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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 5:29 pm 
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allright friends, i'm about to list the......
.100 greatest movies for all bollywood fans
like myself--
---------THE movies which are the most loved the most watched and the most unmissable.
i'll list movie and a short discription of each one.

starting with the first 15 today and the rest
over the next 17 days.....


It took nine years and enormous expense to complete this historical based in the closing years of Akbar's reign (1556-1605).
The film narrates the story of Prince Salim's (later Jahangir 1605-1628) love for Anarkali, a singer. A love his father strongly disapproves of. But so strong is Salim's love for Anarkali that he goes to battle against his father. Akbar defeats Salim in battle and orders him to be executed.
However, according to the royal decree, the Salim can be saved from dying if Anarkali dies in his place. Anarkali, spunky woman that she is, however does her own thing by defying Akbar in his palace. The song 'pyaar kiya to darna kya' went on to become one of the most popular songs ever recorded and the sheesh mahal created for the song was a major attraction for the crowds.

2.Guide(1965)vijay anand's

Amongst Dev Anand's best known films, Guide to date remains a sentimental favourite for many of us. Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai, gaata rahe mera dil and other very popular songs from the film are still frequently heard by audiences all over the country, more than 30 years after the film released.

3.Awara(1951)raj kapoor's

The plot deals with Raju, who was kidnapped as a child by a thief, Jagga. Jagga had been told by the judge who sentenced him that 'chor ka beta chor hi hota hai'. To prove him wrong, Jagga brings up Raju to be thief too.
The film has a spectacular dream sequence at the end, distributor demands being the same even then.The film, set in Bombay, has court scenes where Raju's childhood sweetheart, Rita defends him - one of the first court scenes of Raj Kapoor and Nargis.

4.Devdas(1955)bimal roy's

No doubt the movie is considered a masterpiece of Indian Cinema. Even though the movie is nearly half a century old, it has the power to captivate the audience. The superb acting by all the actors further enhances its value.

It has more than mere entertainment value. Like "Gone With The Wind", it deals with an era that has gone forever. Pre-independence Bengal and Calcutta come alive in this movie.
In short, A must see for all those who have always wondered why every broken heart self-destructive lover is called a Devdas.

5.Madhumati(1958)bimal roy's

probably the most effective reincarnation film ever made in the world.

the film uses the conventions of early ghost story films or gothic noir as hollwood called the genre:decrepit
mansions,thunderstorms with fierce lightning
and lashing rains,desolete jungles at night,shadows creeping across walls,all the
techniques of the form were used here.
yet "madhumati" took all these conventions and made them seem unique and original once more.
that is often the hallmark of a great film,to use cliches in away that seem fresh.

today as sanjay leela bhansali films his remake of bimal roy's other classic "devdas"
on what's believed to be the most expensive
set in hindi film history,you can't help wandering what would happen if roy's madhumati were to be remade as well......

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 5:31 pm 
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6.Deewar.(1975)yash chopra's

Nothing could be better and more real depiction of a real life than this movie! Excellent performance of Amitabh which proves that his acting is near real and momentarily you forget that you are still only watching celluloid. Great script encapsulating how the wishes of rags to riches ruin a fine, brave man!

ITS SHOCKING BUT TRUE.everyone associated
with this hard-hitting action-drama won
awards---shashi kapoor,yash chopra,salim-javed,even nirupa roy.
but not Amitabh Bachchan!
such are the ironies that overtake cinema's historic happenings.

"Deewar" is the ultimate Angry Young Man Saga
full of soundless fury,its protagonist's
anger is so inward-drawn that you fear for his metabolism and blood pressure.
fists clenched,nerves on-edge and ever itching for a fight with the scum of the earth,vijay in "deewar" is the most wounded
hero since Guru Dutt's "pyaasa".

7.Lagaan.(2001)ashutosh gowariker's

The rains have failed, and the people of a small Indian village in Victorian India hope that they will be excused from paying the crippling land tax that their British rulers have imposed. Instead, the capricious British officer in charge challenges them to a game of cricket, a game totally alien and unknown to them. If they win, they get their wish; if they lose, however, the increased tax burden will destroy their lives. The people are terrified, but one man thinks the challenge is worth staking their entire future on. Will he convince the villagers to give it their best shot?

The emotion that Indians share about cricket is effectively taken advantage of(the cricket match played between villagers of Champaner and the British officers which forms the climax ,extends to about an hour and a half).

The best part of the movie is the characterization of the eleven players (villagers).Aamir Khan is at his best in this movie and Gracie Singh lives the role of Gauri.The acting talents of the British actors esp. that of the officer Captain Russel(played by Paul Blackthorne) is notable.

There was never a boring moment in the film, the dialogues and songs' lyrics are very meaningful.And lastly I must appreciate the work behind the entire cricket sequence as it covers most of the aspects of the game and not to mention - match fixing,sledging,body line bowling ,making it gripping till the last ball! A must see for Indian cricket fans!

