Subhash Ghai

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Date of Birth : 24 January 1943
Birthname : NA

Mini Biography :
Ram Lakhan (1989), _Khalnayak (1993)_, Hero (1983/II), Karz (1980) ….grand films made by a grandiose director. Since 1976 Subhash has been directing films. But recently where has the fanfare and the fire gone from Mukta arts main director? Subhash started in 1976 with the film Kalicharan (1976), a film he made without any previous directorial experience. The film was rejected seven times before it came to NN Sippy who gave Ghai his shot. He followed this two years later with Vishwanath (1978) but struck big time with his third film, and first under his Mukta Arts banner, Karz (1980). With hit pairing of Rishi Kapoor and Tina Minium, Karz brought together Subhash & Laxmikant-Pyarelal. He then hit the audience with Hero (1983/II), starring an actor he would repeat many time in his future films, Jackie Shroff. This was his first film as the main protanganist. It also established Menakshi as a top heroine. In the first two weeks the film was declared a dud. However, from its third week onwards it went on to run at cinemas for many golden jubilees.

Again musically Ghai had the genious stroke of having Pakistan’s top singer Reshma sing Lambi Judaai with just 11 instruments. He hit next with _Meri Jung (1982)_ with Anil Kapoor and then he gave the term multi-starrer blockbuster its true home. Karma was released in 1986 with huge fanfare. The pre-production hype matched its pre-release hype with the rivalry of Dillip Kumar and Naseeruddin Shah. It was a superhit. Again new faces were brought in. Anupam Kher made his appearance as Dr. Dang. Ghai received a national award for making an anti-terrorism film. In his next film, one of Bollywood’s legends was born, Madhuri Dixit in Ram Lakhan (1989). Another superhit for a barely text-book script. Like his track record, Saudagar (1991), his next release united two icons together. Dillip Kumar and Raj Kumar. Again Ghai launched another star, Manisha Koirala. Another film another superhit. His next film was one of the most talked about films of its time and could match any film today for column space. Sanjay as the bad guy. Jackie as the good guy. Madhuri caught in between the two. _Khalnayak (1993)_ was notorious for many things. At the same time Sanjay wound up in jail on terrorist charges. Before jail, Sanjay and Madhuri were said to be having a relationship, but when Sanjay ended up in Jail Madhuri dropped him like hot cakes and denied all knowledge of being anything more than a co-star. The main song choli ke peechay was at the top of every chart and just as controversial. This was the showman’s greatest moment. From here it could only go down.

Though Trimurti wasnt directed by Subhash, it came from the same production house. The film was put on hold for ages. It was meant to be a triumphant moment for Ghai. The showman and the star, Shah Rukh Khan united. For all the time he had been in Bollywood he had never made a film with Amitabh and this was his time to show the world what he could do with the star of the moment. But the project was laid back for months as Subash waited for Sanjay Dutt to be released from prison. Eventually Dutt had a face to face meeting with Ghai and told him straight. Replace me. Anil Kapoor was drafted in. But even with Jackie Shroff, Shah Rukh Khan and Anil Kapoor the weak script was destined to fail. Its failure hit Ghai hard and Mukul Anand even harder. The later never got the chance to direct another film. His venture after Trimurti was Dus. He died towards the end of shooting. The film never saw release. With the knives that were stuck in Ghai he came back with another Shah Rukh film this time directed by himself. Pardes (1997) was launched with Ghai declaring that from now on his films would be aimed at NRIs. From that moment on Ghai lost his biggest supporter, the press. An average hit compared to the Ghai catalogue. By now he’d even changed his musical directors to Nadeem-Sharavan. Music is where the hits and flops were made. Ghai knowing this asked AR Rehman to write the music for his next film. He struck gold again. The star of the show was Aishwarya. It made phenomenal amounts of cash – not bad for a film where nothing interesting happens until the interval where one A. Kapoor makes an appearance. Ghai was back. He knew who’d been the people who’d stuck the knives in his back and isolated them, the press.

