B.R. Chopra died today.


Mumbai: Legendary film-maker B.R. Chopra, who made immortal classics highlighting socially relevant issues and produced the popular Hindi TV serial ‘Mahabharat,’ died on Wednesday at his home here following prolonged illness. Baldev Raj Chopra, elder brother of another filmmaker Yash Chopra, was 94. Mr. B.R. Chopra had not been keeping well for sometime and the end came at 8.30 a.m. at his residence in suburban Juhu, family sources said. One of India’s most respected film personalities and an eminent film producer-director, Mr. B.R. Chopra is survived by his film-maker son Ravi Chopra and two daughters. Mr. B.R. Chopra was known for making films based on powerful off-beat themes such as Dhool Ka Phool (1959), Waqt (1965), Naya Daur (1957), Kanoon (1958), Humraz (1967), Insaf Ka Tarazu (1980) and Nikah (1982). Whether it was issues relating to adultery (Gumraah), the politics of rape (Insaaf Ka Tarazu), Muslim matrimony laws (Nikah), rehabilitation of prostitutes (Sadhana) or widow remarriage (Ek Hi Raasta), he always had a sharp, clear and effective non-formula tale to tell. He laid great emphasis on the story because he himself had started out as a writer. (The Hindu)

This Times of India article on Chopra is quite interesting. I just loved Chopra’s Naya Daur and Nikaah. The supplemental disc to Naya Daur contains a great interview with Chopra which I blogged about HERE. Now here’s a nice tune from Naya Daur to send off Chopra:

Credit for the B.R. Chopra film images posted above goes to the marvelous Karen’s Gallery. Stop over to Rough In Here to see some more videos from B.R. Chopra’s films.

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15 thoughts on “B.R. Chopra died today.

  1. Pingback: B.R. Chopra RIP « Rough In Here, Rougher Out There

  2. Yeah, I get a little worried about Dev sometimes – in fact, I’ve been thinking about him a bit more now, ever since I picked this new avatar. :)

    Anyway, I decided to pass on comments at first because my “pingback” (I think that’s what you call it) is the first comment here. But I wanted to add here that Sadhna should be on the list of fine B.R. Chopra films. It may not be uniformly great, but it’s got some great moments. It’s also a great showcase for my favorite among the Bollywood actress-dancers who are still alive (and who still could have a couple of decades to go if she matches her old director’s record – not in films anymore, but still doing the bharatanatyam!).

  3. Renegade Eye,
    Thanks for your visit and the tip on the film. I’ve heard some buzz on Slumdog Millionaire and need to try and make the viewing on the 13th now that you endorse it, since I trust your judgment.

    shweta,
    Thanks for your visit. Maybe think of is this way, maybe with Joy, Shashi, Dharam, Dev being up there and ready to pass on, they will reincarnate and pop up yet again in the Indian Film Industry, and we’ll be seeing them again all fresh in 20 years of so. :)

    Richard,
    Thanks for the link and I love your new avatar, is it from Taxi Driver? I look forward to seeing Sadhna, who doesn’t like a prostitute story? Have you seen Chameli or Mausam? I see in the article I quoted in this post that Sadhna is about the “rehabilitation of prostitutes.” Here are some Sadhna images from Karen’s gallery:

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lipgloss14/S#5207487658737451154

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lipgloss14/S#5207487586241494434

  4. Sita-ji, you are welcome, and thank you for the link too!

    Taxi Driver was a pretty good guess re. my avatar, even if it is from Baazi.

    I have no general feelings about prostitute stories one way or the other, except that in old Bollywood movies, that often means great dancing. Who doesn’t like Vyjayanthimala? And I think this must be one of her very best films, for acting as well as for the two incredible old-school mujra dances.

    Thanks for the links to pictures from Sadhna. I hadn’t seen the first one before; it’s great. The second one has been a fixture on my Media Player for a while, since it came with the copy of the soundtrack (by N. Dutta) that I downloaded from Parties, Sarees & Melodies. It’s been one of my favorite soundtracks for many months; I even cast a ballot for it as the best soundtrack from the 1950s. (It’s rare when I get to vote in an election where I actually like the choices. ;)

    Mausam looks like a good movie; I’ll have to see it sometime. I’m not so sure about Chameli, because one of the main characters is an investment banker and I often have trouble sympathizing with people in that profession, since it kind of goes against my morals.

  5. Richard-ji
    Thanks for your visit. Actually, you’d probably like Chameli more than Mausam, and the investment banker’s life is a real mess, so fear not. You’ll end up sympathizing with him and he (Rahul Bose) has good morals too. Plus Kareena is dirty hot in the role and she smokes a lot, just like the working girl in Mausam, played by Sharmila Tagore. :) It’s really more “Indian Film Industry” than Bollywood. I thought of another prostitute movie too, Chandni Bar, very good, but very dark too. Stars the most fabulous Tabu.

  6. Are you sure I’d like Chameli more? I do like Gulzar. I liked Kushboo a lot…which also had Sharmila Tagore in it, right? (Though I remember Hema Malini from that one more.) I think I’ve seen Sharmila Tagore in a few things – including Mississippi Masala, which I saw many years before I got this Bollywood bug! But maybe Chameli is good too. I see from Rahul Bose’s bio that he just can’t find enough good causes to work for. :) And I think I read about Chandni Bar a while ago, and it does look very dark. Probably I’ll see those two sometime. You’re way ahead of me on contemporary stuff, anything made after 2000. I’ve been very hooked on that Golden Age for the past six months or so; I should give some of the newer films a try again.

  7. Richard-ji,
    I haven’t seen Kushboo, but it sounds great and I love the cast. I didn’t realize Sharmila was in MIssissippi Masala, I half way watched that movie way back, but it wasn’t memorable, but at the time I did not have the Bollywood Bug as you mentioned. I think Golden Age is more enjoyable for me, but I watch whatever comes my way. Here’s a little something more with Rahul, maybe you can catch a whole episode sometime on public TV.

    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=blood%20orange%20%20indique&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&sa=N&tab=wv#

  8. Oh, so Rahul does a techno rugby thing? :) I recall Bally Sagoo doing the music for some popular movie about sports teams, though I can’t quite place (or find) it now…

    Mississippi Masala…you’re right, wasn’t really that memorable.

    But back to the original subject. Since you were nice enough to refer people to my B.R. Chopra videos, I’d like to mention that I’ve replaced them with versions from Tom/Tommydan1. Not only are these the best quality I’ve seen, but they also have subtitles! So now you can see when the Vyjayanthimala character is singing that “Everything here is up for sale.”

  9. So far one of my favourites is kanoon (http://bollywooddeewana.blogspot.com/2009/04/kanoon-1960_08.html) one of the first songless movies and i also saw ‘Ek hi rasta’ recently which i loved, some of it was like watching a reality show of middle class Family life in 1950’s India, it had fabulous songs + a super fierce child actor (Daisy irani as a boy, definitely one of the best child actors i have come across) i want to get my hands on a tribute pack released by moserbaer

    http://www.moserbaerhomevideo.com/title-view.php?titleid=5254

    http://www.moserbaerhomevideo.com/title-view.php?titleid=5255

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