One of the most talented and yet the most maverick director of contemporary Bollywood, Ram Gopal Varma was a civil engineer who decided to start a video rental library to indulge in his passion for films and made contacts in the film world through his library.
After meeting South star Nagarjuna on a film set, Varma collaborated with him to make a film Shiva about student politics and the film, which was also remade in Hindi later on, went on to become a big hit. Though Varma dabbled in Telugu cinema also, he became a household name with the Hindi film Rangeela, which became a major hit because of its songs and Urmila Matondkar‘s glam avatar, not to mention Aamir Khan‘s role as a street smart tapori Munna.
In 1998, Varma gave his biggest cinematic masterpiece with Satya, a gritty and realistic film about the Mumbai underworld. The film was critically as well as commercially acclaimed and went on to win six Filmfare awards that year. The film also made actor Manoj Bajpai an overnight star because of his character Bhiku Mhatre.
Varma made two other movies Company and D, thus completing his underworld trilogy and though the latter movie was not a very big success, Company won its share of accolades. RGV, as he is popularly known, also produced many movies, some of which included Ek Hasina Thi and Ab Tak Chhappan.
Varma also made Sarkar, a story inspired by Mafia cult classic The Godfather starring Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan and this film too became a major hit. Ram Gopal Varma’s next film is Department starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Rana Daggubati.
On the occasion of his birthday, here’s wishing the maverick director a prosperous professional and personal life.