Guru Dutt was one of the greatest icons of Indian cinema, a man ahead of his time and the creator of ageless masterpieces, who contributed to the golden age of Bollywood.
July 9th, 2021 is the 96th birthday anniversary of Guru Dutt.
He was born as Vasanth Kumar Shivshankar Padukone in Bangalore and was an Indian film director, producer, actor, choreographer, and writer. He has been referred to as the common man’s poet, creating relatable and heartbreaking works that resonates with the viewer. His artistic style of direction had a lyrical or poetic sense that often appeared in his movies.
Two of his works Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool were included in Time magazine’s ‘All Time 100 best movies.’
Though he has made less than 50 films in his entire career, Dutt left a deep impact on the Indian film industry. Here are some of his greatest films, both as an actor and filmmaker:
1. Pyaasa (1957)
Pyaasa is considered to be Guru Dutt's masterpiece, and is often listed among greatest films ever made. Time magazine has called it "the soulfully romantic of the lot."
It is an evidence of Guru Dutt's incredible filmmaking. The songs are used with the intention to add to the storytelling and narrative with a lyrical medium. Some of the evergreen songs of the movie are Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye To Kya, Aaj Sajan Mohe Ang Lagalo and Sar Jo Tera Chakraye.
2. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Kaagaz Ke Phool is an introspective romantic drama directed by Guru Dutt, who also plays the main lead. It is a movie with profoundly dark themes showing the trauma, angst and heartbreak of Suresh, who has been contemplated to be a fictional mirror image of Guru Dutt himself.
The movie is considered to be much ahead of its time, as it was a commercial failure at the time whereas rising in it's fame as a cult classic more than 20 years later. It was also India’s first cinemascope film.
3. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
With a phenomenal performance from Meena Kumari, this movie is a tragic story of a repressed women suffocating in the anguish of her humiliating marriage. Greatly ahead of it's time in not only the feministic aspect, the movie questions the institution of marriage, role of women in the household, patriarchy and also the hierarchal social system.
Her painful story is shown from the perspective of Guru Dutt's character aka Bhoothnath.
4. Chaudhvin Ka Chand
Chaudhvin Ka Chand is a classic Indian Muslim social film directed by Mohammed Sadiq. It was a huge commercial success for Guru Dutt and his first to enter into an International Film festival. (Moscow, 1962)
The gripping plot follows a series of misunderstandings around a love triangle which ultimately ends in tragedy. This film is remembered for it's focus on the friendship between the heroes and their devotion to each other's happiness.
The romantic ballad, “Chaudhvin ka Chand ho” is one of the most loved olden song of all times.
5. Aar Paar (1954)
Aar Paar is an Indian noir-comedy Hindi-language film which was directed by Guru Dutt. The film was a commercial venture and was super-hit at the box office.
The authentic characters and captivating dialogue captured the heart of the audiences. The film had a very popular song album, which has been named the "Best Album of Golden Era" for the year 1954.