PM Modi, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee mourn the demise of legendary filmmaker Basu Chatterjee

Veteran Director-screenwriter Basu Chatterjee, known for his middle-of-the-road cinema and films such as “Chhoti Si Baat” and “Rajanigandha”, died on Thursday, June 04  due to age-related health issues. He was 90.“He passed away peacefully. He wasn’t keeping well for quite some time. It’s a great loss to the film industry,” Ashoke Pandit, president of the Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA), said. Pandit said the filmmaker’s last rites will be performed at Santacruz crematorium. He is survived by  2 daughters, Sonali Bhattacharya & Rupali Guha. Some of his best-known works are “Us Paar”, “Chitchor”, “Piya Ka Ghar”, “Khatta Meetha” and “Baton Baton Mein”. He has also directed many Bengali films such as Hothat Brishti, Hochcheta Ki and Hothat Shei Din. is daughter Rupali Guha is also a film director. Her first Hindi film Aamras, released in September 2009, a coming of age film involving four schoolgirls. Rupali’s next film, the Bengali film Porichoi, with Prosenjit Chatterji, dealt with an estranged father-daughter relationship. She also produced TV serials under the Filmfarm banner. Her serials included Tumhari Disha, Rakhi, Dil Se Diya Vachan and Do Dil Bandhe Ek Dori Se for Zee TV, Kashi for NDTV Imagine, Uttaran and Ishq Ka Rang Safed for Colors TV and Perfect Pati for &TV.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, he became associated with what is called middle-of-the-road cinema, with filmmakers such as Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Bhattacharya, whom he assisted in Teesri Kasam. 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 had Chatterjee 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 by movie buffs. Basu Chatterjee also helmed two hit TV serials – Byomkesh Bakshi and Rajani. Recently, Byomkesh Bakshi was re-aired during the lockdown. In 1992, he was awarded National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare for his film Durga. Condoling his demise, Prime Minister  Narendra Modi says ‘’Sad to hear of the demise of Shri Basu Chatterjee. His works are brilliant and sensitive. It touched people’s hearts and represented simple and complex emotions, as well as the struggles of people. Condolences to his family and innumerable fans. Om Shanti”. Born in Ajmer on 10.01.1930, Basu Chatterjee started his career as an illustrator and cartoonist with the weekly tabloid Blitz published r by Russi Karanjia. After working in the Mumbai based media house for 18 years, 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. He made directorial debut with Sara Akash in 1969, which won him the Filmfare Best Screenplay Award. Some of his best films to be critically acclaimed are Sara Akash (1969), Piya Ka Ghar (1972), Us Paar (1974), Rajnigandha (1974), Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Chitchor (1976), Swami (1977), Khatta Meetha, Priyatama, Chakravyuha (1978 film), Jeena Yahan (1979), Baton Baton Mein (1979), Apne Paraye (1980), Shaukeen and Ek Ruka Hua Faisla. (edited by PK Chakravarty with inputs from Wikipedia & other sources)

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