Thursday, March 17, 2011

Basu Chatterjee interview

Basu Chatterjee, who was at FTII for a seminar, speaks to Sandhya Iyer about some of his delightful, evergreen films that continue to be a great source of enjoyment

His films, along with Hrishikesh Mukherjee's, remain the most avidly viewed films on television by far, and the countless re-runs have only added to their timeless appeal. Films like Golmaal, Baaton Baaton Mein, Chupke Chupke, Choti Si Baat and Rajnigandha have been a source of endless delight, and new age filmmakers too have come to see them as wonderfully conceived classics. And even if these two veterans have been out of the limelight for years, their films feel as fresh as ever.
We met up with Basu Chatterjee at FTII and though he admits he's not really a talker and has preferred to be the man behind the camera always, he does sit down for a tete-a tete, even as he politely waits for his sugarless tea that shows no signs of arriving.

Chatterjee had a long and impressive body of work, but the film that appears closest to his heart is Saara Akash (1969), which was his debut. It also remains important for the reason that almost the entire cast and crew were chosen from FTII. “The only person I could not get was Jaya Bhaduri. I was told that she could not act before completing the course. My point was that the very purpose of such a course was to get an opportunity to act and here I was offering it. So I had to take someone else. But otherwise, almost all the technicians were from FTII and I remain grateful for that,”he says.
Saara Akash is a story about a young, immature man — with political ambitions — and the turmoil he faces when he is pushed into an arranged marriage. The film on the one hand was a satire on the unpreparedness of youngsters with respect to marriage and on the other, was about two strangers discovering each other under one roof. Chatterjee says he surpirsed himself by coming up with such a good film and theme. “That is my best work I feel and very path-breaking for its times,” he says.
As for his other outright classic Rajnigandha — about a woman's struggle to decide between two men she loves — he credits his writer Manu Bhandari. “The story was written by a woman, so it got the complexities right. This was the time when the girl was viewed as sati- savitri and this film subverts that idea because here she is in love with two men at the same time. Originally, the story was written as letters shared between two ladies. I sat down and worked out the screenplay.”
A lot in the film is left unspoken. For example, one doesn't know if Dinesh Thakur's character really loved the girl. “He does,” says Chatterjee. “It's just that he is not expressive.”
The film starred a young Amol Palekar and Vidya Sinha. “I had seen Amol on stage and had liked his face. He was working as a clerk in a bank at that time. Vidya Sinha was struggling for years in the industry when she got this break. She looked very young in the film, but she was almost 28 by then. She was married too,” he tells us about the film that offers one of the most nuanced exploration into a woman's mind.
His films like Chameli Ki Shaadi, Baaton Baaton Mein, Choti Si Baat were all set in a middle-class milieu and were narrated with ironic humour “That’s becauseI belong to the middle-class and was the only thing I knew. Also, comedy by nature appeals to me. I was called a balcony class filmmaker in those days, because most of my films had the balcony full,” tells the filmmaker who also made one of the most popular television serials, Rajini.
Chatterjee's obvious strength was his ability to pick good stories. “Even today I don't think there is a dearth of ideas but you must know how to recogonise and grab the good ones,” says the director who made a Bengali film called Trishanku a year ago — about the conflict between a mother and daughter.
Among recent films, Chatterjee mentions A Wednesday which he liked, and among the filmmakers he likes Sanjay Leela Bhasali. He doesn't see the Hindi market conducive enough to make a film himself, though he readily admits that the industry and audience are changing for the better.
All of Chattejee’s films were greatly entertaining, and studded with several useful gems of wisdom. Would he share what he believes about love, life and relationships today? “I don't think my views have changed much since then. I'm almost 80 now. I believe you are wiser when you are younger. Experience is not necessarily useful. Most people who attain something in life do so in their youth. By the time they are old, they are already established," he says. As always, Basu Chatterjee leaves us thinking and smiling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice article. I think he is as good a director as Hrishikesh M was. Some of the movies here are classics. A word about the songs...there is this song in baaton baaton mein - kishore's...what a song. The difference between hrishikesh and basu movies were that the latter's movies probably had much more melodious songs.

March 17, 2011 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Backpack said...

This is truly an excellent page. Nice page you have in here indeed. Thanks for sharing. This one is very nicely written and it contains many useful Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the Replica Hermes.

November 15, 2011 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Anshu Tomar said...

I was just searching for somewhere to post so that I can communicate to Mr Basu Chatterjee that how much I liked his movie "Rajnigandha" , I had just finished seeing , really , the end was so good , and so close to reality , it was how it should be.

