From Parineeta, Mardaani to web series Duranga – a look at Pradeep Sarkar’s notable films and shows
Noted film director, writer, editor and director of popular music videos, Pradeep Sarkar passed away today at the age of 67 years. As per media reports, he was ailing and was on dialysis; his potassium levels dipped drastically and he was rushed to the hospital on Thursday night but could not be saved and breathed his last on Friday.
In his career, the director delivered several hard-hitting Bollywood hits and web series. He worked as an editor on Rajkumar Hirani’s Munnabhai MBBS and as a visual director on Eklavya: The Royal Guard. He also shot several highly successful commercials, Tata Yellow Pages, ICICI Prudential, and Onida KY Thunder to name a few. His AajTak TV commercials shot in black-and-white won him several awards. Sarkar was also one of the most sought-after and prolific music video directors around. Shubha Mudgal's Ab Ke Saawan, Euphoria's Dhoom Pichak Dhoom, Kabhi Aana tu Meri Gully and Maaeri, Sultan Khan's Piya Basanti and Bhupen Hazarika's Ganga went on to become benchmarks of excellence in visual appeal and storytelling and are revered even today. Some of his memorable films include Rani Mukerji's Mardaani (2014), Saif Ali Khan and Vidya Balan’s Parineeta (2005), Kajol’s Helicopter Eela (2018) and Gulshan Devaiah and Dhrashti Dhami’s web series Duranga (2022). He was also on board to direct Kangana Ranaut in Noti Binodini, a project that was announced in 2022.
Here’s a look at his famous works:
Sarkar made his directorial debut with Parineeta. The film was based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay's 1914 Bengali novella of the same name. It starred Vidya Balan, Saif Ali Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Dia Mirza and Raima Sen. The film won Sarkar the Best Debut Film of a Director award at the 53rd National Film Awards.
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag (2007)
Sarkar presented another female-driven film with Laga Chunari Mein Daag. The film starred Rani Mukerji, Jaya Bachchan, Konkana Sen Sharma, Abhishek Bachchan, Anupam Kher and Kunal Kapoor.
Lafangey Parindey (2010)
Lafangey Parindey was a romantic drama starring Deepika Padukone and Neil Nitin Mukesh in the lead.
Sarkar brought back Rani Mukerji to cinema after her marriage to Aditya Chopra with the hard-hitting Mardaani which saw her in a never-seen-before avatar of a tough cop. The film stars Rani Mukerji, Jisshu Sengupta, Tahir Raj Bhasin and Saanand Verma.
Helicopter Eela (2018)
Sarkar’s Helicopter Eela features Kajol in the lead role of an aspiring singer and single mother Helicopter parent.
Coldd Lassi Aur Chicken Masala (2019)
Coldd Lassi Aur Chicken Masala is a romantic comedy web series starring Divyanka Tripathi Dahiya and Rajeev Khandelwal. It is available on ALT Balaji and on Zee5.
Duranga is a murder mystery series directed by Sarkar and Aijaz Khan. It is the official adaptation of Korean show Flower of Evil and stars Gulshan Devaiah and Drashti Dhami in the lead. The murder mystery will keep you hooked till the very end. A sequel is on the cards.