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Bollywood Directors

Arif Mansuri started an email exchange with a like-minded friend on the good, bad, and truly horrible directors of Bollywood. What started as a discussion on the strengths
of a couple soon grew to the huge list below.

Can’t wait to see their next film.
Raju Hirani – Solid and thoughtful entertainment, and will continue to raise the bar and raise our faith in the future of Bollywood
Anurag Basu – Only because he started from the much-derided Bhatt camp, he remains the most underrated director today in Bollywood
Vishal Bhardwaj – My bet as the Indian auteur most likely to bring home an Oscar
Imtiaz Ali – Low-key, gentle, feel-good cinema at its most genuine
Farhan Akhtar – Even with crap like Don, he had a coherent cinematic vision and pitch-perfect story-telling
Aamir Khan – ‘Nuff said
Shimit Amin – Anyone who straddles two diverse genres with such adroitness, can definitely do a third and more.
Mansoor Khan – Despite some colossal misses, his instinctive brand of talent will emerge triumphant again
Ashutosh Gowariker – Even his failures are of better quality than most other films
Sriram Raghavan – A director who isn’t afraid to defy conventions, and with the writing chops to set new ones.
Mani Ratnam – But of course

Will look out for their next film, but not changing my weekend plans yet.
David Dhawan – Love him or hate him, the man rarely misses the mark which is admittedly a low one
Rakesh Roshan – Can do so much more, only if he took more chances and stepped out of bollywood cliches
Dibakar Bannerjee – Somehow strikes me as a one-film wonder
Anurag Kashyap – Most likely to prove this rating wrong, but still too unpredictable to join the big league
Rakeysh Mehra – Rang De Basanti had all but erased memories – nay, nightmares – of Aks, but the climax of Delhi-6 brought it all back.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra – Too much talent can be just as dangerous as too little of it
Priyadarshan – Far too mixed a record
Pradeep Sarkar – A rare species of the literateur director, but should never take another call from the Yash Raj banner.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali – I can’t quite sync with his ultra-gay sensibilities, even though a master craftsman he may be.
Sooraj Barjatya – An unchanging, unshakeable, and uncompromising view-point of society, his films are watchable for his convictions alone.
Ram Gopal Varma – Certified by doctors to be sane again, but I need to see proof before I believe it.
Zoya Akhtar – Will get my vote after I see the next film on a topic and milieu other than the one she grew up in.
Shaad Ali – Impressively talented and confident hand at the helm, but Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom scared the living daylights out of me.
Rohan Sippy – Its elegance notwithstanding, Bluffmaster was a fluke hit, and not a particularly great one.
Abhishek Kapoor – There’s a slight fear that the depth and detail of Rock On! may have used up all his ideas.
Neeraj Pandey – A bit early to say, but a double-century in your first test may be a harbinger of note-worthy gifts.
Anees Bazmee – Successor to David Dhawan, upholding the true traditions of Bollywood entertainment, if you like that sort of thing.

Will look forward to trashing their next film even before I see it.
Rajkumar Santoshi – regret to say that he lost his mojo a while back, still struggling to find it, and it now looks doubtful if he ever will.
Madhur Bhandarkar – unlikely to find a more demented ass anywhere within miles of Filmcity
Kunal Kohli – the most over-rated director in Bollywood, by a huge margin.
Aditya Chopra – Can’t believe I ever liked the guy.
Nikhil Advani – Takes a special guy to produce an even more spectacular disaster than Salaam-e-Ishq.
Kalpana Lajmi – The last of the jholawalas still stuck in a 70s time-warp.
Apoorva Lakhia – Consistently and shamelessly setting new levels of atrociousness with each film.
J P Dutta – A guy’s director who once made the coolest, most macho films ever in Hindi cinema. And now he thinks he can remake Umrao Jaan, with Ash!
Subhash Ghai – Simply put, The Great Showman has no more stories to tell.
Any Yash Raj film – Expensively produced garbage that assumes you’re retarded.

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