B.R.Chopra passes away at 94!!


His movies asked questions. Questions that society wasn’t always comfortable with. But producer-director BR Chopra, who died after a long illness at the age of 94 on Wednesday, had the remarkable ability to engage on tricky social issues and walk away with box-office plaudits as well as critical acclaim..

In a long career spanning over six decades, Chopra unfurled a slew of movies over wide-ranging themes. ‘Ek Hi Raasta’ (1956), starring Ashok Kumar, Sunil Dutt and Meena Kumari, dealt with widow remarriage. ‘Naya Daur’ (1957) was a plea for humanizing industrialization. ‘Gumraah’ (1963) explored infidelity. And ‘Nikaah’ (1982) spoke about the position of women in the context of Muslim personal law. 

But, incredibly, at a time when interspersing 10 songs with the narrative was nearly mandatory for a Hindi film, he made the songless ‘Kanoon’ (1960). In ‘Karm’ (1977), he delved into live-in relationships. “He chose themes ahead of their times. And his films were always socially conscious,” says actress Vidya Sinha who worked with him in Karm and the rollicking comedy ‘Pati Patni aur Woh’ (1978). 

Chopra’s risk-taking wasn’t restricted to the stories he chose. At a time when Zeenat Aman was primarily cast in vacuous glamdoll parts, he gave her the meaty role of a rape victim who guns down the offender in ‘Insaaf Ka Tarazu’ (1980). It was a major box-office gamble because the film also had a new hero (the wooden Deepak Parashar) and a new villain (Raj Babbar). But Chopra, a PG in English literature, sailed smoothly with ease. The film became a jubilee hit with both Aman and Babbar winning awards. 


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