There are many film directors. Some are over rated while some are under rated. In my view Bansali is highly over rated, thanks to media. Media tries its best to over rate or under rate anyone they choose to. In late 50s media gave a verdict that Dilip Kumar was over shdowed by Raj Kumar. Similarly, in mid 80s they gave another verdict that Vinod Khanna had over taken Amitabh. What a joke! Don’t believe me? See the archives of newspapers and Magazines.
Sorry for shifting from directors to actors. In my view Guru Dutt was another over rated director. His films Pyasa and Kaghaz ke phool were appeciated largely because of Sahir and Azmi.
Take Biall Roy and Bansali. They made Devdas based on the same novel. Bimal Roy’s Devdas is realistic apart from excelling in naturalism. Bansali’s lacks in both. Realism is about treatment of a subject, while naturalism is about external factors such as settings, attire, customs and traditions of the period etc.
Realism is not photographic representation of life or just a slice of life. There is something called artistic liberty, but that liberty has to create suspension of disbelief as well. There are two aspects—probable impossibility and impossible probability. It is the director who has to visualise and select probable inpossibility while taking liberty with the subject.
In one scene in Bansali’s Devdas you have Mrs Kher running through a hall. She is shown running for a number of minutes and the hall seems to get lengthier. If one were to combine Diwan e aam and khas of Agra fort the length would look shorter than Bansali’s hall.
Then I saw a film called Black. Amitabh is shown shouting at a dumb, deaf and blind girl in the name of teaching. Mind you, this film was highly acclaimed and had received very good crtical acclaim. How the girl responds to this shouting and then benefit by it and thereby learns to lead a normal life is a matter of mystery to me. This was a case of impossible probability.
Let us take Lagaan. It is an insult to the game of cricket. We must seek the opinion of Sunil Gavaskar to know if a team can be formed the way it was done in Lagaan. The director depended solely on patriotic feelings of the viewers for success.
Another case of impossible probability! If the film were made in a comic genre, it would have been better.
The there was swadesh. The lead actor is a NASA employee. He is shown directing the operations of NASA over telephone. He is very indispensable to NASA. The film should have ended with the collapse of NASA when the lead character returned to India for good.
We do have very good directors in Shyam Benegal, Kunal Kohli and Prakash Jha.
I have chosen only those films, which were critically acclaimed.