Remembering B. R. Chopra
Inspirational, is a word that most suits the life of a legend called Dr. BR Chopra. His tall gait and strong voice give but only an indication of his impact on the Hindi Film Industry. It would be appropriate to say that what corporate houses are trying to achieve today, or what major studios did in Hollywood, BR Chopra did many years ago in the Hindi film industry, and that too single handedly.
BR Chopra had a writing department that discovered legends like Salim – Javed, the legend of Yash Chopra was nurtured and developed by BR Chopra.
The library of BR Films is like an MGM worth its weight in gold with masterpieces like
# Afasana – A tale of mistaken identity,
# Ek Hi Raasta – widow remarriage,
# Naya Daur – man vs machine,
# Dhool Ka Phool – Yash Chopra’s first film that had the inspirational song ‘na Hindu banega na mualaman banega’ ,
# Kanoon – a brilliant songless courtroom drama,
# Dharamputra – a hard hitting film on the politics of religion,
# Gumrah – what happens when a married woman crosses the line,
# Waqt – the first lost and found formula film,
# Humraz – A Mystery,
# Ittefaq – A murder Mystery shot in one house,
# Dhund – a thriller mystery,
# Choti si Baat – a light hearted family film,
# Zameer, The Burning Train,
# Isaaf ka Tarazu – a woman seeks revenge on the man who raped her and her sister,
# Nikaah – a story of a muslim woman.
In television too he created history by making the Mahabharat.
He started his career as a film journalist doing reviews and then after partition moved to Mumbai (then Bombay) and began his role as a film producer and director and never looked back till his last living days, he was recently credited as the story writer of his son Ravi Chopra’s hit film Baghban
As I said at the start, he single handedly created an institution, a studio system, gave birth to and nurtured writers, directors, technicians, actors, lyricists, that today huge corporates are finding it difficult to do with all their resources. BR Chopra did it with sheer passion and grit.
The songs of his films were blockbuster too, who can forget evergreen hits like –
# Tum Agar saath dene vaada karo,
# na sur jhuka ke jiyo,
# maang ke saath tumhara,
# ude jub jub zulfein teri,
# reshmi salwar kurta jaali ka,
# dil ke armaan aansoon mein beh gaye,
# dil ki yeh aarzoo thi koi dilruba mile,
# chalo ek baar phir se ajnabi ban jaayein hum dono,
the list is endless and timeless.
BR Chopra’s films were as diverse as they were socially relevant. The brilliance of BR Chopra was that you could never say that he belonged to a certain school of filmmaking or that he had a particular style, his brilliance was that he had the range to do so many different types of films and do them with such a mastery, that’s what made him the institution that he was, and will remain to all us students of cinema.