Basu Chatterjee || Biography of an Indian Film Director

About Basu Chatterjee:

Basu Chatterjee is an Indian film director. During the eve of 1970, he brought a new wave of the movie in the Indian film industry. He was one of a person who changed the course of an Indian movie. In his directed movies, Basu brought the life of middle-class people with a touch of comedy. He focused on the love & relationships and challenges of middle-class people to deal with urban life. Basu Chatterjee tried to give attention to the real world.  Her heroines would think about how to deal with family dilemmas rather than having small blouses and heroes who would spend time on budgeted life. He wanted to show the sensibility of a common person. Apart from the movie, Basu Chatterjee worked for TV shows as well and claimed similar popularity.

basu chattejee
Image Source: Collected from Online

 The life story of Basu Chatterjee:

Basu Chatterjee was born on 10th October 1930 in Ajmer, Rajasthan. His father worked in the railway department. He studied in Agra. While he was studying Basu came in touch with movies and fall in love with them. After his graduation, Basu Chatterjee came to Mumbai and got a job. Basu Chatterjee’s daughter “Rupali Guha” is also a film director.

Career:

After completing the graduation, Basu Chatterjee came to Mumbai. There he joined a military school with a job in the library.  Then he joined in a weekly tabloid “Blitz”. There he contributed as “Political Cartoonist”.  Back then he influenced by Film Society Movement. Also, he decidedly inspired by foreign film. It developed his desire to make films. As a cartoonist, Basu Chatterjee worked for around 18 years.

Involving in movie production:

Meanwhile, he found an opportunity to assist Basu Bhattacharya in Teesri Kasam (1966) movie. After assisting another film, Basu Chatterjee got Rs. 2.25 Lakh loan from Film Finance Corporation. It helped him to make his first every film Sara Aakash (1969).  The movie conversion of a novel from Rajendra Yadav. This movie received the best Filmfare Screenplay Awards. Later, he got the opportunity to direct “Piya Ka Ghar” by Rajshri Films then never need to look back. Previously Rajshri Film took the distribution of  Sara Aakash movie.

In his movies, Basu Chatterjee wanted to show the importance of “life”. His films brought the educated group of customers to the movie hall.  To acknowledge his focus on the middle-class family-based story, Basu mentioned that he did come from a middle-class family. He knew the feeling and challenges in a middle-class family. It pursued him to bring that life in the big screen. Basu mentioned he influenced by Bicycle Theif movie, an Italian movie by Vittorio De Sica. He also mentioned about socio-romantic movies from Billy Wilder films’ influence on him.

Another major attribution of his films were melodic songs. He worked with some talented musicians including RD Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Rajesh Rohan and many more. Basu Chatterjee has an open mind about remaking his films, however, he kept this responsibility on the producer. Basu Chatterjee also directed two very popular TV shows, Byomkesh Bakshi and Rajani. It aired in Doordarshan.

He once mentioned “the balcony class filmmaker”. However, This veteran filmmaker thinks currently movies are too much focused on the business rather than class. Basu informed about his willingness to make films again but unfortunately, he is not receiving a required response.

Awards:

Filmfare Award:
Sara Akash (1972)- Best Screenplay Award
Rajnigandha (1975) – Critics Award for Best Movie
Chhoti Si Baat (1976)- Best Screenplay Award –
Chitchor Nominee (1977)- Best Screenplay Award
Swami (1978) – Best Director Award
Jeena Yahan (1980) – Critics Award for Best Movie
Kamla Ki Maut (1991) – Best Screenplay Award

IIFA Award
2007: Lifetime Achievement Award

National Film  Award
1992: Best Film on Family Welfare

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