January 12, 2014 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Shijun Lin said...

shijun 5.27
michael kors
louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin outlet
toms canada
burberry bags
michael kors outlet
ray ban wayfarer
coach factory outlet
christian louboutin shoes
tods shoes outlet
coach factory outlet
wholesale nfl jerseys
jordan retro 3
michael kors outlet
abercrombie and fitch
michael kors outlet online
true religion
hollister clothing store
coach outlet store online
jordan 11s
louis vuitton outlet
abercrombie kids
ralph lauren outlet online
mont blanc mountain
gucci outlet
retro 11
louis vuitton handbags
coach factory online
chanel bags
jordan 6s
louis vuitton handbags
tory burch shoes
oakley sunglass
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors handbags
oakley glasses
michael kors outlet
louis vuitton handbags

May 26, 2015 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger Hua Cai said...

true religion outlet,
toms shoes,
michael kors factory outlet,
hermes birkin,
lululemon outlet,
nike free uk,
tiffany and co jewelry,
ed hardy clothing,
cheap ugg boots,
michael kors outlet,
ray ban sunglasses,
air jordan 11,
rolex watches uk,
tory burch outlet,
nfl jerseys wholesale,
oakley sunglasses wholesale,
christian louboutin online,
wedding dresses,
beats by dr dre,
oakley sunglasses,
air jordan 4,
calvin klein underwear,
nike huarache,
mbt shoes,
coach handbags,

September 24, 2015 at 12:48 AM  
Blogger كشف تسربات المياه said...
كشف تسربات المياه
افضل شركه كشف تسربات
شركه كشف تسربات
شركات كشف تسربات المياه
تسرب المياة
كشف تسربات
كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
شركه كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
افضل شركه كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض عماله فلبينيه
شركه عزل مائى بالرياض
عزل مائى
شركه عزل خزانات بالرياض
عزل الاسطح
عزل خزانات
شركه عزل اسطح بالرياض
نقل اثاث بالرياض
نقل عفش بالرياض
نقل عفش
نقل اثاث
شركه تنظيف منازل بالرياض
تنظيف منازل
شركه نظافه
شركه تنظيف بالرياض
شركه نظافه عامه بالرياض
مكافحه حشرات
رش مبيدات
رش مبيد
شركه رش مبيدات بالرياض
شركه مكافحه حشرات بالرياض
رش مبيدات حشريه
رش مبيدات حشريه بالرياض

November 6, 2016 at 3:38 AM  
Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

michael kors handbags
nike store uk
ecco shoes outlet
michael kors handbags outlet
asics shoes
miami heat
los angeles lakers jerseys
adidas nmd
michael kors handbags

March 13, 2017 at 2:56 AM  
Blogger happy 123 said...

adidas yeezy boost
michael kors handbags
hermes belt
pandora jewelry
yeezy boost 350 v2
roshe run
michael jordan shoes
kyrie 3
adidas tubular shadow
yeezy boost 350 v2

July 6, 2017 at 3:32 AM  
Blogger happy 123 said...

yeezy shoes
ugg boots
michael kors uk
polo ralph lauren
cheap oakley sunglasses
supra sneakers
coach outlet
sac longchamp
ray ban sunglasses
ugg outlet

August 16, 2017 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger عبده العمراوى said...

شركة الماسة لمكافحة الحشرات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالقطيف

September 10, 2017 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

nike huarache
cheap jordan shoes
colts jerseys
longchamp outlet
ralph lauren outlet
washington redskins jerseys
michael kors outlet
yeezy shoes
boston celtics jersey
nike shoes

April 6, 2018 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Fghkfhk Dfgaert said...

nike shoes
rushe run uk
new york knicks
salomon boots
nike air huarache
vikings jerseys
nike trainers
nike outlet
supreme outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses

April 19, 2018 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Stjsrty Xtjsrty said...

zzzzz2018.7.3moncler online outlet
ed hardy uk
kate spade outlet
coach outlet online
canada goose uk
ralph lauren outlet
pandora jewelry
football pas cher
pandora jewelry
moncler outlet

July 2, 2018 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Stjsrty Xtjsrty said...

ugg boots
pandora outlet
louboutin shoes
basketball shoes
coach outlet online
nike huarache femme
pandora charms
pandora charms outlet
canada goose outlet

July 25, 2018 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger 5689 said...

nike outlet
moncler jackets
michael kors outlet
louboutin shoes
true religion jeans
canada goose
ralph lauren polo
jordan 8
ugg boots clearance
ugg outlet

September 12, 2018 at 11:34 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home