After initial setbacks, he achieved his breakthrough with the erotic thriller Murder (2004), and gained prominence with the musical romantic thriller Gangster: A Love Story (2006) and the ensemble urban drama Life in a... Metro (2007), the latter of which earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay, in addition to his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.
His highest grosser came with the widely acclaimed romantic comedy-drama Barfi! (2012), which earned him his second nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director. He next directed the much-delayed musical adventure comedy-drama Jagga Jasoos (2017), which earned critical acclaim but was commercially unsuccessful, and the Netflix black comedy crime film Ludo (2020), in which he also made his debut as a cinematographer. The latter film also earned him his third nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.
Early life edit
Basu was born into an upper-middle-class Bengali family in Bhilai, Madhya Pradesh (now in Chhattisgarh). His parents, Subrato Bose and Deepshikha Bose [ex-executives in SAIL Bhilai Steel Plant in Cokeovens and Education department (Organic Chemistry) respectively], were award-winning theatrical artists and Basu grew up watching them performing in his father's theatre company (Abhiyaan). He attended BSP Senior Secondary School, Sector-IV (SSS-IV) in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh (then Madhya Pradesh). He received a B.Sc. degree in Physics honours from the University of Mumbai, intending to study cinematography at FTII, Pune; however, during his college years in Mumbai he had an opportunity to assist on a number of levels in TV and film projects. After trying to remain involved with filmmaking, Basu became an assistant director to Raman Kumar on Tara.
Basu began his television career as an assistant director on Tara in mid 1994. After six months, he was given full responsibility for directing about 712 episodes. He directed television serials, trying genres ranging from daily soaps to thrillers such as Saturday Suspense and Ajeeb Dastaan, and horror (X-Zone). Basu's most successful work during this period was the Balaji Telefilms soap Koshish ...Ek Aashaa in 2000 and he made pilot episodes of Indian television shows including Kyun ki saans bhi kabhi bahu thi, Kahani ghar ghar ki and Kasouti zindagi ki in 2001 and 2002. He began his own company and initially he produced TV serials for Zee TV and Sony channel. The popular shows of his company were Manzilien Apni Apni, Miit, Thriller at Ten, and Horror Shows on Zee. He himself directed the TV series Miit (based on the novel Noukadubi by Rabindranath Tagore), Manzilien Apni Apni and all his other series. Basu has directed many television shows. In 2000 he received a RAPA Award for Best Director Award from the Radio and TV Advertisers Practitioners Association, followed by an Aashirwad Award for Best Director two years later. Basu returned to television in 2007 to produce and direct the college drama Love Story and hosted the Bengali reality show Ke Hobe Biggest Fan (Who Will Be the Biggest Fan) for Zee Bangla in 2010. Basu started his own film production house, Ishana Movies, in 2007 and the first film of his production company was the 2007 musical drama film Life in a... Metro with co-producer UTV. Currently his series Stories by Rabindranath Tagore is airing on Netflix and EPIC Channel. Basu will be judging the upcoming TV show 'Super Dancer Chapter 4', along with Shilpa Shetty and Geeta Kapoor.
Initial work, directorial debut and breakthrough (2003) edit
Basu made his film debut as an extra in the action drama Dalaal (1993). He made his directorial debut with the Balaji Motion Pictures-produced horror slasher film Kucch To Hai (2003), followed by the Vishesh Films-produced supernatural fantasy romantic thriller Saaya (2003). Both films received highly negative reviews from critics upon release, and emerged as commercial disasters at the box-office.
Basu achieved his breakthrough with the erotic thriller Murder (2004) starring Emraan Hashmi and Mallika Sherawat in lead roles. Based on the American film Unfaithful (2002), It is the first instalment of the Murder film series. The film told the story of an unhappily married woman's extramarital affair with her former flame. Due to its erotic subject and sex scenes, which was unusual for Indian cinema at the time, it received an A certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification. It received mixed reviews from critics upon release, but emerged as a commercial success at the box-office, ranking as the eighth highest-grossing Hindi film of the year.
