They say cinema must make you question things, force you to find answers and make you restless. It seems like there is one filmmaker in Bollywood who has taken that too seriously and takes extra effort to master that definition with each passing film. And that director is none other than Sriram Raghavan. The filmmaker, over the years, has not just defined a genre but become one, and there is no doubt there cannot be another Raghavan.
Sriram Raghavan began his journey with the thing he loved, the suspense and the mystery of it all. Sriram relies heavily on the intricacies of his scripting and the referencing in his making. Now we all know the alluring homages he paid in his last directorial feature Andhadhun. One homage was even credited to Chayageet and Chitrahaar! A whole new segment of audiences discovered the filmmaker through the Ayushmann Khurrana starrer.
There is no way one could talk about Sriram Raghavan without mentioning his feature Johnny Gaddaar that starred Neil Nitin Mukesh. Too ahead of its time, this Neil starrer is a noir that was dedicated to Vijaya Anand and James Hadley Chase. The film that had the actor in one of his career-best performances was a treat for the fans of perfectly layered worlds.
No one ever thought Varun Dhawan could pull off a character created by Sriram Raghavan. But surprisingly, he did. Also starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Badlapur was a film where the lines between a protagonist and the antagonist blurred. They all dealt in their greys as they seek revenge for their conflicts.
Ek Haseena Thi
The world wasn’t ready for the phenomenon Sriram Raghavan was about to begin, and boom! Released Ek Haseena Thi starring Saif Ali khan and Urmila Matondkar. This was Raghavan advertising what he stands for. The movie gave Bollywood one of its most complex and layered woman in Urmila, and her god-level range is a treat. Also, the sudden change in dynamics wasn’t something we were prepared for that.
The Eight Column Affair
This was Sriram Raghavan 1987 short film that is the most unthought-of concept. It is a race against time. An athlete who is featured on the first page of the newspaper, falls in love with another athlete featured on the last page. Fun fact, the film was edited by Rajkumar Hirani.