Mukherjee on a 2013 stamp of India
|Died||27 August 2006 (aged 83)|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
Hrishikesh Mukherjee (30 September 1922 – 27 August 2006) was an Indian film director, editor and writer regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of Indian cinema, known for a number of films, including Anari, Satyakam, Chupke Chupke, Asli Naqli, Anupama, Anand, Abhimaan, Gaban, Guddi, Gol Maal, Majhli Didi, Chaitali, Aashirwad, Bawarchi, Kissi Se Na Kehna, and Namak Haraam.
Popularly known as Hrishi-da, he directed 42 films during his career spanning over four decades, and is named the pioneer of the 'middle cinema' of India. Renowned for his social films that reflected the changing middle-class ethos, Mukherjee "carved a middle path between the extravagance of mainstream cinema and the stark realism of art cinema".
He also remained the chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The Government of India honoured him with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1999 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001. He received the NTR National Award in 2001 and he also won eight Filmfare Awards.
Early life and background
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was born in the city of Calcutta in pre-independence India (now Kolkata) to a Bengali family. He studied science and graduated in chemistry from the University of Calcutta. He taught mathematics and science for some time.
Mukherjee chose to begin working, initially as a cameraman, and then film editor, in B. N. Sircar's New Theatres in Calcutta in the late 1940s, where he learned his skills from Subodh Mitter ('Kenchida'), a well known editor of his times. He then worked with Bimal Roy in Mumbai as film editor and assistant director from 1951, participating in the landmark Roy films Do Bigha Zamin and Devdas.
His debut directorial venture, Musafir (1957), was not a success, but he persisted and received acclaim for his second film Anari in 1959. The film, crew and cast won five Filmfare Awards, with Mukherjee only losing the Best Director Award to his mentor, Bimal Roy.
In the following years he made numerous films. Some of his most notable films include: Anuradha (1960), Chhaya (1961), Asli-Naqli (1962), Gaban (1966), Anupama (1966), Aashirwad (1968), Satyakam (1969), Guddi (1971), Anand (1971), Bawarchi (1972), Abhimaan (1973), Namak Haraam (1973), Mili (1975), Chupke Chupke (1975), Alaap (1977), Gol Maal (1979), Khubsoorat (1980) and Bemisal (1982). He was the first to introduce Dharmendra in comedy roles, through Chupke Chupke, and gave Amitabh Bachchan his big break with Anand in 1970, along with Rajesh Khanna, he also introduced Jaya Bhaduri to Hindi cinema in his film Guddi. Having worked with his mentor, Bimal Roy as an editor, in films like Madhumati, he was much sought after as an editor as well.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award by the Government of India, in 1999. Mukherjee was chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification and of the National Film Development Corporation. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian cinema by government of India in 2001 . The International Film Festival of India honoured him with a retrospective of his films in November 2005. He holds the distinction of working with almost all the top Indian stars since independence of India in 1947.
In later life, Hrishikesh Mukherjee suffered from chronic kidney failure and would go to Lilavati Hospital for dialysis. He was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai early on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 after he complained of uneasiness. Mukherjee died ten weeks later on 27 August 2006.
Hrishikesh Mukherjee was married and has three daughters and two sons. His wife died more than three decades before him. His younger brother Dwarkanath Mukherjee helped write the screenplay for many of his films. He was an animal lover and had many dogs and sometimes an odd cat at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai. He used to stay alone with servants and pets in his last phase of life. Family members and friends would visit him regularly.
- 1956: Filmfare Best Editing Award: Naukari
- 1959: Filmfare Best Editing Award: Madhumati
- 1970: Filmfare Best Screenplay Award: Anokhi Raat
- 1972: Filmfare Best Movie Award: Anand shared with N. C. Sippy
- 1972: Filmfare Best Editing Award: Anand
- 1972: Filmfare Best Story Award: Anand
- 1981: Filmfare Best Movie Award: Khubsoorat shared with N. C. Sippy
- 1994: Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South (1994)
- 1957: Certificate of Merit for Third Best Feature Film in Hindi – Musafir
- 1959: President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi – Anari
- 1960: President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film – Anuradha
- 1966: President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi – Anupama
- 1968: President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi – Aashirwad
- 1969: President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi – Satyakam
- 1970: President's Silver Medal for Best Feature Film in Hindi – Anand
- 1999: Dada Saheb Phalke Award
Films as director
Films as editor, writer or assistant director
|1950||Maa||Editor, Assistant Director|
|1953||Do Bigha Zamin||Scenario, editor, Assistant Director|
|1955||Devdas||Co-editor with Das Dhaimade|||
|1961||Ganga Jumna||Co-editor with Das Dhaimade|
|1968||Mere Hamdam Mere Dost||Editor|
|1977||Anuroopa||One and only Kannada Film as editor|
- Hum Hindustani (1986)
- Talaash (1992)
- Dhoop Chhaon
- Ujaale Ki Or
- Agar Aisa Ho Toh
- Great Masters of Indian Cinema: The Dadasaheb Phalke Award Winners, by D. P. Mishra, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 2006. ISBN 81-230-1361-2. page 122.
- Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterjee, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Encyclopædia Britannica (India) Pvt Ltd. p. 592. ISBN 81-7991-066-0.
- The common man lure of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's films Rediff.com.
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee's best films Special Photo feature, Rediff.com, 28 August 2006.
- Duara, Ajit (3 September 2006). "A touch of realism". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Remembering Hrishikesh Mukherjee Archived 5 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine Hindustan Times, 26 August 2008
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee Biography Archived 15 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine on winning, the 31st Dada Saheb Phalke Award.
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee Upperstall.com.
- Remembering Hrishida Rediff.com, 28 August 2006.
- "Hrishikesh Mukherjee wins Dadasaheb Phalke Award". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007.
- Hrishikesh Mukherjee is dead.The Times of India, 27 August 2006.
- Filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee dead CNN-IBN, 28 August 2006.
- Veteran Bollywood director dies BBC News, 27 August 2006.
- Awards Internet Movie Database
- "Best Screenplay Award". Filmfare Award Official Listings, Indiatimes. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- "Lifetime Achievement Award (South) winners down the years..."
- "5th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- "7th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "8th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- "Devdas film".