Filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, pioneer of middle of the road movies no more

Basu Chatterjee's movies like Rajnigandha, Choti si baat, Baaton Batton mein, Chitchor are still remembered today for their realistic portrayal of the common man in the age of Angry Man.

Filmmaker-screenwriter Basu Chatterjee, best known for directing films like Choti Si Baat, Rajnigandha, Baaton Baaton Mein, Ek Ruka Hua Faisla and Chameli Ki Shaadi among more, passed away on Thursday in Mumbai, following age-related ailments. He was 93.

Filmmaker and Indian Film & TV Directors’ Association president Ashoke Pandit took to Twitter to share the news. He tweeted, “@ashokepandit I am extremely grieved to inform you all the demise of Legendary Filmmaker Basu Chatterjee ji . His last rites will be performed today at Santacruz creamation at 2 pm. It’s a great loss to the industry. Will miss you Sir. #RIPBasuChaterjee.”

Basu Chatterjee, along with filmmakers like Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Bhattacharya, were pioneers of the middle-of-the-road cinema.

Chatterjee worked in Hindi as well as Bengali cinema. His films, which were considered to be more realistic, stood out as the 70s was the era of the ‘angry young man’ and action movies. He collaborated with Amol Palekar on films like Choti Si Baat, Rajnigandha and Chitchor among more.

Basu Chatterjee also collaborated with the superstars of the era but presented them in unique avatars – Amitabh Bachchan in Manzil, Rajesh Khanna in Chakravyuh, Dev Anand in Man Pasand AND Mithun Chakraborty in Shaukeen and Pasand Apni Apni.

His 1986 film Ek Ruka Hua Faisla was an Indian adaptation of Twelve Angry Men and is remembered till date.

During the early Doordarshan days, Basu Chatterjee also helmed two hit TV serials – Byomkesh Bakshi and Rajani. Recently, Byomkesh Bakshi was reaired during the lockdown.

In 1992, he was awarded National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare for his film Durga.

At a time when cine lovers are reeling from the death of stalwarts like Irrfan Khan, it is another shock to people who admired more realistic cinema.

Many fans and celebrities took to social media to mourn the demise of Basu Chatterjee.

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