Early Life of Anjan Dutta
Anjan Dutta was born on January 19th, 1953 and brought up in the mountains of North Bengal and completed his schooling from the esteemed St. Paul's School located in Darjeeling. The scenic beauty of this Himalayan Township had influenced Anjan Dutta deeply. He holds an MA degree in English literature from the University of Calcutta. He did not get much opportunity to listen to conventional Bengali songs like Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Geeti, however he became well acquainted with western folk and country music around that time. His father was a solicitor and naturally wanted his son study law, young Anjan Dutta was more interested to work in theatres and cinema. He never planned to make career as a singer, moreover his friends also inspired him to consider taking acting seriously as a profession. Anjan Dutta came to Kolkata in search of better opportunities and started working in theatres with thespian Badal Sircar.
Career of Anjan Dutta as an Actor
In late seventies, he joined a theatre group called 'Open Theatre' in early eighties and performed plays that were translated from works of well-known foreign playwrights like Sartre, Peter Weiss, Jean Genet and Bertold Brecht. The group was inspired by Nandikar a highly active and an already famous theatre group at that time. They faced many obstructions in producing and performing their work due to politically sensitive content. Soon, the group had to discontinue its repertoire.
The debut film of Anjan Dutta is Chalachitro, directed by renowned filmmaker Mrinal Sen. The film brought about several critical acclaims in the Venice Film Festival, especially for Anjan Dutta. But this film never gained commercial success. He worked as an actor in the film-making industry, but he was more interested in directing art cinema (or films with filmmakers having aesthetic sense) rather than commercial mainstream cinema. Anjan Dutta did a few art films that were not so commercially successful. He also did a critically well-received film Juganto but finally scarcity of job opportunities forced him to take up jobs in advertising and later as a journalist for the Kolkata based daily, The Statesman.
He has also appeared in Aparna Sen's film, Mr. and Mrs. Iyer. In a nutshell, Anjan Dutta is referred to as one of the best serious actors in the Indian parallel cinema movement. Anjan Dutta has often portrayed the image of angry young man of serious cinema in modern India. More recently, he performed at the 2003 North American Bengali Conference in Long Beach, CA in person. He is also famous as a musician at South Asian culture shows in North America as well.
Career of Anjan Dutta as a Musician
Anjan Dutta is an artist emerged during the 1990s. Alternative songs then defined the field of Bengali music scene and the usual romantic songs with soothing lyrics were not much in demand. During these years, Anjan Dutta was greatly influenced by the music of Suman Chatterjee (now known as Kabir Suman). Anjan Dutta started translating some English songs and later decided to get involved into the music arena on his own. HMV offered to publish his songs and he finally realized that he had to take it seriously.
Anjan Dutta is distinguished for his innovative style of music in which a deep influence of theatrical representation is noticeable. He is smart at bringing out the subtle nuances of the urban landscape in his lyrics. A substantial portion of his songs capture stories of various urban names like Raja Roy, Horipado, Samson, Ranjana, Mala, Bela Bose, Roma and numerous other characters who have come alive through his songs. Especially western music, country music and blues influence Anjan Dutta's songs
Gradually, Anjan Dutta moved on to more serious lyrics inspired by the ballads of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and developed a unique style of his own that was truly Bengali at its core. Anjan Dutta belonged to an epoch of pre-discotheque, pre-lounge-bar Bengalis and his songs spoke of the middle-class Bengalis - their dreams, aspirations, their fulfilments and failures. His music can be categorized as urban folk.
It is worth mentioning that Anjan Dutta has a limited but passionate fan following especially within college and university students. The young urbanites have become his enthusiastic followers in not only music but in living ideal too. One of his most popular works is Priyo Bandhu (O my friend), a voice play performed with Nima Rehman. He has also done a handful of English compilations like Bandra Blues.
Career of Anjan Dutta as a Director
Anjan Dutta is a brilliant director; his film Bong Connection and Bow Barracks Forever was highly appreciated in all classes of audience. His another film Chalo Let's Go is a film where 4 friends form a personalized travel company - 'Gharoa' and they take a few tourists to North Bengal which unfolds into a great entertaining film about relationships and life today with a tribute to old Bengali cinema as Aranner Dinrattri and previous year's characters merge and a combination of true Anjan Dutta style. He has also directed Byomkesh Bakshi, Madly Bangalee, Abar Byomkesh, Sesh Bole Kichhu Nei etc.
Filmography of Anjan Dutta
Discography of Anjan Dutta
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