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Hrishikesh Mukherjee: The Profound in the Mundane

Hrishikesh Mukherjee: The Profound in the Mundane

“It is so simple to be happy but so difficult to be simple,” says a Hrishikesh Mukherjee character. It is this effortless yet profound simplicity that forms the core of the director’s wide-ranging work. Revered for its candour, Mukherjee’s cinema also stands out for having a deep sociological perspective. Be it using humor to reflect on class hierarchies or commenting on the issue of unemployment, his cinema always takes a sharp look at the country and the society.

Portraying the common people with all their travails and moral dilemmas, the cinema of Hrishikesh Mukherjee explores delicately woven human relationships and emotions. We are delighted to present a selection of his works—cinema that effortlessly blends profound philosophical musings into the mundanity of everyday life.

GOL MAAL

Hrishikesh Mukherjee India, 1979

With its subtle and intelligent humour Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Gol Maal paints a refreshingly light-hearted picture of the Indian middle class. This comedy of errors is lovingly remembered for its simple yet philosophical songs and Amol Palekar’s endearing awkward double role.

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ANUPAMA

Hrishikesh Mukherjee India, 1966

Set in the backdrop of a fractured father-daughter relationship, Anupama is a sentimental tale about searching for acceptance. Poetic black & white images and refreshing performances by Sharmila Tagore and Dharmendra make this film stand out within Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s incredible body of work.

ANARI

Hrishikesh Mukherjee India, 1959

Anari offers a sharp, sarcastic comment on the materialistic world through the story of an idealistic, naïve simpleton who is too honest for the big, bad world. With the music by Shankar Jaikishan and the lyrics by Shailendra, the songs of this film remain popular to date.

ANURADHA

Hrishikesh Mukherjee India, 1960

Delving into the delicate and complex relationship of love and individual identity, Anuradha poetically questions the role of men and women in keeping a marriage going. The beauty of this Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic is elevated by the restrained performances of Balraj Sahni and Leela Naidu.