Open main menu

Rajkumar Hirani (born 20 November 1962) is an Indian film director and editor. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful and critically acclaimed filmmakers in the history of Indian Cinema. Hirani is known for directing the Hindi films Munna Bhai M.B.B.S (2003), Lage Raho Munnabhai (2006), 3 Idiots (2009), PK (2014) and Sanju (2018). All of his films have been huge commercial and critical successes.[2] Most have won several awards, including the national awards, and have often been regarded by the media and audiences as some of the most path-breaking films in the history of Hindi cinema.[3][4] He has won 11 Filmfare Awards. He is the founder of production house Rajkumar Hirani Films and suraj production house

Rajkumar Hirani
Rajkumar Hirani 2014.jpg
Hirani at an event for PK in 2014
Born (1962-11-20) 20 November 1962 (age 56)[1]
Other namesRaju
EducationSt. Francis De'Sales High School, Nagpur, Maharashtra
Alma materFilm and Television Institute of India
OccupationFilm Director,
Film Producer,
Film Editor
Years active1993–present
Notable work
3 Idiots,
Munna Bhai MBBS,
Lage Raho Munna Bhai,
AwardsFull list


Early life and educationEdit

Hirani was born on 20 November 1962 in Nagpur to a Sindhi family. His ancestors originally belong to Mehrabpur, a city in the Naushahro Firoz District, Sindh, of British India.[5] His father Suresh Hirani ran a typing institute in Nagpur. Rajkumar Hirani studied at St. Francis De'Sales High School, Nagpur, Maharashtra. He did his graduation in commerce. His parents wanted him to be a chartered accountant, but he was more keen on theatre and film.[6]

In his college days he was involved with Hindi theatre. Suresh had his son's photographs taken and sent him to an acting school in Mumbai. However, Hirani could not fit in and returned to Nagpur after three days. His father then asked him to apply to the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, but the acting course had shut down and his chances of admission to the directorial course looked slim as there were far too many applicants.[7] Hirani opted for the editing course, and earned a scholarship.[8].


Early work (1994—99, 2000)Edit

Hirani tried his luck as a film editor for many years. Bad experiences forced him to shift to advertising,[9] and he gradually established himself as a director and producer of advertising films. He was also seen in a Fevicol ad where some men and elephants were trying to pull and break a Fevicol plank, saying "Jor laga ke Haisha".[10] He was also seen in the Kinetic Luna ad campaign created by Ogilvy & Mather.

He was doing fairly well in the advertisement industry, but he wanted to make movies, so he took a break from advertisement and started working with Vidhu Vinod Chopra. He worked on promos and trailers for 1942: A Love Story (1994).[11] He edited promotions for Kareeb (1998).[12] He got his first big opportunity as a film editor with Mission Kashmir (2000).[13]

Directorial debut and initial success (2003—06)Edit

In 2003, Hirani made his directorial debut with the comedy film Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. starring Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Gracy Singh, Jimmy Sheirgill, and Sunil Dutt. It was about the titular protagonist (played by Sanjay Dutt), a goon going to a medical school who is helped by his sidesick (Circuit, played by Warsi). The film received a positive response from critics. Hirani's direction was praised, and the film emerged as a major commercial success with a worldwide total of 307 million (US$4.4 million). Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Film, and earned Hirani his first Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay and a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director. The film was the first film of the franchise Munna Bhai.

In 2006, Hirani directed the second installment of the Munna Bhai franchise, titled Lage Raho Munna Bhai, which retained some of the original cast, including Sanjay Dutt, Warsi, and Boman Irani, and added Vidya Balan as the female lead replacing Gracy Singh. The feature received critical acclaim and proved to be Hirani's highest-grossing release to that point, earning over 1.93 billion (US$28 million) worldwide, thus attaining a blockbuster status and becoming the third highest-grossing film of that year. Just like the previous film, it won the National Film Award for Best Popular Film, and earned Hirani a second Critics Award for Best Film award, a first Best Story award, a first Best Dialogue award, and a second Best Director nomination at Filmfare.

Widespread success (2009—present)Edit

Hirani's next directorial venture was the coming-of-age comedy-drama 3 Idiots (2009), which starred Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, and Boman Irani. It follows the friendship of three engineering students, and was a satire about social pressures under an Indian education system. 3 Idiots received positive reviews from critics, and proved to be the highest-grossing Bollywood film up until then, earning 4.60 billion (US$67 million) in global ticket sales. Hirani won his third National Film Award for Best Popular Film Award, first Filmfare Best Film and Best Director Award, and second Filmfare Best Screenplay and Best Story Award, for his direction. The film established Hirani as one of Hindi cinema's most prominent filmmakers.

In 2014, Hirani directed PK. He also directed Sanju (2018). He will next direct Munna Bhai 3.


  Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Director Writer Producer Editor Notes
2000 Mission Kashmir No No No Yes
2003 Munna Bhai M.B.B.S Yes Yes No Yes Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director
2006 Lage Raho Munna Bhai Yes Yes No Yes Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director
2009 3 Idiots Yes Yes No Yes Filmfare Award for Best Director
2014 PK Yes Yes Yes Yes Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director
2016 Saala Khadoos No No Yes No Multi-language film; producer of the Hindi version
2018 Sanju Yes Yes Yes Yes Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Film
Nominated—Filmfare Award for Best Director

Frequent actor collaborationsEdit


Munna Bhai M.B.B.S

Lage Raho Munna Bhai

3 Idiots



Aamir Khan     2
Sanjay Dutt         4
Boman Irani           5
Arshad Warsi       3
Dia Mirza     2
Saurabh Shukla     2
Jimmy Sheirgill     2
Arun Bali       3
Parikshat Sahni       3
Ranbir Kapoor     2
Anushka Sharma     2
Rohitash Gaud         4



  1. ^ "Rajkumar Hirani makes entertainment profound: Boman Irani". The Indian Express. IANS. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  2. ^ "Sanju box office collection day 5: The Rajkumar Hirani film earns Rs 167.51 crore". The Indian Express. 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Rajkumar Hirani the finest director in Hindi cinema".
  4. ^ "Rajkumar Hirani and his inimitable craft".
  5. ^ Hasan Ansari, PK' director Hirani to visit Pakistan in April, The Express Tribune, 20 February 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Aiming to Please". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  7. ^ "Will Munnabhai now take on religion". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  8. ^ "From Nagpur to 3 Idiots, Raju Hirani's amazing journey". Rediff. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  9. ^ "Raju Hirani's interview about 3 idiots". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  10. ^ "Raju Hiraniin fevicol ad". Youtube. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  11. ^ "IMDB Title for 1942". IMDB. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  12. ^ "IMDB Title for Kareeb". IMDB. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  13. ^ "IMDB Title for Mission Kashmir". IMDB. Retrieved 23 December 2009.

External linksEdit