5 Films By Ashutosh Gowariker Not To Be Missed

Ashutosh Gowariker….classy  well-researched aesthetic  epics.Sure, some of them  didn’t work at  the  boxofffice. But his commitment to telling a  story that is honest decent and engaging is unflinching. Here are  the Gowariker  epics that  cannot afford to miss.

1.     Lagaan(2001): The only Indian  film  since Mehboob Khan’s Mother India  to make it into  the Oscars  nomination shortlist  of  Best Foreign  Films, Lagaan is  to   Bollywoodcinema what  Amitabh Bachchan is to Hindi cinema.A touchstone  of massy excellence,no one thought it would last  in the  theatres  for more than a week. It went  on  to be  a monumental success. According to me this  is Aamir Khan’s best  film to date.

2.     Swades(2004): No one  thought  Gowariker  would  go to Shah Rukh Khan  after Lagaan(and those irresponsible  reports that  this film came to  SRK  after  AK  turned it down  deserve  to be sneeringly ignored).This sparsely-told undecorated and  unassuming masterpiece  just gets  to you with its purity of heart. I always feel  a  filmmaker’s personality is reflected in  his work. Every frame  had  Gowariker’s  scrupulous stamp. If Lagaan  was Aamir’s finest Swades remains SRK’s most honest  and least stylized  performance  to date.So many NRIs decided to come after  watching this film.

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3.     Jodhaa-Akbar(2008):  Stripping away  the extravagance of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s cinema, this costume drama  showed how  the minimalist approach works to  optimum  effect when applied to those who lead royal lives. And though Hrithik Roshan’s body language  was all wrong, Aishwarya  made up  for it. She has never looked lovelier or performed with more sincerity  in any of her films  not even Hum…Dil De Chuke Sanam.

4.     What’s  You Rashi(2009):  Though the  film failed , I consider this a  brave and honourable  failure.And by far, Priyanka Chopra’s best performance  to date.She played  12 different roles,one  each for every horoscope sign. But the film was  more than a  showreel  for  Priyanka’s  versatility.  It  showed   the multifarious  aspects  of  femininity  and how  a woman’s personality  is weighed down by the demands  of  the marriage market.You could see  this  film as  12 different films ,each  with a virtuoso  performance  by Mrs Jonas.

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5.     Panipat(2019):  Whoever  was  comparing this beautiful and austere  , illuminating and idealistic  historical drama  with Sanjay Bhansali’s  Bajirao Mastani will eat back his words  after seeing what Gowariker has achieved . Panipat is a  far superior work to  any costume-historical drama in recent times. It is ravishing without being showy,  engaging without trying to grab our attention, noble  and edifying in equal measures.And yes , just as  Lagaan is Aamir’s  best, Swades is SRK’s  best, Jodhaa-Akbar is Aishwarya’s best and  What’s Your  Rashi is Priyanka’s  best. Panipat is Arjun Kapoor’s finest. This Kapoor has finally arrived.

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