He had the last laugh. Or did he. Forward to 2001 and Ghai was planning to make history. Hrithik and Kareena together for the first time. _Yaadein (2001)_. From its announcement the press were out to hound Ghai. And it showed. The film was written off from day one. Critised from anything and everything. The coke ads, the numerous other in film adverts, too fluffy. Jackie Shroff was the only saving grace to come out of this film. Subhash has isolated the one thing that gave his film the hype and now he’s feeling very left out from the Indian press who have warmed up to other directors. Ghai had a rule of releasing a film every two years yet two years after Yaadein he has not announced a single directorial venture, just two producer ventures, ek aur ek gyarah and Joggers Park. His ego and his own ability to create hype for his films could be to blame. He raises the expectations of his own films to such a level that the audience are expecting much. And if it fails to deliever even slightly, the audience and the press will hype up the faliures even more so. What the future holds for Ghai is unknown and only he can answer. Though don’t expect The Showman to let any other director take his title any time soon!


Filmography :

As Actor :

  1. Yaadein (2001)
  2. Taal (1999) (uncredited)
  3. Pardes (1997)
  4. Khal Nayak (1993) (uncredited)
  5. Ram Lakhan (1989)
  6. Karma (1986)
  7. Hero (1983/II)
  8. Khaan Dost (1976)
  9. Gumrah (1976)
  10. Dhamkee (1973)
  11. Umang (1970)
  12. Aradhana (1969)
  13. Taqdeer (1967)

As Director :

  1. Yuvraaj (2008) (filming)
  2. Kisna: The Warrior Poet (2005)
  3. Taal (1999)
  4. Pardes (1997)
  5. Khal Nayak (1993)
  6. Saudagar (1991)
  7. Ram Lakhan (1989)
  8. Karma (1986)
  9. Meri Jung (1985)
  10. Hero (1983/II)
  11. Vidhaata (1982)
  12. Krodhi (1981)
  13. Karz (1980)
  14. Gautam Govinda (1979)
  15. Vishwanath (1978)
  16. Kalicharan (1976)

As Producer :

  1. Yuvraaj (2008) (filming) (producer)
  2. 36 China Town (2006) (producer)
  3. Shaadi Se Pehle (2006) (executive producer)
  4. Iqbal (2005) (producer)
  5. Kisna: The Warrior Poet (2005) (producer)
  6. Aitraaz (2004) (producer)
  7. Joggers’ Park (2003) (producer)
  8. Rahul (2001) (producer)
  9. Taal (1999) (producer)
  10. Pardes (1997) (producer)
  11. Trimurti (1995) (producer)
  12. Khal Nayak (1993) (producer)
  13. Saudagar (1991) (producer)
  14. Ram Lakhan (1989) (producer)
  15. Karma (1986) (producer)
  16. Hero (1983/II) (producer)

As writer :

  1. Yuvraaj (2008) (filming)
  2. Kisna: The Warrior Poet (2005)
  3. Joggers’ Park (2003) (story)
  4. Taal (1999) (dialogue) (screenplay) (story)
  5. Pardes (1997) (screenplay) (story)
  6. Khal Nayak (1993) (written by)
  7. Saudagar (1991) (written by)
  8. Ram Lakhan (1989) (written by)
  9. Karma (1986) (written by)
  10. Vikram (1986/II)
  11. Hero (1983/II) (written by)
  12. Krodhi (1981) (dialogue) (story)
  13. Vishwanath (1978)
  14. Khaan Dost (1976) (story) (as Ghai)

As Editor :

  1. Yaadein (2001)
  2. Taal (1999) (uncredited)
Nomination And Awards
Filmfare Awards
Year Result Award Category/Recipient(s)
1998 Won Filmfare Award Best Screenplay
for: Pardes (1997)

1992 Won Filmfare Award Best Director
for: Saudagar (1991)

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