Happy Birthday Ashutosh Gowariker: He has given us characters like Bhuvan (Aamir Khan in Lagaan) who’s raging patriotism still runs in our blood. He has drawn characters like Mohan whose simplicity and honesty touched our hearts. He sketched the story of Jodha and Akbar and the tale still remains fresh in our hearts. Ashutosh Gowariker is not just one of the finest directors of Bollywood, but a visionary filmmaker who wins the audience with his sincere storytelling technique.
His reel heroes have always etched our hearts and his stories have carved our souls. His film Lagaan was a revolution upon its release, but what remains epic is how he went with the scrip to almost every other actor in B’town back then for a nod to be his Bhuvan. Who knew Bhuvan would be marked in as one of the most iconic characters in the history of Indian Cinema. Who knew, the man could change an Indian theatre into a cricket stadium with people cheering after each delivery, very well knowing how all of it is choreographed. That’s the craft that Ashutosh Gowariker draws for his audience, that’s the craft he refuses to compromise on, come what may.
His wife, producer Sunita Gowariker had commented how the filmmaker refused to entertain her and art director Nitin Desai’s request that the walls of the set for Agra Fort be brought down from the original 70 to 45 feet, given the budget constraints during the shoot of Jodha Akbar. Who would have noticed the measurements of walls? Well, it did matter for Ashutosh.
“He doesn’t compromise on his craft. He doesn’t cheat himself and his audience. Of course, any producer would want a film to be made with less money. I keep telling him, ‘Oh my God! Not again. Why can’t you think normal?’ But I know he enjoys creating another world.” Sunita had mentioned in one of her interviews.
It is his sincerity that the director today is a visionary. His films, his characters, his approach for his films and his craft together makes him one of the most iconic filmmakers of today’s time. While he celebrates his 55th birthday today, we wish him a very Happy Birthday and hope that he continues to escalate his vision.