Meghna Gulzar, 44 Film­maker, mumbai

India Today - - COVER STORY - By Suhani Singh

MEGHNA Gulzar be­came the first fe­male film­maker since Farah Khan

(Dil­wale, 2015) to en­ter the cov­eted `100-crore club with Raazi. And she did it with­out a male su­per­star and with a far more ac­com­plished and mov­ing film. Cowrit­ten by Gulzar, the es­pi­onage thriller about an In­dian spy in a Pak­istani house­hold stayed clear of jin­go­ism and slo­ga­neer­ing to present a flawed fe­male pro­tag­o­nist. Get­ting her big­gest suc­cess pleases the film­maker. “For me, suc­cess is a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the ap­proval of the peo­ple, a val­i­da­tion of the work that you are do­ing,” she says.

Daugh­ter of writer, direc­tor and poet Gulzar and ac­tor Rakhee, she didn’t have the eas­i­est of starts in Bol­ly­wood. Her first fea­ture, Fil­haal, 2002, re­ceived a luke­warm re­sponse, and her sec­ond film

Just Mar­ried, 2007, failed to make an im­pres­sion. Moth­er­hood took Meghna on a brief hia­tus but she con­tin­ued writ­ing sto­ries. She strug­gled to get a green light un­til Vishal Bhard­waj in­ter­vened and of­fered her the op­por­tu­nity to di­rect his script in­spired by the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Aarushi and Hem­raj mur­der case. With Tal­var, she started her sec­ond in­nings and hasn’t looked back since. With two back-to-back ac­claimed films, all eyes are on what she does next. There are three projects in the devel­op­ment stage but she doesn’t know what she will do next. She is sure of one thing though. “You can­not ap­pre­ci­ate, rel­ish or cher­ish suc­cess with­out fail­ure. And you can never take suc­cess to your head, be­cause of fail­ure,” she says.

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