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Producers who read the audience right in 2022

Producers in 2022

Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Anand Pandit, Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar made films that broke away from the tired and the cliched

Among all the gloomy discontent surrounding the kind of content Hindi film producers are churning, there were a few rays of sunshine this year. The purveyors of this good cheer were makers who offered audiences stories they had never seen or heard before. Here is our pick of the clutter-breaking producers of 2022.

1. Karan Johar

Karan Johar went for broke with the Ayan Mukerji directorial ‘Brahmāstra: Part One’ which wove mythology, VFX, new-age spirituality and star power to entertain the audience. The first part of this Rs 410 crore trilogy had its flaws like weak writing, convoluted plot twists, and an underdeveloped part for the heroine but the message of love and light finally triumphed over naysayers. The film went on to do great business at the box office and was widely watched on an OTT platform despite all the controversies that had plagued its release. It starred Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Dimple Kapadia, Shah Rukh Khan and Nagarjuna and went on to make Rs 425 crore globally.

2. Sanjay Leela Bhansali

You can blame him for excessively ornamenting a film that was basically about the exploitation of women in a patriarchal society but full marks to Sanjay Leela Bhansali for also giving us a female protagonist in ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ who towered above her tragedy and carried the story on her shoulders. In a male-dominated industry, this was also a triumph for Alia Bhatt whose performance was one for the ages. Beautifully shot, tuned and powerfully narrated, the film won over critics as well as the audience and grossed ₹153.69 crores at the domestic box office and ₹ 209.77 crores globally. Bhansali produced the film along with Jayantilal Gada.

3. Anand Pandit

How can one become a pan-Indian producer? Anand Pandit can helm a master class to show how. This year, the veteran maker made successful forays in multiple film industries and gave the audience a lavish meal of diverse regional delicacies. His Gujarati family entertainer ‘Fakt Mahilao Mate’ brought families back to theatres while his Marathi horror comedy ‘Victoria’ is all set to release early next year. He is also producing the Kannada action thriller ‘Kabzaa’ starring Upendra and Kichcha Sudip and also distributing the refreshing social comedy, ‘Doctor G’ starring Ayushmann Khurrana and Rakul Preet Singh. The producer seems to be demonstrating that the time has come for Indian producers to create borderless entertainment in the truest sense of the world.

4. Alia Bhatt

2022 was truly a monumental year for Alia Bhatt who starred not only in two of the biggest Hindi blockbusters but also worked in her first Hollywood film (Heart of Stone) opposite Gal Gadot and also produced her first film through her banner Eternal Sunshine Productions. Her debut production ‘Darlings’ was made in collaboration with Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and was a dark comedy that explored the troubling subject of domestic abuse with great candour. The film starring Alia opposite Shefali Shah and Vijay Varma was released on Netflix and clocked more than 10 million watching hours in its opening weekend, which was the highest for any non-English language original feature globally.