'Family dramas would be back soon'

Noted filmmaker Basu Chatterjee is optimistic about the return of middle-class sentiments in Indian cinema.
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Published on Jul 10, 2006 11:59 AM IST
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None | BySanjay Sharma (Indo-Asian News Service), Bhopal

Noted filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, who has given hits like Rajnigandha and Chitchor, says that family dramas would make a comeback in Indian cinema.

Chatterjee, who has over 40 films to his credit, said he was optimistic that the days of "family dramas reflecting middle class sentiments" would come back one day. These days it is hard to convince producers to finance films that do not exhibit much box-office potential, he said. "A film is not entertainment alone. It is an art too. It also is a language by itself."

The filmmaker, known for his romantic comedies, was here to attend an eight-day film appreciation programme at Bharat Bhavan, a centre for performing and visual arts.

Speaking at the programme, Chatterjee asserted that such events were necessary to create an artistic sense among the people. "Several things regarding films can be learnt through such appreciation programmes. I myself learnt the basics of film direction from the film society," he said.

He said his films revolve around the middle class - a section of society which he has seen and understood closely.

"Belonging to the middle class myself, I have experienced the hardships which a person from the class undergoes and have also realised what he feels when something good - a bit of happiness - comes to his life. And this is what I try to portray in my movies with honesty," Chatterjee said.

He, however, rued that present day films are being produced with only one perspective in mind - business. This he said has led to the downfall of "his kind of films". "Lust for cheap entertainment is the main reason behind the decline," he said.

On the other hand, television is a comparatively better medium, said Chatterjee. He has directed several popular TV serials like Byomkesh Bakshi and Kakaji Kahin.

"Television is a better medium than films because through it one can send a message to a larger section of society," the renowned filmmaker said.

Chatterjee started his film career in 1970 with the film Saara Aakash, based on a novel by Rajendra Yadav.

He said that the relation between cinema and literature was everlasting and admitted being influenced by Bengali and Hindi literature.

Having won several national awards, including the best director Filmfare award for Swami in 1978, Chatterjee is believed to be highly influenced by Hrishikesh Mukherjee's works.

The acclaimed director said that awards did not affect the quality of his work in any way. "The real award for an artist is the appreciation from the audience."

Ek Ladki Bholi Bhali Si, a Hindi version of the Bengali film Tak Jhal Misti directed by Chatterjee himself, is slated to be released soon.

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