8.Shakti.(1982)ramesh sippy's

A scrupulously honest cop refuses kidnappers' demands at grave risk to the life of his son. The son is rescued but lives forever scarred by his father's willingness to sacrifice his own son for the sake of his principles. This works out to devastating effect when the son grows up to be a Mafia don, and his father is assigned the job of bringing him in.

amitabh bachchan returns one more time to play salim-javed's vijay.In a way, "shakti" extended the character from "zanjeer" and "deewar" thereby making this the third
monument in salim-javed's trilogy.

In most vital ways, sippy succeeded in going
beyond "sholay" in "shakti". salim-javed
have admitted that "shakti" was almost flawless as a script.ramesh sippy never
floundered in delineating the central relationship.though the media spent a lot of time and ink comparing father dilip kumar's performance with son bachchan,the two performances complemented each other perfectly.

ramesh sippy's direction never over-stated
the case.the confrontations were always
controlled and therefore doubly compelling.
the climax on the runway of an airport,
where the self-righteous father guns down
vijay,was stylish and energetic.

9.Dilwale dulhania le jahenge(1995)adi-chopra

This film is brought from the stables of Yash Chopra. As you may have guessed it is a 3 way story. Raj (Shahrukh Khan) is a modern Indian guy living in London with his father (Anupam Kher). He decides to go on a Eurorail holiday with a couple of his friends and easily gets his rich father's approval. Simran (Kajol) also lives in London but is of much more traditional upbringing, in part due to her strict father (Amrish Puri). Her father starts to reckon that it is time for her to get married. She has no option but to agree. However, she asks her father for the chance to see Europe once with her friends and he is not keen on this at all. Much persuasion follows and reluctantly he agrees.

As luck would have it, Raj and Simran and both of their sets of friends end up on the same train and visiting the same places in Europe. At first she detests him. However, she eventually becomes stranded in a remote part of Switzerland with him. All their friends are in the next location. Time passes, songs are sung and lo and behold the two begin to fall in love.

The first part of the film ends as the two characters are back in London with their respective families.Her father overhears Simran talking about the events of the holiday and hits the roof. He packs the bags and takes his family back to the small village in Punjab where they come from. Raj is spurred on by his father who says if something is worth having, he must chase after it.

The second part of the film consists of Raj trying to win the trust and confidence of Simran's Punjabi family. It consists of several excellent comedy and song scenes.

This film does not really warrant superlatives. It is better than excellent. It is as near perfect as we are likely to ever see. The soundtrack is classic. Everyone knows the words to "Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam" and "Mehndi laga ke rakhna."

The performance of the actors is first class. This really is the film that took Shahrukh to superstardom. Kajol also gives an incredible performance. This is the role that really made her name and deservedly so. Anupam Kher does a top comedy role and all the other actors have put in a magnificent performance.

10.Parinda.(1989)vidhu vinod chopra's

Why do so may people swear by Parinda as one of the great cult classics of our times. The answer lies in watching the film. Vinod Chopra's magnum opus (many consider this the last good film he made before lapsing into megalomania) was an extremely stylish presentation, delving into life in the Mumbai underworld.

Kishen (Jackie Shroff) is the chief henchman of psychotic gangster Anna (Nana Patekar). The two are completely unscrupulous and go about their daily routine of boom-bang with ruthless efficiency. Karan is Kishen's much educated brother, who Kishen makes every attempt to keep as far away as possible from the murky underworld.

But when Anna uses Karan to draw out and kill his police inspector friend, Karan finds out about his brother's devious dealings and enters the underworld. The action picks up steam right from the first frames and never lets off right till the chilling climatic sequence.

The buildup is excellent: the psychological game between Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor, the strained relationship between two brothers torn by circumstance and the star-crossed affair between lovers trapped in a violent world.

Characterizations are brilliant: Jackie Shroff came up with an award-winning performance as the gloomy gangster, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri kept from being overshadowed with good performances, but it was undoubtedly Nana Patekar's film all the way. In his chilling portrayal of a deranged gangster who fears nothing but fire, Patekar put in one of his best performances, winning the National Award.

Chopra got work not just from his lead cast, but also from the supporting cast. The film also rates as one of the best performances of Suresh Oberoi as a flute playing hitman, and Tom Alter as the calculating villain of the piece, rival gangster Musa Bhai. Excellent music by R D Burman is understated, melodious and stolen from the West.

But the reason why most consider this a cult film is that at the time of its release, it was a completely different offering. Not a single performance in the film is a ham job. There are practically no acting or dialogue cliches and no pointless melodrama that one seems to associate so much with Hindi films. Action sequences in the film were among the best ever in Hindi movies, but there wasn't a single act of superhuman work by any of the protagonists. No fistfights, no mass destruction, no acts of outstanding courage by the heroes. Chopra defied many of the standard rules associated with Hindi cinema, and that is perhaps why the film failed commercially (though it did very well in Bombay).

