A Directorial Journey of the Cinematic Genius Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

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Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is an Indian film director. He is occasional actor and screenwriter also. He is best known for writing and directing the drama Rang De Basanti in 2006 and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag in 2013.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra won two Filmfare Awards for Best Director. He also wrote and directed the supernatural action thriller Aks in 2001 and the drama Delhi-6 in 2009.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s upbringing and early life

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra was born on 7 July 1963 in Delhi. His father worked for The Claridges, Delhi. He was a part of the selection camp as a swimmer in the 1982 Asian Games held at New Delhi. Unfortunately, he was not selected in the final round.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra studied at Air Force Bal Bharati School in Delhi. Later he completed his study from Shri Ram College of commerce.

Short Biography of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra

BornJuly 7, 1963
BirthplaceDelhi, India
EducationBachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Hansraj College, University of Delhi
OccupationFilm Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Years Active1986-present
SpousePS Bharathi
ChildrenBhairavi Mehra, Vedant Mehra
Notable Works“Rang De Basanti”
“Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”
AwardsNational Film Awards
Filmfare Awards
International Indian Film Academy Awards
Screen Awards

Personal life and thoughts

In 1992, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra married film editor, P. S. Bharathi. The couple have two children. A daughter named Bhairavi, and a son named Vedant.

Mehra criticised the vote-bank politics behind the introduction of the Mandal Commission by VP Singh. He said it inspired him to pen the script of Rang De Basanti. 

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has criticised India’s education system as being too marks-driven, without any emphasis on actual achievement. Ridiculing the system, he thought: “We’d started work on “96.7”, till I realised it had become redundant, and I should work on a subject called 100%.

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It was about the education system. Perhaps I’ll make it once I understand the whole system… perhaps my views are very lopsided right now.

Brief overview of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s career

Ad films

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra started his career by selling vacuum cleaners for Eureka Forbes. He established Flicks Motion Picture Company Private Limited in 1986. There he started his career as an advertisement film maker.

He directed scores of television commercials for Indian and international clients, such as Coke, Pepsi, Toyota, American Express and BPL etc. He directed music videos such as Aby Baby starring Amitabh Bachchan.


Later, Mehra gradually shifted from being an ad filmmaker to a feature filmmaker. He made his directorial debut with the supernatural action thriller Aks starring Amitabh Bachchan, Raveena Tandon and Manoj Bajpayee in lead roles in 2001.

It was produced by Mehra’s own company. The film received critical acclaim upon release, but emerged as a commercial failure at the box-office.

In 2006, his next venture was the drama Rang De Basanti with an ensemble cast of Aamir Khan, Siddharth, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Atul Kulkarni, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor and British actress Alice Patten. Raang De Basanti followed the story of a British film student traveling to India.

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The movie received positive reviews from critics upon release, with praise for its credibility, direction, screenplay, soundtrack and the performances of the ensemble cast. The film emerged as a commercial success at the box-office, grossing ₹97 crore (US$12 million) worldwide.

It ranked as the seventh highest-grossing Hindi film of the year. The movie won Mehra his first Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Director, in addition to the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

It also earned him a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language. It was also officially chosen as India’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, but unfortunately failed to receive a nomination.

Ranveer Allahbadia

His third venture was the drama Delhi-6 in 2009. He made it with an ensemble cast of Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Aditi Rao Hydari, Rishi Kapoor, Supriya Pathak, Atul Kulkarni, Divya Dutta, Om Puri and Waheeda Rehman in lead roles.

The film tells the story of an NRI who arrives in India with his ailing grandmother and begins discovering his roots before getting embroiled in a religious dispute involving a mysterious monkey-like attacker. Despite pre-release hype, it received mixed reviews from critics upon release.

The film emerged as a commercial failure at the box-office. However, it won him the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. In 2011, he produced Teen Thay Bhai. It was about the story of three brothers who keep fighting amongst themselves. It was a critical and commercial disaster at the box-office.

In 2013, his next venture was Bhaag Milkha Bhaag with Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh, the legendary Indian sprinter. The movie opened to positive reviews from critics upon release. It emerged as a major commercial success at the box-office, grossing ₹201 crore (US$25 million), ranking as the eighth highest-grossing Hindi film of the year and his highest grosser to date.

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Bhaag Milkha Bhaag won him his second Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Director, in addition to his second National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.

In 2016, his latest movie was Mirzya. It was about the tragic love story of Mirzya & Sahiba. It made debut of new comers Harshvardhan Kapoor as Mirzya & Soiyami Kher as Sahiba.

It was released on 7 October 2016, Mirzya proved to be an unmitigated disaster at the box office. Made on a budget of Rs.35 crore (350 million), its total collections over a two-week period amounted to less than Rs.10 crore (100 million).

In 2019, Mere Pyare Prime Minister was written by himself and Manoj Mairta. Though it received generally positive reviews, it flopped at the box-office.

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