Basu Chatterjee

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Basu Chatterjee
Basu Chatterjee image.jpg
Basu Chatterjee
Born (1930-01-10) 10 January 1930 (age 88)
Ajmer, Ajmer-Merwara, British India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Film director

Basu Chatterjee (Bengali: বাসু চ্যাটার্জ্জী; born 10 January 1930[1]) is an Indian film director and screenwriter. Through the 1970s and 1980s, he became associated with what came to be known as middle cinema or middle-of-the-road cinema, with filmmakers such as Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Bhattacharya, whom he assisted in Teesri Kasam (1966). Like their films, his films also dealt with light-hearted stories of middle-class families often in urban settings, focusing on marital and love relationships,[2] with exceptions such as Ek Ruka Hua Faisla (1986) and Kamla Ki Maut (1989), which delved into social and moral issues. He is best known for his films Us Paar, Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Chitchor (1976), Rajnigandha (1974), Piya Ka Ghar (1972), Khatta Meetha , Chakravyuha (1978 film), Baton Baton Mein (1979), Man Pasand, Hamari Bahu Alka and Shaukeen (1982).[3] After 1983, none of his films had successful runs in theatres.

Early life[edit]

Basu Chatterjee was born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, India.[1]


Chatterjee started his career as an illustrator and cartoonist with the weekly tabloid Blitz published in Bombay (now Mumbai), by Russi Karanjia. Here he worked for 18 years, before he changed career paths to filmmaking, when he assisted Basu Bhattacharya in the Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman starrer Teesri Kasam (1966), which later won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film. Eventually, he made his directorial debut with Sara Akash in 1969, which won him the Filmfare Best Screenplay Award.[4]

When Basu Chatterjee debuted with the much acclaimed Sara Akash, he not only announced the arrival of a new kind of cinema, rooted in the regular lives of ordinary people, he also etched 1969 as the year that marked the beginning of the Indian New Wave cinema. Together with Mani Kaul's Uski Roti and Mrinal Sen's Bhuvan Shome, Sara Akash took Indian films to the next level, taking a close look at the conflicts, aspirations, emotions and relationships of people who were next door, not larger than life.

Sara Akash, based on the first part of Rajendra Yadav's debut novel "Sara Akash" (The Infinite Cosmos, 1951), explored the internal conflicts of a newly-wed couple in a traditional middle class joint family in Uttar Pradesh, and how they grapple with the new challenges of domestic life they were not prepared for. The film was entirely shot on location, giving it a greater feel of reality. Chatterji himself identified with the milieu, as he had been brought up in Mathura. His own inspirations, especially Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves and the films of France and Sweden were reflected in his style of story-telling – to narrate as it happened, with no frills attached.[5]

Some of his best films are Us Paar, Rajnigandha (1974), Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Chitchor (1976), Piya Ka Ghar (1972), Khatta Meetha , Chakravyuha (1978 film), Baton Baton Mein (1979) Man Pasand, Hamari Bahu Alka and Shaukeen. Other lesser known films included Swami, Apne Paraye and Ek Ruka Hua Faisla. He also directed stars in his simple films, but in completely different never before seen roles. He directed Dev Anand with Tina Munim in Man Pasand, Rajesh Khanna with Neetu Singh in Chakravyuha (1978 film), Dharmendra with Hema Malini in Dillagi and Amitabh Bachchan in Manzil. Of them, only Chakravyuha and Manzil were not successful at box office, but were critically acclaimed. He has also directed many Bengali films such as Hothat Brishti, Hochcheta Ki and Hothat Shei Din.

He directed the TV Series Byomkesh Bakshi and the popular Rajani (TV series) for Doordarshan.

He was a member of the jury at the 10th Moscow International Film Festival in 1977.[6] Chatterjee is a member of the International Film And Television Club of the Asian Academy of Film & Television. He had his retrospective as part of the Kala Ghoda Art Festival Mumbai in February 2011.

His daughter Rupali Guha is also a film director. Her first Hindi film Aamras, released in September 2009, is a coming of age film involving four schoolgirls. Rupali's next film, the Bengali film Porichoi, with Prosenjit Chatterji, deals with an estranged father-daughter relationship. She also produces TV serials under the Filmfarm banner. Her serials include Tumhari Disha, Rakhi Bhai Behen ka hai Pyaar, Dil se diya Vachan and Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se for ZEE TV, Kashi for NDTV, Imagine and Uttaran for COLORS.



Dialogue writer[edit]




Director (TV series)[edit]

Assistant director[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Basu Chatterrjee is jury chairperson of Jaipur film fest". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Bhawana Somaaya. Cinema Images And Issues. Rupa Publications. pp. 143–. ISBN 978-8129103703. 
  3. ^ "Classics should be taken on, but correctly: Basu Chatterjee". The Times of India. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Director Profile: Basu Chatterjee". Cinemas of India, NFDC. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "A Manzil of Memories: Rare Memorabilia Of Basu Chatterji's Films". Learning & Creativity. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "10th Moscow International Film Festival (1977)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Best Screenplay Award". Filmfare Award Official Listings, Indiatimes. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Asha Kasbekar (2006). Pop Culture India!: Media, Arts, And Lifestyle. ABC-CLIO. pp. 198–. ISBN 978-1-85109-636-7. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 

External links[edit]