Visual Parallels Between Two Auteur Directors In Hindi Cinema: Vishal Bhardwaj & Sanjay Leela Bhansali

  • Sanika Kulkarni


The term Auteur is commonly referred to directors who apply highly consolidated and subjective control to many aspects of a collaborative creative work; they are considered equivalent to authors of a novel or a play. In simple terms, the director of the film is the author; it is his vision of how the film should be presented and everyone in the production process is just assisting it. Though there have been several examples proving the term Auteur and legitimizing the director as the author, this theory has faced a lot of backlashes especially from the radical critics posing that the process of cinema is that of collaboration and teamwork. Some of the critics still state that this gives the director a sense of ownership and film can be seen only as a work of a collective and not as a work of a single person.

What these critics fail to take in consideration is that even before the existence of Auteur theory, directors were still considered to be the most important among the people working on film. After various studies, critics coined the term and they identified that each director had individual stylistic techniques as well as specific things which were prevalent in their respective films. An examination of film authorship should cover the evolution of authorship theory from the 1960s to the present.

The following study will talk about the different aspects of authorship revolving this theory; proving it by presenting case studies of films directed by well-known Hindi film directors Vishal Bhardwaj and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.