Bollywood’s Forgotten Directors Who Disappeared After Their Hit Debut Movie

“Don’t take rest after your first victory because if you fail in second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck” – if you want a perfect example of this quote by APJ Abdul Kalam, you should google these names – Gracy Singh, Jugal Hansraj, Antara Mali, Preeti Jhangiani,  (many others). There’s one common factor that groups them in a list titled as ‘one-hit-wonders’ of Bollywood.

However, as much as we talk about actors, there are directors even who have shown immense potential with their debut but unfortunately suffered the one-hit-syndrome.

1. Nikhil AdvaniKal Ho Na Ho (2003)

Advani had a dream cast (Shahrukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Preity Zinta), a dream writer (Karan Johar), and a dream production house (Dharma Productions) to direct his first movie. And as expected, the movie turned out to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year and Advani received praises from the film fraternity.

Kal Ho Naa Ho Director
Source: Indicine

However, unfortunately, after the extravagant start, his career nosedived itself and the subsequent movies were box office disasters.

2. John Matthew Mathan – Sarfarosh (1999)

The man who assisted Sir Richard Attenborough on Gandhi made one of the most powerful debuts of modern Hindi cinema with the Aamir Khan starrer Sarfarosh. Mathan was unanimously praised for the direction and the film even won several accolades including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

John Matthew Matthan
Source: PlanetBollywood

Much was expected from the talented director after his debut success, however, his subsequent movies – Shikhar and A New Love Story, both failed to do well at the box office.

3. Chandraprakash Dwivedi – Pinjar (2003)

He came, he directed, he vanished! Dwivedi’s critically acclaimed movie Pinjar won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration while the lead actors of the movie were also praised for their performance. Based on the Hindu-Muslim problems during the partition of India, Dwivedi handled the subject with great maturity.

Chandra Prakash Dwivedi Pinjar
Source: Wikipedia

But since then, he has been off the radar. He was a part of a couple of shelved projects and has since then released just one movie – Zed Plus which was a box office failure.

4. Robby Grewal – Samay: When Time Strikes

This thriller movie starring Sushmita Sen was well received at the box office. Apparently, the movie is said to be inspired from David Fincher’s neo-noir crime thriller Se7en. Inspired or not – the movie certainly promised much for Grewal.

Robby Grewal

However, his next couple of movies – MP3: Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar and Aloo Chaat –  didn’t quite do well at the box office.

5. Puneet Isaar – Garv (2004)

Known to portray ‘Duryodhan’, one of the most iconic roles on Indian television, Puneet Isaar’s Garv could be regarded as a movie which was released well ahead of its time.

Mahabharat Duryodhan
source: Alchetron

The Salman Khan starrer had the right amount of action and drama and was well received at the box office.However, Isaar’s career as a feature director only boasts of this single movie, his next release I – Proud to be an Indian was a box office failure.

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Rohan Ahershinge

An engineer by chance, and a writer by choice. Movies| Poems | Cats | Scripts | Guitars | Singing | Composing | Bombay | Beards | Laughter - this perfectly sums up my life. :)

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