Chetan Anand – a persona that was little acknowledged and appraised by his times. His career was little noticed in the film world which was overshadowed by his little brother Dev Anand. His debut film Neecha Nagar (1946) despite bearing the stamp of an upcoming genius but was not released in his home country. But it crossed the borders and went on to win the prestigious Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, outdoing films of masters like Alfred Hitchcock and Jean Cocteau.
Inspired from the Russian literary giant Maxim Gorky’s ‘Lower Depths’ the film highlights the gulf between the rich and the poor and how the wealthy ill-treated them. The film can rightly be called as an expressionist take on a realistic social problem. Chetan’s camera explored the slums of India to depict the poverty and destitution endured by the souls dwelling them.
Neecha Nagar is also the debut film of actress Kamini Kaushik and the renowned sitar-player Pandit Ravi Shankar. The film also featured Chetan’s wife Uma Anand, Rafiq Ahmed and Zohra Sehgal.