Kamal Bose

Kamal Bose
Born 1915
Died October 1995 (age 80)
Occupation cinematographer, director of photography
Years active 1948-1994

Kamal Bose (1915 - 1995) was an Indian cinematographer, who shot most of Bimal Roy classics, including Parineeta (1953), Do Bigha Zamin (1953), Bandini (1963), Devdas (1955) and Sujata (1960). He successful transitioned into the coloured film era, and shot Qurbani (1980), Janbaaz (1986) and Dayavan (1988).

During his career, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Cinematographer record five times,[1] Bandini (B&W, 1964), Anokhi Raat (B&W, 1970), Khamoshi (B&W, 1971), Dastak (B&W, 1972), Dharmatma (1976).


Bose was an important part of auteur Bimal Roy's team, starting with Anjangarh (1948), one of the last major films of the New Theatres in Kolkata,[2] however Kolkata based film industry was now on the decline, thus Roy shifted base to Bombay (now Mumbai) along with his team, which included Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Nabendu Ghosh, Asit Sen, Bose and later Salil Chaudhury, and by 1952 he has restarted the second phase of his career with Maa (1952) for Bombay Talkies.[3] Thereafter Bose collaborated with Roy in all his subsequent films, Parineeta (1953, The Fiancee), adaptation of Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay novel by the same name, in same year came the neo-realism classic, Do Bigha Zamin (1953), which not only won the Filmfare Best Movie Award but also became the first Indian film to win the International Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.[4] Their association continued with Naukri (1954), Baap Beti (1954), Devdas (1955), Amaanat (1955), Sujata (1960), Parakh (1960) and Bandini (1963), which won Bose his first Filmfare Award was especially noted for his masterly use of black and white, to bring "texture and form in simplicity mixed with richness", especially in the way he captured the starkness and gloom of the prison environment, while depicting women at work.[5][6] Previously, his lighting in film, Devdas (1955) was also noted as it enhanced the emotional torment of the tight-lipped protagonist, played by Dilip Kumar.[7]

Meanwhile, he also shot, Musafir (1957, Traveller), directorial debut of Bimal Roy's editor and assistant Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the film is still remembered for its panoramic shots;[8] and Kabuliwala (1961) Hemen Gupta's adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore story, by the same name, starring Balraj Sahni, and produced by Bimal Roy.[9]

Roy died in 1966, thereafter Bose started working with Asit Sen, and went on to receive critical acclaim for his B & W cinematography in Apradhi Kaun? (1957), his one-night tragedy, Anokhi Raat (1968, Strange Night) and the psychiatric ward tragedy, Khamoshi (1969, Silence), starring Rajesh Khanna and Waheeda Rehman, and Safar (1970, Journey) marked his transition in to colour films. The first two films, also won him his second and third Filmfare Awards. Though Bose continued to work with Sen for another decade, none of the films achieved the commercial success of those early films.[10]

His next important collaboration was with actor-director Feroze Khan, which began with latter's debut the action-thriller Apradh (1972), thereafter he shot all of Khan's subsequent directorial ventures, including his next Dharmatma (1975)' Shot in Afghanistan, the film was noted for its scenes featuring Buzkashi, a Central Asian sport on horses, including the aerial shots, which in turn won him another Filmfare award.[11] In the 1980s, he shot, the highly glamorous, Qurbani (1980),[9] Janbaaz (1986) and Dayavan (1988), his last film with Khan. In his late 70s, Bose did one more film Chauraha (1994).[2]

He died in October 1995, at the age of 80.[1] His son, Palash Bose is a commercial photographer based in Mumbai.[12]




  1. 1 2 3 "Manorama Yearbook, Volume 30". Manorama Publishing House. 1995. p. 94. Deaths: October: Kamal Bose, 80, ace cinematographer, winner of a record five Filmfare awards.
  2. 1 2 "Kamal Bose". Complete Index of World Film. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.
  3. "Memories and melodies of a golden era". The Hindu. April 13, 2001. Retrieved Apr 29, 2013.
  4. "Festival de Cannes: Do Bigha Zamin". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  5. Rachel Dwyer (2005). 100 Bollywood films. Lotus Collection, Roli Books. p. 41. ISBN 8174364331.
  6. "Bandini (1963)". The Hindu. 1 October 2009. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.
  7. Dinesh Raheja (December 9, 2002). "The perceptive camera of Bimal Roy". rediff.com, Movies:. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.
  8. "BLAST FROM THE PAST: Musafir 1957". The Hindu. Apr 25, 2009. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.
  9. 1 2 Gulzar, p. 252
  10. "Khamoshi 1969". The Hindu. 16 August 2008. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.
  11. "Dharmatma (1975)". The Hindu. January 17, 2013. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.
  12. "Palash Bose". Better Photography. August 4, 2011. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.
  13. Directed by LV Prasad, starring Anjali Devi and Sivaji Ganesan.
  14. "Ezhu Rathrikal 1968". The Hindu. Jun 28, 2010. Retrieved Apr 29, 2013.
  15. "Best Cinematographer Award (B&W), Colour". Official Listing, Indiatimes. Retrieved Apr 28, 2013.

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