The same year, he helmed the musical romance Tumsa Nahin Dekha: A Love Story, again starring Hashmi alongside Dia Mirza. Halfway through the film, Basu was diagnosed with acute leukemia. He was immediately hospitalised, directing parts of the film from his hospital bed. He gave instructions by dictaphone for camera angles and script changes, with Mahesh Bhatt and Mohit Suri completing the film while the director underwent chemotherapy. The film received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics upon release, and emerged as a commercial disaster at the box-office.
Success (2006-2012) edit
Basu's next directorial venture was the musical romantic thriller Gangster: A Love Story (2006), which starred debutante Kangana Ranaut alongside Hashmi and Shiney Ahuja in lead roles. The film revolves around the complex love triangle between a bar singer, her mysterious lover, and a gangster, exploring themes of love, betrayal, and the criminal underworld. It received positive reviews from critics upon release, with praise for its screenplay, soundtrack, cinematography and performances of the cast. The film emerged as a commercial success at the box-office.
He next screenwrote and directed the ensemble urban drama Life in a... Metro (2007). The film narrates the stories of nine people living in Mumbai and tackles themes such as extramarital affairs, sanctity of marriage, commitment phobia and love. It received widespread critical acclaim upon release, with high praise for its novel concept, story, screenplay, dialogues, soundtrack and performances of the ensemble cast. The film emerged as a surprise commercial success at the box-office. Life in a... Metro won Basu the Filmfare Award for Best Screenplay, in addition to his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.
His next film was the romantic action thriller Kites (2010) starring Hrithik Roshan, deutante Bárbara Mori and Kangana Ranaut in lead roles. Filmed in Hindi, English and Spanish, the film follows the tumultuous love story between a dance teacher stuck in a green card marriage, and a woman on the run. It received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics upon release, with sharp criticism for its multilingual narrative that featured the majority of dialogue in English and Spanish. Despite pre-release hype due to its starcast, the film emerged as a below-average grosser at the box-office.
Basu's next directorial and screenwriting venture was the romantic comedy-drama Barfi! (2012) starring Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'Cruz in lead roles. Set in 1970s, the film revolves around the love triangle between a deaf-mute young man, an autistic girl, and a wistful young woman. It opened to widespread critical acclaim, with high praise for its direction, screenplay, cinematography, soundtrack, performances of the cast, and the portrayal of physically disabled people. The film emerged as a major commercial success at the box-office, grossing ₹175 crore worldwide, ranking as the sixth highest-grossing Hindi film of the year. Barfi! earned Basu his second nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.
Barfi! was screened at several film festivals such as Busan, Marrakech and Taipei, and won the prestigious Grand Jury Award at the Okinawa International Movie Festival in Japan. The film made the shortlist for India's official entry for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film at the 85th Academy Awards, but failed to receive a nomination. However, its choice as the country's entry was criticized after Basu was accused of plagiarizing several Hollywood films. Since its release, Barfi! has achieved a cult status for its refreshing story, soundtrack, performances of the cast, and feel-good factor.
Later career (2017-present) edit
After a 5-year directorial hiatus, he made his comeback with the musical adventure comedy-drama Jagga Jasoos (2017) starring Kapoor alongside Katrina Kaif. Originally planned for a release in 2014, schedule conflicts set back release. The film was produced by Basu and Kapoor's new production company, Picture Shuru Entertainment, in association with Disney Studios. It tells the story of a teenage detective and an accident-prone journalist who join forces to search for his missing father. The film received mixed reviews upon release, with praise for its innovative storytelling style, cinematography, soundtrack and cast performances, but criticism for its plot, runtime and pacing. Despite hype prior to release, it emerged as a commercial disaster at the box-office.
