A man ahead of his time, Guru Dutt is among the few artistes who have made a mark in the history of Indian cinema. An actor, director, producer and also a choreographer, this man was perhaps the most brilliant package of talent we ever had. In a very short span of time, he was able to achieve renown and, with his contemporary Satyajit Ray, was ranked among the greats of global moviemakers.
On his 90th birth anniversary on July 9, 2015, we are remembering him in the best way possible – by recalling his finest films. It is recognized that the ’50s were the golden age of Indian cinema and Guru Dutt was one of the people that adorned it. All of his major work happened in the 50s and the 60s and movies that he acted, directed or produced were one of their kind. It was an age of transition for India post the independence in 1947 and with a lot of reforms; it surely was a revolutionary phase in all the aspects for the country. In such times, Guru Dutt made and acted in movies that were socially transforming and were path-breaking in their own way.
His most remembered movies include movies from his initial success till the time of his death. Even today, movies like Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool are cult classics and are relevant in this time too. Both are listed in Time magazine’s ‘All-Time 100 best movies’! Here we consider the three finest movies by him; let us know if you agree.
A dark yet fascinating tale of hypocrisy and materialism, Pyaasa is a timeless classic relevant even today. It is a story of a poet and his fight against the mean world is what touches a string or two. It is about the eternal struggle for identity in the age of rapid urbanization, the time of post-independence. A struggling poet Vijay falls in love with a prostitute Gulabo and the rest only reflects the true face of society. With Guru Dutt’s powerful performance and direction, this movie made its way on Time magazine’s list of 100 best movies ever made.
2. Kaagaz Ke Phool
Kaagaz Ke Phool is yet another cult Guru Dutt film which is remembered even today. A tale of a successful director and his muse is very well depicted in this beautiful movie. Guru Dutt’s powerful performance of a broken man towards the end is something that has stayed with us forever. This too is yet another film that is directed and acted in by the legend! This film is also believed to be inspired by Gyan Mukherjee, a director from the 1940s.
3. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
This film epitomizes the decline of the zamindari system during the 19th century and with it, a personal struggle of woman trying to make sense of her unfaithful husband. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam is regarded as Meena Kumari’s best performance of all time as Chhoti Bahu and we must agree to it for it is sheer brilliance. With this film, we can be very much sure of Guru Dutt’s skills and his mastery in his art. His portrayal as the Ghulam is something not every actor could have done justice to, considering the complicated character and his progression. This movie was the first official entry of Hindi films at the Oscars but it was not nominated as the board could not accept a character of an alcoholic women. Nevertheless, this movie made records with winning other awards.
Guru Dutt is and will be known for his remarkable part in the growth of Indian film industry forever! Isn’t it? Let us know in the comments section below about your views on this legend.