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|Born||Bhilai, Chattisgarh, India|
|Years active||1993 - present|
|This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (November 2012)|
|Born||Bhilai, Chattisgarh, India|
|Years active||1993 - present|
Anurag Basu (Bengali: অনুরাগ বসু) is an Indian film, television advertisement and television director, actor, screenwriter and producer. Basu gained initial success with his films that tackled the themes of dark passion and adultery like Life in a... Metro, Kites, Gangster and Murder. Basu started his directing career with television shows and gradually made the move to feature films in 2002.
Basu was born into a middle-class Bengali Kayastha family in Bhilai. His parents were theatre artists and he grew up watching them perform with his father's theatre company, Abhiyan. He did his Primary Education form English Medium Middle School, Sector 2 and Higher Secondary education from BSP Senior Secondary School, Sector IV. Basu spent part of his life in Garia, a locality in South Kolkata. He received admission to the prestigious Jabalpur Engineering College, but did not join. He did B.Sc. in Physics from University of Mumbai with an intention to pursue a cinematography course at FTII, Pune. However, during the college years in Mumbai, he got an opportunity to assist at various levels in many TV and films projects. From there on, he tried at different times to stay involved with the filmmaking process and was eventually absorbed as an Assistant Director to Raman Kumar on Tara (TV series).
Anurag Basu was in his mid-twenties when he started his career in the television industry. His first directorial project was Tara, which he had joined as an Assistant DIrector. The show was one of the longest running soap operas of the 1990s. Basu went on to direct approximately 70 episodes for Tara. He directed more television serials and tried different genres ranging from daily soaps to thrillers such as Saturday Suspense,"Ajeeb Dastaan" and horror X-Zone. His most successful work during this period was the Balaji Telefilms daily soap Koshish ...Ek Aashaa in 2000, which became one of the top shows on Zee TV. He made pilot episodes of many successful shows of Indian television such as "kyun ki saans bhi kabhi bahu thi", "kahani ghar ghar ki", "kasouti zindagi ki" in the year of 2001 and 2002. Basu directed the TV series Miit, which was based on the novel Noukadubi, by the Indian poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore and "Manzilien Apni Apni" for his own home production, which were telecast on ZEE TV. Basu directed over thousands of television episodes and most of them were top TRP (Target Rating Point) grossing shows. In the year 2000 he was also awarded the Best Director Award by the Radio and TV Advertisers Practitioners Association (RAPA Awards) for his work in the TV industry. This was followed by the Aashirwad Award for Best Director in the year 2002.
The year 2002 was also the year of his feature film debut, but he kept his television connections alive and returned to the television circuit in 2007 to produce and direct the college drama Love Story for SAB TV and again in 2010, not as a director, but as an anchor for the Bengali reality show Ke Hobe Biggest Fan ("Who Will Be the Biggest Fan") for Zee Bangla.
Basu made his directorial film debut in 2003 with the slasher film Kucch To Hai starring Tusshar Kapoor, Esha Deol, and newcomer Anita Hassanandani. It was produced by Ekta Kapoor, with whom Basu had earlier worked on Koshish ...Ek Aashaa. Basu left the film mid way during production and Anil V. Kumar took charge. Although the film was well promoted and had a decent opening at the box office, it failed commercially as well as critically.
Basu joined Mahesh Bhatt's production company, Vishesh Films, where he directed his next three films. The first was a mystery-drama, Saaya, starring John Abraham and Tara Sharma, but it failed at the box office and was panned by critics for having a loose screenplay.
Basu's third film was 2004's Murder. This film dealt with adultery and contained sex scenes, an unusual feature in Indian cinema. In spite of getting an A-certificate from the CBFC, the film became Basu's first hit. It was well received by the critics who appreciated the performances by Mallika Sherawat, Emraan Hashmi, and Ashmit Patel. The music in the film by composer Anu Malik was also a hit, with chart-busters such as Kaho Naa Kaho and Bheeghey Hont Tere. The film catapulted Mallika Sherawat and Emraan Hashmi to fame. To this day, Murder remains one of the few commercially successful adult-certified films in India. Basu's next movie, also with Mahesh Bhatt's company, was titled Gangster. It was critically acclaimed and was financially successful as well. In this film, Basu teamed up with musician Pritam for the first time and the union was a huge success, as was their second film together, Life in a... Metro, which was also a hit with the critics. Both of the movies showed the deftness and maturity of the director.
Anurag Basu's next movie Kites, starring Hrithik Roshan, Bárbara Mori, and Kangana Ranaut was one of the most awaited movies in 2010. This movie, released in May 2010, had one of the biggest openings in Bollywood history and for the year 2010 but failed to live up to its expectations. It was released in 60 countries, and received good reviews from all the major critics worldwide. The film performed well overseas and was the first Indian film ever to be in the top ten at the US box-office.
In 2012, Basu's latest film Barfi! starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz in lead roles opened with largely positive reviews. It was well received at Busaan film festival 2012. Barfi! was named India's official entry to the Oscars. Barfi! was also officially selected for Taipei and Morocco film festivals. It registered a powerful box office collection in its opening week, by earning Rs. 58.6 crore. it went on to become third highest grosser of the year 2012. Answering a question after Barfi!'s 100 Crore revenue, if box-office success was his motivation for making movies, Basu said, "I think Barfi’s genre is a feel-good genre and that’s the kind of film I wanted to make. And that is what I will try to do in my next film. If it touches 100 hearts maybe it will be in 100 crore club but that will not be my main criteria when I am writing a story".
Basu is married to Tani Basu and has two daughters, Ishana (b. 2004) and Ahana (b. 2007).
Anurag Basu was diagnosed w acute leukemia in 2004 when he was halfway through his film Tumsa Nahin Dekha. He was immediately hospitalised; his doctors announced that he had two months to live. Basu even directed parts of the film from his hospital bed as shooting could not be canceled. To complete the film, he gave instructions on a dictaphone, talking about camera angles and the script. Mahesh Bhatt and Mohit Suri finished the film later. Basu underwent chemotherapy and was on medication for three years.
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