The other day I was looking at the spectacular piece of work by the legendary Guru Dutt who was a filmmaker from India. Here is my review:
What a movie it was. A neglected poet that struggled so much and was bashed everywhere for his poetry and in the end the same people used his name and made fame, thus the name “Pyaasa” thirst symbolizes the materialistic world and their limit crossing for fame. The establishing shot when the bee was squashed by a human reflects that the world takes advantage and will destroy anyone to get the fame and money, which is later shown in the movie. All did Vijay wanted was an inner peace. When vijay was working as servant for Mr Ghosh, he began reciting a poem at a gathering which reflected his loneliness and a journey to find the happiness. And the scene when Vijay receives a counterfeit coin justifies that people just want to satisfy their own needs rather than thinking about other’s position of his/her well-being.
In this movie two major people understood the conditions of Vijay’s life, Sattar and Gulabo. Because both of them know how the life is difficult on the streets. Whereas Meena betrayed his love and went on to marry a rich guy Mr Ghosh for the sake of her comfortable life. Again this continues on with the sub conflict of the movie and how similar the materialistic world is and the betrayal he got from Meena.
Also Guru Dutt remarkably used symbols to justify the essence of the film. Especially the way he compared the crucifixion of Christ (a picture of cross when Meena read news about vijay’s death) with Vijay and his resurrection in the movie to prove the masses that he is really alive and not killed. Plus how opposite the characters showed of Meena and Gulabo. One who sold love for respect in society and the other sells her respect to live in society. Their differences showed a different light on the film and the respect to be given to these types of women. Meena when she was caught with Vijay, Ghosh punished her and compared her with a cruel woman and when Gulabo was being chased by a police officer was caught by Vijay in his arms and told the officer that she is my wife, this tells that she is worthy for a compassion. One thing can be learned from this scenario is that the way man looks at a woman and her role in a society, and his behavior of women, are fair indicators of a man’s personality.
The performances were flawless by everyone. Each had its own magic on screen. Johnny Walker not to forget even a supporting role played greatly of a common man and his comic timings were great. Guru Dutt, Rehman, Mala and Waheeda all performed extremely well. No words can describe the level of their performance. Their dialogues and gestures each gave away its own presence on the screen.
The ending justified the movie title and the story as well and adding song “Yeh Dunya” added another meaning to the end. The world is full of hypocrites is what Vijay realized in the end. And that this world does not know the real Vijay who struggled so much to get recognition of his poems. Thus decided to leave that world and continue a life with a person (Gulabo) who understands the life of a street that vijay has gone through to finally get the inner pleasure of living in this doggy dog world.
Murthy sir’s cinematography is marvelous. Great use of light and camera work which added to the personality of each character. Two sequences the one I would praise. First tone the railway track scene. It reminded of a Hollywood’s horror films. That something bad is about to happen and that scene was a turning point of the movie. The light source of train and the expression on Vijay and the beggar both added to the essence of the scene which turned out that Vijay is dead. And other scene when Vijay enters the hall where his death anniversary is celebrated, the light from his back shows and symbolizes the resurrection of Vijay and his stance of like Jesus Christ shows that Jesus also left the world because of hypocrisy and the same Vijay is going through.
Editing and Sound:
Editing is great. I failed to notice any major jumps probably because the lighting and performance outshined any mistakes that one could find. But yes little jumps I noticed like on the train scene, when Vijay jumped on a platform he put his hands on his pant pockets, but the very next scene his hand are not in pant pockets. But the rest of the sequences ran smoothly.
Music by S.D Burman is spotless. Sound a very important element reflected in this movie. The ambience, background score and the songs in this movie assisted along to give away the unfolding of the plot. Probably the only reason why a viewer is stacked to his seat from the very first frame to the last frame is because of the sound and the dialogues.
Prostitute dancing and Vijay singing a poem “Kahan hain” reflects the materialistic world for not carrying its own species.
The bee squashed at the starting of the movie.
Man giving a counterfeit coin to Vijay.
Ghosh beating Meena and Vijay saving Gulabo.
Vijay expressing his feelings to Gulabo about world rejecting his poems and Meena
Vijay denying to the people he is not “The” Vijay they thought of.