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ASHUTOSH GOWARIKAR: “Hum Filmein Banaayenge Jee Jaan Sey”

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He (Ashutosh) may have received any number of awards on the national and international level, including his film Lagaan being nominated for the Oscar in the foreign film category, but I think what Nitin Chandrakant Desai, the well-known art director said about him during the shooting of his film Jodha Akbar which was almost entirely shot in his studio, N D Studio; is much more prestigious than any award. Nitin had said , “Aisi film banaane ke liye Jigar chaayiye , Aisi film banaane ke liye josh AUR deewangee dono chaayiye aur ye sab gunn surf Ashutosh Gowarikar mein maine dekhe hai ” – …Ali Peter John

Sometimes how one meeting which grows into a friendship can make a very big difference to the friends.

Aamir Khan and Ashutosh Gowarikar, two young actors were shooting for Ketan Mehta’s Holi and they struck up a friendship which was to play a big part in the history of Indian cinema.

They worked on a script about a cricket match between the soldiers of the British Army and the local inhabitants who were harassed because of a cruel tax . The script led to the making of a film on a very huge canvas . There was talk about Aamir directing the film but the two friends had several discussions and decided that Ashutosh would direct the film and Aamir would produce under his banner, Aamir Khan Production and the two friends spared no effort, pain or money to make Lagaan and the film turned out to be a landmark and a masterpiece. The result was that Ashutosh had established himself as a director and Aamir as a producer who had the will to take risks.

I salute Ashutosh for the guts he has and pray that he keeps making films like these

Aashutosh seemed to be a lover of history and in most of the films he made , it can be seen how he has taken pages and chapters from Indian history and breathed life into them. Among the films he made with history as the backdrop have been Jodha Akbar , Mohenjo-Daro, and Panipat. Hrithik Roshan who played Akbar in Jodha Akbar once said ,” I cannot understand how the mind of Ashutosh works and find it extremely difficult to even imagine how he can dare to make such big films which involve so much of hard work and discipline besides all the money that goes in without any guarantee of the money coming back. I salute Ashutosh for the guts he has and pray that he keeps making films like these which can challenge actors and writers and give Indian cinema a name ” . Not everyone who has worked with Ashutosh can express their feelings about Ashutosh like Hrithik but they certainly have the same kind of feelings and respect for Ashutosh , who someone called ” the modern day combination of Mehboob Khan and K Asif “.

One major aspect of Ashutosh’s making historical films besides all the appreciation is the hundreds and even thousands of men , women and children finding work and being paid good wages and being paid in time . Like the owner of a stable of horses said ” aaj kal ghodon ko koi poochta nahi aur ghode aur insaan dono bekaar bhi hai aur bhooke bhi hai. Ek yahi Ashutosh hai jo aisi filmein banaata hai jisse hum sab ka bhala hota hai

But Ashutosh has also given big actresses like Ashwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra

Ashutosh GowarikarAshutosh is known for giving his heroes the kind of roles they don’t find in the films of other directors and all the leading heroes wait for opportunities to work with him even if they are paid a lesser price than they charge other filmmakers. But Ashutosh has also given big actresses like Ashwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra roles that have helped them emerge as actresses more than the glamour dolls they have to play for the money or for their glamour and glitter.

Ashutosh GowarikarBut Ashutosh has also made lighter and entertaining films like Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se, What’s Your Raashi and a couple of others but these films have not given him the success and fame that his bigger films based on history and historical characters have .

His last film Panipat was not a success , but he still plans to make other, bigger and more difficult to make films .

Ashutosh GowarikarHe was to take a new turn just before the lockdown and was to make an unusual film about women behind the Lijjat Papad movement , but nothing more has been heard about the film. He was also planning a film which was to bring back Rajiv Kapoor as an actor …..

Rajiv died an unexpected death last week and his untimely death is a reminder that making films can be a very dicey game , but like Ashutosh says in the title of his film , ” Khelege Hum Jee Jaan Sey”Ashutosh Gowarikar

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