DAINIK NATION BUREAU
National Award-winning director Kundan Shah passed away at his residence early today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed condolence over his demise.
Born on October 19, 1947, Shah studied direction at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune and made his directorial debut with “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” in 1983.
The movie featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur, Satish Shah, Satish Kaushik, Bhakti Barve and Neena Gupta went on achieve a cult status despite a poor response at the box office.
Shah received his first and only National Award – Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director – for the movie that is now celebrated as one of the best satires ever made in in Indian cinema.
The movie revolved around two struggling photographers, who fall into a dirty nexus of corruption and murder.
Shah made a switch to television after “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro”. He teamed up with Saeed Akhtar Mirza for his debut TV show “Nukkad”.
One of the most popular shows in the ’80s, “Nukkad” gave Indian audiences memorable characters like Khopdi, Kaderbhai and Ghanshu Bhikari. His next TV show was “Wagle Ki Duniya”, which was based on cartoonist RK Laxman’s character, the common man.
Shah made his Bollywood comeback in 1993 with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa”. The film received critical acclaim and is counted among Shah Rukh’s best performances. His next “Kya Kehna”, was once again a story that was ahead of its time and dealt with teenage preganacy and the stigma attached to it.
The movie was a box office success and became one of the highest grossing films in 2000. The film helped establish Preity Zinta’s career in the Hindi film industry. The director made a number of films after “Kya Kehna”, but sadly commercial success eluded him. Shah’s sudden demise shocked his friends in the industry.
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt remembered Shah as a brave man “who added vigour to the alternate cinema stream with movies like ‘Jaane bhi do yaaro'”.
Farhan Akhtar wrote, “Saddened to learn that Kundan Shah is no more. Will never forget his genuineness, his cinematic knowledge and his unique sense of humour. RIP”