Dipen Guhawrote on Jul 19 2009 12:40AM
One of the pioneer films of "New Cinema" was the first directorial venture of Basu Chatterjee. Basu was born in 1930 at Ajmer, Rajasthan. After having worked for 18 years as a cartoonist and illustrator foe the famous weekly tabloid Blitz, and also assisting Basu Bhattacharya on his film, Teesri Kasam Basu Chatterjee himself turned to direction and made his first film, "Sara Akash", at the age of 40 in 1969. Qute prolific, till date he has made more than 40 films, including five television series. His first very promising film was hearlded as one of the three films, along with those of Mani Kaul and Mrinal Sen which ushered in the era of "New Cinema". This film was shot on real locations, in black and white to emphasise the gloomy atmosphere in the town and family where the story is set. Basu made many other films but none of them eqalled the force and mastery of "Sara Akash". Other important films of Chatterjee include "Swamy" with Shabana Azmi, Girish Karnad and Vikram. The film shows how the wife slowly overcomes her former infatuation and begins to appreciate the gentleness, care, tenderness and human qualities of her husband. Another sensitive film of Basu is "Kamala ki Maut"---the story of what happens after a young woman of twent commits suicide by throwing herself from her apartment window. The reason for her suicide was that she had become pregnant by a young man. The incident traumatises another family in the neighbourhood consisting of a couple and their two daughters, for each of whom this incident stirs up feelings of guilt for various reasons. Apart from such thought-provoking films, Basu has proved his worth as sweet romantic movies. "Rajnigandha" is a specimen of his brilliant directorial craftsmanship. A young lady who has romantic tie with a young man, is mentally tormented as she happens ro fall in with her previous lover. She, however, tides over her dilemma, as she is convinced with her self-made realisation over the distiction between infatuation developed in teens and true love in maturity. Vidya Sinha and Amol Palekar made their debunts in this film. Some mellifluous numbers composed by Sali Chowdhury are extra bonus we have in this film."Chhoti Si Baat"is light-hearted in terms of subjectivity but provides the audiences with ample humour and fun . Ashok Kumar has given a brilliant performanc in an off-the -track role. "Chitchor" is another remarkable film that generates a rustic flavour. The film was a huge success in the box-office. Ravindra Jain has created some of his unforgettable numbers. "Saukeen"deals with the vain attempts of three aged friends in reviving the lost days of amorous exercises. Ashoke Kumar, Utpal Dutt and A. K. Hangal as the trio have given superb performances. " Baaton Baton Mein" is , yet, another stamp of Basu's exellence. The story of the film is based on the urges of an aged widower and an aged widow for marriage and the consensus of their children. "Ek Ruka Hua Faisla"based mainly on dialogues, is a masterpiece. Its treatment is itricrate and brilliantly scripted. This film is serious out and out. Basu has also tried his hands in pure main-stream cinema, but such films have not left abiding impressions.