I don’t do directors often with these birthday posts, but Priyadarshan is distinctive enough, and also crosses multiple language industries that all are addressed by this blog, that I feel like he deserves a post. If only a small one.
1.1. I love you because your father was a librarian! A wonderfully different sort of background for a film director.
2. I love you because one of your good friends in college was Mohanlal, your entry into film inspired by following him to the big city, not through any crazy dreams of fame.
3. I love you because you started as a screenwriter before moving to direction, taking the time to learn your craft before taking the leap.
4. I love you because this movie is the first one of yours I saw and it is ridiculous and I love it.
5. I love you because you adapted a young Malayalam love story for a Hindi audience with a Rahman score, perhaps the only thing that could make it better.
6. I love you for specializing in bringing out great performances from unexpected actors, like Pawesh Rawal and Suniel Shetty and Akshay Kumar as a comedy trio in Heri Pheri, or Kareena and Akshaye forming a great romantic pair in Hulchul.
7. I love you because you broke through in Hindi almost two decades after your break through in Malayalam and you didn’t mind starting from scratch.
8. I love you because you formed a bridge between language groups, remaking Malayalam and Tamil plots for Hindi audiences.
9. I love you for always grounding your comedy in realism, the petty strains and worries of the common man are what sets everything in play, there is a beating heart at the center of it all.
10. I love you for giving me my all time favorite item number, also in Hulchul (love that movie!)
11. I love you for taking a risk on Kalapani, a historic epic that was very different from the comedies you were becoming known for in all the Indian languages from Malayalam to Hindi. And then doing something similar a few years later with Kanchivaram, about poor weavers.
12. And finally, I love you for this beautiful film about stardom. Not from the perspective of the star, but the every day man who is counting on him (I know it is a remake, but to me Priyadarshan changed it just enough to make it his own)