He next venture was the Netflix black comedy crime film Ludo (2020), in which he also made his debut as a cinematographer. Starring an ensemble cast, the plot of the film interweaves the lives of four characters—a determined young woman, a cunning conman, a troubled teenager, and a righteous police officer—through a series of interconnected stories. It received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics upon release, with praise for its direction, screenplay, cinematography, soundtrack and performances of the cast. The film earned Basu his first nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Film, and his third nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Director.
Personal life edit
Basu is married to Tani Basu and has two daughters, Ishana (b. 2004) and Ahana (b. 2007).
|2003||Kucch To Hai||Yes||No||No|
|2004||Tumsa Nahin Dekha: A Love Story||Yes||No||No|
|2007||Life in a... Metro||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2023||Metro In Dino||Yes||Yes|
Frequent collaborations edit
|Tumsa Nahi Dekha
|Life In A Metro
- Tara (1996)
- Saturday Suspense (1998)
- Star Best Sellers (1999)
- X-Zone (1999)
- Ajeeb Dastaan (1998)
- Koshish ...Ek Aashaa (2000)
- Kyun Ki Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
- Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki (2000)
- Manzilien Apni Apni (TV series) (2001) - Home production
- Miit (2002) - Home production
- Thriller at 10 (2005–2006) - Home Production
- Ke Hobe Biggest Fan (2010)
- Rooh - Home Production
- Love Story (2007) - Home Production
- Stories by Rabindranath Tagore (2015) - Home Production
- Super Dancer As a Judge (Season 1-4) - (2016-2021)
Awards and nominations edit
- Mazumdar, Suruchi (14 March 2008). "Anurag Basu to direct Rithik Roshan". Screen.[dead link]
- "I am scared to leave my daughter alone now: Anurag Basu - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
- "I blame myself for my father's death: Anurag Basu - The Times of India". The Times of India.
- "I blame myself for my father's death: Anurag Basu". The Times of India. 22 September 2012. Archived from the original on 23 September 2012.
- "The Script motivates me". Indiantelevision.com. 13 July 2001.
- "KBC's tail whiplashes Zee prime time". Financial Express. 9 November 2000. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013.
- "A classic re-told". The Tribune (India). 16 March 2001.
- "Stories by Rabindranath Tagore | Netflix". www.netflix.com. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
- Cyril, Grace (3 February 2021). "Shilpa Shetty, Geeta Kapur and Anurag Basu to return as judges on Super Dancer 4". India Today. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
- "Directors' Diaries - The Road To Their First Film". Directors' Diaries - The Road To Their First Film. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
- "Kucch Toh Hai - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Saaya - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Murder - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "What they don't tell you about cancer". Times of India. 10 June 2007.
- "Tumsa Nahin Dekha - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Could Gangster be another Murder?". Rediff.com. 5 April 2006.
- "Gangster - A Love Story - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Life In A Metro - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Kites - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Barfi! - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Ranbir-Priyanka's BARFI! receives standing ovation at Busan Film Festival". Yahoo! News India. 12 October 2012.
- "Barfi and Anurag Basu". The Times of India.
- "Barfi! Nominated as India's entry at the Oscars in Foreign Language Film category". Archived from the original on 26 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-23.
- "Barfi's bitter truth". India Today. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "11 Years of Barfi!: How The Film Subverted Notions Of Love". filmfare.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- ENS (10 August 2013). "Ranbir Kapoor to romance Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt in Jagga Jasoos". Indian Express. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- "Jagga Jasoos - Movie - Box Office India". www.boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- vrinda.mundara. "Life in a Metro sequel 'Metro In Dino' announced with Sara Ali Khan and Aditya Roy Kapoor in leading roles". Asianet News Network Pvt Ltd. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- Bureau, ABP News (30 January 2023). "Aditya Roy Kapur, Sara Ali Khan-Starrer Anthology Film Metro…In Dino Gets Release A Date". news.abplive.com. Retrieved 22 November 2023.
- "Kartik Aaryan and Anurag Basu's 'Aashiqui 3' to go on floors in 2024 Exclusive". India Today. Retrieved 8 October 2023.