StorylineUnemployed Vijay is the youngest in his family consisting of his widowed mom, and two brothers. His passion is poetry - frowned upon by his brothers - who want him to find gainful employment instead. Vijay's poems are quite radical in which he laments about the poor, the destitute, and the arrogance of the rich after the departure of the British from India. His efforts to get them published are in vain. He takes to drinking, gets in trouble with the law, is disowned by his brothers, ends up at a brothel and befriends a prostitute named Gulabo. Gulabo is sympathetic, listens to him as he pours his heart out, and decides to assist Vijay. Watch what happens when Gulabo approaches some of her affluent clientèle to assist Vijay and try and get his work published, without revealing that they are written by an alcoholic, disheveled, homeless man.
..Like beautiful poetry...,
Dutt had been toying with the idea of making 'Pyaasa' for four years. Some of the film echos part of his life story but not as close as the tragedy 'Kaagaz ke Phool' did. It's also very similar to a recent movie I have seen, namely Ghose's 'Yatra'. Maybe Ghose made 'Yatra' as a tribute to Dutt's 'Pyaasa'. 'Pyaasa' is the story of a talented poet Vijay, who struggles through life trying to get his poems published. But, in this materialist world where money and fame rule, there is no one willing to give Vijay's poetry a chance, except one person, a streetwalker called Gulabo. Gulabo is captured by the beauty of his poetry but what can she can do to get the poems published?
'Pyaasa' starts in an unconventional but beautiful way. We see Vijay lying on the park. The poet smiles as he's captured by a bee buzzing over a flower. The smile vanishes as a man's shoe carelessly squashes the bee. This already reflects society's careless attitude towards him. Even Vijay's former lover Meena dumped him because she preferred someone with more wealth.
Murthy's cinematography is outstanding making 'Pyaasa' a visual treat. The songs and poems are beautiful and they are a powerful part of the narration as they reflect moments such as Vijay's love for Meena, Gulabo's love for Vijay's poetry, the brothel where people are traded and the devious society. There are so many wonderful scenes. The moments between Vijay and Gulabo are some of my favorites.
The performances are top notch. Guru Dutt becomes Vijay and allows the viewer to feel his struggles. Waheeda Rehman is breathtaking and plays her part to perfection. Mala Sinha and Rehman do very well. Johnny Walker is hilarious.
'Pyaasa' is Dutt's achievement on multiple levels. One of the best of Indian cinema and no wonder why he's recognized as one of the greatest filmmakers.
Cast (in credits order) complete, awaiting verification
|Johnny Walker||...||Abdul Sattar|
|Kumkum||...||Juhi (as Kum Kum)|
|Leela Mishra||...||Vijay's Mother (as Leela Misra)|
|Moni Chatterjee||...||Chatterjee (as Moni Chatterji)|
|Sachin Dev Burman||(as S.D. Burman)|
|V.K. Murthy||(photography) (as V.K.Murthy)|
|Y.G. Chawhan||(as Y.G.Chawhan)|
|Biren Nag||(as Biren Naag)|
|Bhanu Athaiya||(as Bhanu Mati)|