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Sui Dhaaga director Sharat Katariya and Patakha auteur Vishal Bharadwaj: Clash of heartland heroes

As Sui Dhaaga and Patakha, two films set in Indian heartland and steeped in local mores, go head-to-head this Friday, here’s a primer on their directors Sharat Katariya and Vishal Bhardwaj.

bollywood Updated: Sep 27, 2018 12:43 IST
Sui Dhaaga,Patakha,Sharat Katariya
Vishal Bhardwaj’s Patakha will clash with Sharat Katariya’s Sui Dhaaga this Friday at box office.

Bollywood and its audience may place the spotlight firmly on a film’s stars but it is the one sitting on the director’s chair who brings to life a screenplay, gives it a direction and imbues it with a spirit. This Friday, two movies are set to clash head-on at the box office -- Anushka Sharma and Varun Dhawan’s Sui Dhaaga and Sanya Malhotra and Radhika Madan’s Patakha. While both the films seem interesting in their own right, it’s the films’ very talented directors that need a special mention.

Sui Dhaaga is directed by the fairly nascent Sharat Katariya while Patakha is the latest in Vishal Bharadwaj’s expansive filmography. Sharat has previously directed two movies, of which one was a rather small production. Vishal, on the other hand, has made almost a dozen movies.

Sharat Katariya’s Sui Dhaaga and Vishal Bhardwaj’s Patakha release this Friday.

Vishal is known for his poetic storytelling and luscious dialogues. He is said to bring out the best in his actors and is often the one who got them their first awards with his movies. Vishal also has a penchant for recreating William Shakespeare’s works in the rural Indian setting and more often than not, his work is met with critical appreciation. His movies in the Shakespeare trilogy include Maqbool, Omkara and Haider, which are also seen as three of his best works.

Maqbool (2003) is adapted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth with Pankaj Kapoor, Tabu and Irrfan Khan in the lead roles. Irrfan played Maqbool in the film, a man who unfortunately falls in love with his boss’s wife. Getting him drunk on her love, she pushes him to kill her husband and make her his own. The film delivers one of the best representations of a man’s dilemma and guilty consciousness as he dreams up unlikely scenarios and dissolves under the heaviness of his heart. Shakespearen Ghosts and Fools too make a subtle and intelligent appearance in the film.

Irrfan starred in and as Maqbool.

His other critically appreciated films include Shahid Kapoor’s Kaminey and Haider, Ajay Devgn’s Omkara, his first film Makdee and Pankaj Kapoor’s The Blue Umbrella. However, quite a few of his films failed to get a similar kind of critical and box office reception including 7 Khoon Maaf, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola and most recently, Rangoon.

Rangoon (2007), starring Saif Ali Khan, Kangana Ranaut and Shahid Kapoor, was widely panned upon its release. The film didn’t prove successful at the ticket counters either.

Vishal Bhardwaj’s Rangoon failed to impress.

Sharat, meanwhile, is still building up his filmography. His first film, a rather small venture, also has something in common with Vishal. 10 ml Love was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, starring Rajat Kapoor, Tisca Chopra and Tara Sharma. The film was a chaotic romantic comedy about a love potion that made someone fall in love with the first person they set eyes on. Things get messy when the potion is not used properly, forming an unfortunate quadrangle of love.

Sharat’s 10 ml Love was inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

However, it was with 2015’s Dum Laga Ke Haisha that he finally came into his own. The finely layered film set in the 90s Hardwar told the story of a man struggling to fall in love with the overweight woman he has married. Bhumi plays the character to perfection as a woman who is burdened not just by her weight but also the fear that love may just be out of her reach. Ayushmann, too, gives an impressive performance as the imperfect man looking for perfection in his partner.

The film is one of the freshest musical love stories to get made in the last few years in Bollywood and one that stands out in a crowd of small town romances.

Dum laga Ke Haisha was an intimate portrayal of the 90s and the push and shove entailed in a marriage.

Apart from their work as directors, both Sharat and Vishal have also written for movies. Sharat is the writer behind films like Bheja Fry and Titli while Vishal recently wrote Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar. He is also an award-winning songwriter and composer. He usually gives music to his own films and has also given a stunning soundtrack to films like Ishqiya. His hit songs include Beedi Jalaile from Omkara and Darling from Saat Khoon Maaf.

So could Sui Dhaaga be the second addition to Sharat’s list of successful movies and will Vishal finally break out of a slump with Patakha? We’ll find out this Friday.

First Published: Sep 27, 2018 12:41 IST