively. When Rewa is unable to conceive a child, Sia agrees to become a surrogate mother to help her. The film explores the conflicting emotions associated with surrogacy. Released in 2002, the film was a critical success, but couldn’t translate the same into box office numbers.
Dus Kahaniyaan (2007)
In this anthology of ten stories, Meghna Gulzar directs the segment Puranmashi (Full Moon Night). A woman named Mala (Amrita Singh), who is in a loveless marriage, decides to reunite with her secret lover while her daughter Mini (Minissha Lamba) is about to get married. The decision leads to tragic consequences.
Based on the Aarushi Talwar double homicide case from 2008, Talvar looks at the actual crime through conflicting perspectives where the parents (Neeraj Kabi and Konkona Sen Sharma) either appear guilty or innocent. The late Irrfan Khan plays Ashwin Kumar – joint director of an investigative agency, who believes that the parents are innocent. He, however, gets replaced by another investigating team which concludes that the parents are guilty. Vishal Bhardwaj won a National Film Award for the screenplay.
Raazi is based on Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat, which fictionalised true accounts about an undercover operation prior to the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. The film is about Sehmat Khan (Alia Bhatt), a spy for the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) who marries a Pakistani Army officer named Iqbal Syed (Vicky Kaushal) to learn about the neighbouring country’s plans against India. This was Meghna’s first film to cross Rs 100 crore at the box office, while also being critically hailed.
Loosely based on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal’s life, Chhapaak tells the story of Malti (Deepika Padukone), an acid attack survivor who campaigns for a ban on the unregulated sale of dangerous acids. Padukone won a Dada Saheb Phalke Award for her performance.