Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Pyaasa : A Timeless Classic

Pyaasa is a 1957 film, directed by Guru Dutt who also produced and starred in it. It was written by Abrar Alvi. It is a movie which can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates good cinema. The film was rated as one of the 100 best films of all time by the Times magazine. Hats off to Guru Dutt on this film. One can see the genius in him who made proper use of camera angles and sets to give out the themes and mood settings very well.

The story is about a fallen poet, Vijay or rather a 'never risen poet' who struggles to achieve a life for himself during the early post Independence period. The poet represents the country on the whole through his conditions.  He is shunned by his brothers who think of him as a jobless, wasted guy who will never achieve anything in life.
            One day, Vijay comes to know that his brothers have sold his poems as scrap, this enrages him, he tries to find his poems but it’s all in vain.  Finally one night, he hears a woman singing his tunes, following her he reaches the red light area and asks her about the poems. The woman, Gulabo, a prostitute at first thinks of him as a jerk and throws him out. Later she comes to know he is the same poet whose poems she has, she tries to find him but he is gone.
The story continues forward when a series of events puts him together with his past love but she has married someone else by now. Her husband tries to exploit Vijay by employing him as a servant. Thus it is somehow evident that fate has it all set against Vijay and he will never succeed.
It is through all these events that luck finally smiles on Vijay but in its own twisted way. The story takes an unusual turn. The poet once neglected suddenly becomes wanted. The poems which failed to make any mark earlier are now anthems. It is the death of the artist that creates a life for him.
Miraculously Vijay is alive, away from the world he is in a mental institution. The people who grieved for his death and have made profit out of it don’t want him back. They even refuse to recognize him. Luckily with the help of a friend, he manages his way out and tries to prove his existence. People who earlier refused to recognize him now join him back again out of their greed, these people include his own brothers and friends.
After achieving all that he wanted throughout his life, Vijay still lacks something, now this life seems hollow. When the world which shunned him before is ready to fall at his feet he decides to go away. It’s very ironic; that he strived hard for praise and recognition and now when he has it he doesn’t want it.

            The movie has been written very well, the characters were developed in a proper way. The main highlights were the poems which were included in the appropriate scenes. The lyrics of the songs went well with the situations.
            The dialogues are good; one could easily find the dominance of Urdu words in the films of those times, which added beauty to the dialogues.
Overall a good movie. A must watch for all the film buffs and cinema lovers. It’s a ride through the early Post-Independence society of India which tells a lot about the country.


  1. Very well written indeed! I myself am a great fan of Guru Dutt. Pyaasa was undoubtedly one of his greatest works. Both Kagaaz ke Phool and Pyaasa are masterpieces that represent the very best of Indian Cinema.

    You can read my review of Pyaasa at the following link:

  2. oh yes I have this on video, havenot seen it for ages now , maybe i shall see it

    Guru dutt was a class Act i must say


    1. Yea Guru Dutt was great..he was very different then his contemporaries.

  3. It is one of the best movies of Bollywood. I read few days back that during those days it was not considered as good cinema and Guru Dutt died of depression.

    1. It maybe the case with his other films which got attention and praise after his death. But Pyaasa was a critical and commercial success at the time of its release.

  4. I have heard about excellence of Gurudutt in film making. But havent seen any of his movie. After reading the story of Pyaasa, will surely watch it.