The Lost Flood
Everytime when one talks of Guru Dutt, one remembers his classics like Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool, Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam and Chaudvin ka Chand. Then in further conversation one talks of Mr. & Mrs. 55, Aar-Paar and Baazi. One even remembers Jaal and Baaz. But Sailaab is one movie of his, which is mentioned only in few biographies. Nasreen Munni Kabir’s famous documentary on Guru Dutt also fails to mention it and jumps from Mr. & Mrs. 55 to Pyaasa. Abrar Alvi also doesn’t refer to it in Sathya Saran’s book “Ten Years With Guru Dutt – Abrar Alvi’s journey”. It is listed there at the end in Guru Dutt’s filmography, where only the film title, year of release and the main cast is mentioned. As you might have observed, I was also oblivious of its existence, while I did the Guru Dutt Series on my blog. Not totally oblivious, I just thought that it was a shelved project like Gauri.
Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Guru Dutt Series
The Lost Flood
Thoughts on Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam
Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam has so many facets to it. that one can hardly cover it up with one posting. Moreover, there are so many thoughts and ideas, which come into the mind while watching it, but I just couldn’t find words for it. I think one can surely write a doctoral thesis on it. I could leave mine and start with this one! 😉
Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam (1962)
It is nearly three days since I saw Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam and I just don’t know how to start with the description. The story has so many layers, so many details. The whole picturisation is a revelation. In every angle there is something to be discovered. And I wanted and want to include everything, which is impossible. And of course I have to follow my day job as well. Thus, I’ve planned to go the Pyaasa way. I’ll post the synopsis and something about this and that. And then will arrive the Musings on… part. By the way a wonderful synopsis of the film has written by dear dustedoff, who is so much better with the language and has an art of expressing herself. She and this film are by the way also responsible for this blog. Richard has written in his expressive explosive manner on his reaction to the film. The Third Man at Upperstall gives many insights into the film and the big fan of Guru Dutt Philip Lutgendorf at his wonderful site has also written about this film.
Chaudhvin ka Chand (1960)
This one was for me Guru Dutt’s less interesting films. In my teens I just couldn’t warm up to it as I had for Pyaasa, Kaagaz ke Phool or Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam or for that matter even Aar-Paar. Although nearly everybody loves the title song, even that didn’t much to me. All this changed completely when I read Cory Creekmur’s notes on the film on Philip Lutgendorf’s site. I cursed myself for being blind and re-watched it. One thing is to be said of it: this film created more waves of contradictions in my heart than any other film ever has.
Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
My earliest memories of Kaagaz ke Phool is the song “Waqt ne kiya kya haseen sitam”. It was quite a favourite with the producers of Chaaya Geet and later on Chitrahaar. The beautiful cinematography and Geeta Dutt’s melancholic voice, S. D. Burman’s haunting music made a big impression on me. My resourceful aunt, who would otherwise always provide us with the plots of the movie, would also be very quite. I never could fathom if it was because of the captivating sound or because of the extra-marital affair going-ons. There were regular screenings of the movie in the morning show, but I never thought of ‘bunking’ (that is the word used for skipping classes in Bombay/India) classes to watch it. Thus it was in my late teens that I watched it on DD’s late night movies.
Musings on Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa
The plot of Pyaasa though unique, lends heavily from two sources. One which is quite evident is Saratchandra Chatterji’s Devdas and the other is the story of Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »
When I first saw Pyaasa, I must have been eleven or twelve years old. Well, in fact, I didn’t get to watch it because 1. I had a exam the next day, 2. I had a splitting headache. The end result was I couldn’t watch the film, except for a few glimpses from behind the curtain, I didn’t learn, my headache didn’t get cured. Huge failure on all fronts! When I was 19 or so it was aired again on DD at midnight or something. This time I could watch it and I was floored! Read the rest of this entry »
Mr. & Mrs. 55 (1955)
It is so hard to decide if I like this film or not. The story is anti-feminist and traditionalist. But at the same time the director/story-writer’s take on “upper-class liberal reformers who seek to impose their ideology on society at large”, as Philip Lutgendorf puts it, in the form of Abrar Alvi’s witty dialogues are simply great. It is simply difficult to have a single opinion on this movie. Dustedoff has also provided a nice review of this movie on her blog. Read the rest of this entry »
Aar Paar (1954)
Aar-Paar has been one of my favourite time-pass Guru Dutt films. And every time I watch it, I discover something new about it and I end up liking it more than ever. It is his first independent movie under his own production. Basically it is a bit like Baazi without the gamble and the dimensions toned down. And for the first time no K. N. Singh. Did they fall out? As far as I know Guru Dutt never repeated him in his films again except for C.I.D.
Read the rest of this entry »
The first time I saw Jaal was in the mid-80s during the assembly polls for Maharashtra. It didn’t leave much of an impression on me. And after the somewhat disappointment with Baaz, I wasn’t expecting much from Jaal. The review on Upperstall gave me a little hope. But, wow, wow, was quite impressed with the end result. Maybe it is just good not to have any expectations (Expectations reduce Joy!).