There is a rarity of filmmakers, who like to experiment and present path-breaking stories in Bollywood. Amongst a handful of such directors, R. Blaki is one name who balances well between the commercial and niche audience. His films are unique but due to the well built emotional connect, Balki makes the simplest of stories look classy on celluloid.
The director has so far given three films to the industry which have been based on truly enriching content. Also for him, the second best thing after a strong content has been the star cast. After the two well acclaimed films, Cheeni Kum and Paa, the director recently released his third film Shamitabh.
Starring a powerful star like Amitabh Bachchan in all the three films, the director’s ability to cast him in all three diverse characters is truly commendable. His debut film Cheeni Kum was not exactly a deal-breaker at the box office but the film performed decently and was lauded for its unique story-line. Though the film took a poor opening, Cheeni Kum was a semi hit at the box office, that made a gross business of INR 237.5 million (US$3.7 million).
His second outing with Amitabh Bachchan was the critically acclaimed Paa which had Big B playing a 13 year old, suffering from a rare disorder called Progeria. The film won accolades for its honest performances by Amitabh Bachchan and even fetched him a National award for it. At the Box Office front, Paa with a approximate budget of INR150 million (US$2.4 million), fetched INR310 million (US$4.9 million).
Both Paa and Cheeni Kum films gave the director the tag of a out-of-the box filmmaker. His recent release Shamitabh has again been praises galore thanks to excellent performances by Dhanush and Amitabh Bachchan. The film has performed decently in its first weekend as it collected 13.50 crores nett and the performance is quite similar to his previous films. Paa had gathered approximate 17 crores nett in 7 Days, which clearly indicates that Shamitabh is doing quite well on the Box Office front.
With performance driven films, Balki has made a mark in the industry. He may not excel at making massy films that break box office records but his direction is intelligent and defines realistic cinema.