Rajkumar Santoshi

Screenplay Writer ● Director ● Story Writer


Rajkumar Santoshi is an Indian film director, producer and screenwriter of Hindi films. Santoshi started his career as an assistant director and worked with Govind Nihalani during the filming of Ardh Satya (1982). He is known to be one of the most versatile directors as he has directed films of all genres except sci-fi. Santoshi made his directorial debut in 1990, with the action flick Ghayal. Starring Sunny Deol and Meenakshi Sheshadri in lead roles, the film tells the story of a person in search of his missing brother and the events that follow. It was critically and commercially successful, and earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Director, Best film, and Best screenplay. Ghayal also won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment. Santoshi's followup was Damini (1993), a film dealing with issues like status of women in our society and the perspective of people towards women. He won another Filmfare best director award for it. After making two back to back serious films like Ghayal and Damini, Santoshi wanted to make a light film. He then wrote and directed the ensemble comedy, Andaz Apna Apna (1994). The film failed commercially at the time of its release, but is now considered a cult classic. Santoshi received the Filmfare Award for Best Director nomination for it. Santoshi then went on to make Barsaat (1995), a romantic action drama, which marked the debut of actor Bobby Deol. Ghatak: Lethal (1996), an action film, marked his third collaboration with Sheshadri and Deol. China Gate (1998), an action film inspired from Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954), was his next release. It follows the story of a village that hire a group of veterans to combat bandits who terrorise them. In 2000, Santoshi wrote and directed Pukar, a film focusing on the Indian Army and court martials. It won the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. It was followed by Lajja (2001), a film about four Indian women belonging to different strata of society. The film dealt with issues like gender inequality and the status of women in our society. Lajja was a box-office failure in India but was an overseas success.The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002), his next directorial venture, was a biopic on the freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. The film won a National Film Award. In 2004, Santoshi wrote and directed Khakee, a multi-starrer action thriller about a group of cops who gets embroiled in a mystery surrounding a terrorist attack. The film was a critical and commercial success and established Santoshi as one of Bollywood's most sought after director. Derek Elley of Variety wrote: "Powerhouse casting, and equally powerhouse direction by Rajkumar Santoshi, makes this an above-average example of mainstream Bollywood thrillers." Family (2006), an action crime flick, was his next release. Raja Sen called it an "utter tripe". It bombed at the box office. Santoshi's next directorial venture was Halla Bol (2008), a social film starring Ajay Devgan, Vidya Balan and Pankaj Kapur. The film was based on the life of activist Safdar Hashmi, who was killed by political rivals while performing on a street play (by the name of Halla Bol) in 1989. It was shot in 75 days in over 65 locations. Halla Bol was panned by critics, with Khalid Mohamed calling it "downright awful" "packed with mind-benders galore." During these period, his films were poorly received. In 2009, he wrote and directed Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, that emerged as the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2009. The film starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, was a romantic comedy. Nikhat Kazmi in her review wrote that the film "has just a few moments of tedium", but "[It] takes you on a roller-coaster ride as Raj Kumar Santoshi tries to retrack his way to his Andaz Apna Apna days". Santoshi came after a three-year hiatus with the action comedy Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (2013) starring Shahid Kapoor and Ileana D'Cruz. The film was a critical and commercial failure.

Born in: Chennai, Tamil Nadu. India

Hindi TBA
Screenplay Writer
Hindi TBA
Dialogue Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi 2013
Story Writer
Hindi 2009
Screenplay Writer
Hindi 2008
Dialogue Writer, Screenplay Writer, Story Writer
Hindi 2006
Screenplay Writer, Dialogue Writer
Hindi 2004
Dialogue Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi 2002
Story Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi 2002
Dialogue Writer
Hindi 2001
Dialogue Writer, Story Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi 2000
Screenplay Writer, Story Writer, Dialogue Writer
Hindi 1999
Story Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi 1998
Dialogue Writer, Screenplay Writer, Story Writer
Hindi 1998
Screenplay Writer
Hindi 1996
Story Writer, Screenplay Writer, Dialogue Writer
Hindi 1995
Dialogue Writer, Story Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi 1994
Story Writer, Screenplay Writer, Dialogue Writer
Hindi 1993
Story Writer
Tamil 1992
Dialogue Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi 1990
Story Writer, Screenplay Writer
Hindi TBA
Director
Hindi 2013
Director
Hindi 2009
Director
Hindi 2008
Director
Hindi 2006
Director
Hindi 2004
Director
Hindi 2002
Director
Hindi 2001
Director
Hindi 2000
Director
Hindi 1998
Director
Hindi 1996
Director
Hindi 1995
Director
Hindi 1994
Director
Hindi 1993
Director
Hindi 1990
Director
Hindi 1983
First Assistant Director
Hindi 1982
Assistant Director
Hindi 2001
Producer
Hindi 1998
Producer
Hindi 1998
Co-Producer
Hindi 1996
Producer
Hindi 2009
Supporting Actor
Hindi 1996
Actor