EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|PYAASA (director/writer: Guru Dutt; screenwriter: Abrar Alvi; cinematographer: V.K. Murthy; editor: Y.G. Chawhan; music: S. D. Burman; cast: Guru Dutt (Vijay), Waheeda Rehman (Gulabo), Mala Sinha (Meena), Waheeda Rehman (Mr. Ghosh), Johnny Walker (Abdul Sattar), Kumkum (Juhi), Leela Mishra (Vijay's mom), Mehmood (Vijay's brother Shyam); Runtime: 141; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Guru Dutt; Sky Entertainment; 1957-India-in Hindi-with English subtitles)|
manages to let us know in
a meaningful way the timeless message of how cruelly
the world treats its true artists."
by Dennis Schwartz
classic romantic film that doesn't hold-up to modern
standards, but the b/w film masterfully manages to let
us know in a meaningful way the timeless message of
how cruelly the world treats its true artists. Star,
producer, co-writer and director Guru Dutt ("Baaz"/"Jaal"/"Kaagaz Ke Phool")
laces the tragic love story of a struggling poet with
at least ten lively S.D. Burman songs (giving
us a preview of the soon to be Bollywood). The hammy
performance by Dutt as the impoverished college grad
poet, Vijay, may shamelessly pull on the heart strings
and his story may be grounded in formulaic melodrama;
nevertheless, the dark story of a poet trying to
survive in India after the British colonialists left
is affecting. This is perhaps Dutt's best film. Some critics call it a
Dutt was a major auteur of
India's golden age. This bleak film tells of a
homeless poet, loved by his widowed mom (Leela Mishra) but taunted as a failure
by his two doltish adult brothers. Vijay is befriended
only by streetwalker Gulabo (Waheeda
got hold of his poems when his uncouth brother (Mehmood)
sold them to a grocer for wastepaper and Gulabo bought
it. She memorized the poems and turned them into
songs. The streetwalker and poet meet after he hears
her beautifully singing his poems in the street.
a glimmer of hope for Vijay, after his poems are
rejected by traditionalists because they are about
hunger and not romance, when he meets again at his
college reunion his former girlfriend Meena (Mala
Sinha) and her
publisher hubby Mr. Ghosh (Waheeda Rehman). He's hired by the
publisher. But soon out of jealousy, he's fired.
Things turn desperate as Vijay contemplates suicide,
and tells this to the prostitute. When it's thought
he's dead because he vanishes, his death is announced
in the newspapers. Thereby his poems get published and
posthumously he's recognized as a great poet.
The story is set in Calcutta's post-Partition India, and its satisfying spirited study of a determined man craving for art, love and humanity is pleasing to our intellectual sensibilities and shows off Dutt as a visionary filmmaker.
REVIEWED ON 5/31/2013 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