We have often noticed that the achievements of directors who are known for making commercial entertainers, seldom get the recognition from the media. Be it Manmohan Desai, who was dissed upon by the media in the 70’s and 80’s, or his disciple, David Dhawan, or more recently, Rohit Shetty, who often faced backlash from the critics from making films that are devoid of logic.
The opinions of critics aside, both Manmohan Desai, David Dhawan and Rohit Shetty won over the audiences’ time and again by delivering hits and super-hits at regular intervals.
While we will highlight the achievements of Manmohan Desai and Rohit Shetty in a different article, the audience never paid attention to the negativity surrounded around David Dhawan films in the media. In his career spanning for over 29 years, David Dhawan directed 43 films and is heading towards the half century mark. Till date, David Dhawan has directed 19 hit films, and the will soon become the only director to have delivered 20 hit films.
The David Dhawan – Govinda Era:
Although his first three directorial i.e. Taaqatwar, Gola Barood and Aag Ka Gola failed to work at the Box-Office, he finally delivered a hit in the form of Swarg (1990), which was a family drama. The film, starring Govinda and Rajesh Khanna in lead was also the beginning of a new director – actor hit pairing in the industry in the form of Govinda and David Dhawan.
While Swarg was the first hit for David Dhawan, two years later he came up with another successful film, Shola Aur Shabnam, which was a romantic comedy. 1992 was extremely crucial in David Dhawan’s career as his releases that year i.e. Shola Aur Shabnam and Bol Radha Bol, cemented his position as an established director in the industry.
An interesting point to note here is that none of the 3 hits delivered by the director so far belonged to the comedy genre, which is David’s forte as a director. In 1993, Dhawan came up with Aankhen which featured Govinda and Chunky Pandey in a double role. The film proved to be the biggest hit of the year, and surpassed the collections of films like Darr, and Khalnayak which released in the same year. Aankhen went on to collect Rs 14 crore at the Box-Office, and till date is the biggest hit for David Dhawan in terms of ROI.
The film was also the beginning of David Dhawan building his brand of being the king of comedies. After Aankhen, David and Govinda teamed up for a few other hit films like Raja Babu, Coolie No. 1, Saajan Chale Sasural, Hero No. 1, Deewana Mastana, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Haseena Maan Jayegi and Jodi No.1 to name a few. David Dhawan directed Govinda in 17 films and 10 out of them proved to be a success at the Box-Office.
The David Dhawan – Salman Khan Era:
Till 1996, the industry and audience got accustomed to the successful pair of David Dhawan and Govinda, but not many knew that 1997 would mark the beginning of another director actor bonding. David Dhawan teamed up with Salman Khan for the first time on Judwaa and needless to say, the film was highly successful at the Box-Office. After Judwaa, the two teamed up on successful films like Biwi No. One, Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, and Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya. David has directed Salman in 8 films and six out of them proved to be successful films.
In 2007, the director came up with one of the most hyped films of the year, Partner. The film was keenly awaited as it marked the coming together of David Dhawan with two of his favourite stars i.e. Salman Khan and Govinda. The film lived onto the hype and went on to become one of the highest grossing films of the year.
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The David Dhawan – Varun Dhawan Era:
David Dhawan’s son Varun Dhawan made a debut in the Hindi film industry in 2012 with Student of The Year. After the success of the Karan Johar directorial, Sr. Dhawan teamed up with his son on Main Tera Hero followed up by Judwaa 2 and both the films were successful at the Box-Office. As per media reports, David Dhawan has not decided to cast Varun in all his films and this is indeed the beginning of a new era in the director’s career, who has seen nothing but success over the last 29 years.
Dhawan has mastered in the art of directing the kind of films loved by the Pan-Indian audience, and the art of delivered hit films has not faded even 29 years after his debut in this industry. An interesting point to note here is that Dhawan has not just directed but also edited most of his directorial ventures. From the limited data available, David Dhawan indeed holds the record of delivering maximum hit films as far as a director is concerned, defeating the likes of Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Rohit Shetty, Karan Johar, Sooraj Barjatya, Aditya Chopra, Ramesh Sippy and Vijay Anand to name a few.
Although the director has not delivered as big a blockbuster as Subhash Ghai or Yash Chopra or Manmohan Desai or Ramesh Sippy, one can’t take away the fact that he is indeed the official HIT machine of Bollywood.
Here’s a list of HIT films delivered by the ace-director:
Shola Aur Shabnam: Hit
Bol Radha Bol: Hit
Raja Babu: Super Hit
Coolie No. 1: Super Hit
Saajan Chale Sasural: Super Hit
Hero No. 1: Super Hit
Deewana Mastana: Hit
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan: Hit
Biwi No. 1: Super Hit
Haseena Maan Jayegi: Hit
Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge: Hit
Jodi No. 1: Hit
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi: Hit
Partner: Super Hit
Chashme Badoor: Hit
Judwaa 2: Super Hit
Apart from the above-mentioned films, the likes of Loafer, Mr. & Mrs Khiladi, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, and Main Tera Hero were also fairly successful films at the Box-Office, however failed to attain the hit tags. They were above average (Semi Hit) at the Box-Office.