Remembering Raj Khosla on his 94th birth anniversary.
Raj Khosla was one of the top directors in Hindi films from the 1950s to the 1980s. Raj Khosla was popular as a ‘women’s director’ because he showcased actresses at their best capabilities.
Khosla is that rare filmmaker in Hindi cinema who saddled different genres of films with equal ease while adding his own individual stamp to each of his films. He, along with Guru Dutt and Vijay Anand, was also responsible for song picturizations being taken to a new high in the Hindi cinema of the 1950s and 60s.
Born on May 31, 1925, Khosla initially entered the film industry with hopes of making it as a playback singer. Struggling to make it as a singer, he joined Guru Dutt instead as an assistant director with Baazi (1951).
In 1954, Khosla got his first break with Milap, starring Dev Anand and Geeta Bali. The film failed to create uproar but Khosla’s second film produced for him by mentor Guru Dutt; C.I.D. (1956) propelled him into the big league. C.I.D. was a polished crime thriller that highlighted Raj Khosla’s stylish shot taking and innovative song picturisation, something passed down from Guru Dutt.
From here onwards even as he continued to make films, Raj Khosla altered his film’s styles at times and added his own touch to each of the genres. Never wanting to play safe Raj Khosla made some films, which were widely different. Raj Khosla explored a variety of styles be it crime thrillers like C.I.D., Kala Pani, musicals like Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, suspense thrillers like Woh Kaun Thi?, Mera Saaya, Anita, melodramas like Do Badan, Do Raaste and dacoit dramas like Mera Gaon Mera Desh.
Films like Prem Kahani (1975) featured the then hottest pair of the day Rajesh Khanna and Mumtaz and later another smash hit film Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978) made Raj Khosla one of the most revered directors of Bollywood. Khosla was a director who understood women and their sentiments very well. Raj Khosla worked with eminent actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman, and Shatrughan Sinha. Raj Khosla expired in 1991. The last years of this director were not much attached to the Film industry.
Raj Khosla has been awarded the Filmfare Best Movie Award for ‘Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki’ in 1978.