Chopra's use of slow motion, fast cuts and close-ups has long set a benchmark for filmmakers in recent years. It was also this stylish direction that earned the film such accolades, and its cult status. And what with Hindi films crowned by elaborate climatic sequences in vast open grounds or huge villains' dens; when Chopra suggested doing his climax in one room with two people, everyone said he was committing professional suicide. And till date, the climax of Parinda is considered one of the greatest scenes in the history of Hindi cinema.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 5:33 pm 
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(1960)b.r chopra's

A young lawyer(rajendra kumar) accidently witnesses his prospective father-in-law(ashok kumar), a respected judge, murdering a moneylender. A burglar who stumbles across the body is then arrested for the murder and is put on trial before the same judge's court, leaving the lawyer with a moral dilemma.
"kanoon" was not the first film to do away
away with the songs completly,but it was certainly the first major hit.
take into account that the film was all of 150 mins in running lenth-exactly 2 1/2 hours
and that seems even more impressive today.
consider that the film was a serious,intense thriller,not one of todays all-in-one timepass mishmashes and its unthinkable.

how did b.r chopra manage to hold the audiences interest for 2 1/2 hours without songs,comic relief and without even the benefit of a strong love story track?
the answer then,as any director would tell
you even today.lies in the three vital ingredients of any good film:
script,script and script!
or to put it differently,story,screenplay and


(1998)ram gopal varma's

What makes 'Satya' a cult classic is a razor sharp script plus outstanding histrionics by a team of thoroughbred 'actors' albeit with unattached market value underlying their names. Of course one cannot ignore a fabulous cameo performance by Paresh Rawal as the disciplined and straight - forward police commissioner Amod Shukla. Ironically, while the film did close to nothing for the box-office standing of actor Chakravarthy but flung Manoj Bajpai to the starry heights of recognition. One really wonders if Bajpai himself will ever be able to outshine himself after this one. Scriptwriter Anurag Kashyap had struck bull's eye with his sharp understanding of the crudeness that goes with being a bhai in Mumbai. One couldn't miss the brackish street humor where Chandu Mote ribs Satya about his nascent courtship with Vidya, ("akkha Mumbai blast ho gaya pan Satya apna fast ho gaya") or even a matter of fact "ab karna hain to karna hai" delivered with spot-on accuracy by Bajpai as he gives Satya early lessons in executing a 'supari' (mafia jargon for murder.)

In the gory underbelly of Mumbai's underworld, Ramu touches a raw nerve. An underbelly where women serve as an adornment, merely functional - or as distractions rather than distractions where it is better to watch your back for that stray bullet rather than the object of your affection. Urmila Matondkar, as the scared, questioning middle class woman does justice to a small but well etched role. The scene of her as a struggling singer having to deal with the lewd advances of a music director and how the musician is later threatened by Satya's mafia to give her a 'break' is shockingly stark.

The power games are shown up as how they really are probably for the first time. Where there are no friends and if there are, the bullet in the head will probably belong to that very friend. But Bhiku's blind loyalty to his friend Satya is touchingly displayed. As is his own attachment for his wfe (Shefali Chhaya).

The gunfights now common in every street of India, especially Mumbai, are shown with much graphic. The chases, the story telling, the harshness - with that touch of emotion too - are beautifully shown. Ram Gopal Verma, the director, paints a thought provoking canvas of terror and trauma in the underworld almost as if he were there himself, an invisible first hand spectator to the events. The visuals are simply stunning. The performances, particularly of Manoj Bajpai, as Bhiku Mhatre, are simply electric.

Interestingly what Ram Gopal Varma also had with him besides a tightly worked out script was of course outstanding histrionic support and minimal audience expectation thanks to it being marketed as 'just another 'gangster film'. In making as a volatile film as this Ramu hardly knew he was setting a benchmark in realistic, well-narrated commercial cinema. Suffice to say that the bloody truth hasn't been told better. Yet.

Words aren't enough to describe this wealth of a movie, a landmark on celluloid. It is a cult film all right as it sets its own ground rules. Much like the 'godfather' had done in Hollywood so may years ago.

13.Mother india

(1957)mehboob khan's

It is the tale that is constantly repeated in real life. When Radha was married, her mother-in-law borrowed five hundred rupees from the village money-lender, Sukhilala. The payment plan was simple: each year, Sukhilala would get one-fourth of the crop they grew. That was what Radha's mother-in-law thought was the deal. Sukhilala had actually taken advantage of her lack of education and written in the contract that he would receive three quarters of the crop. When his evil came to light, the village elders, not wanting the police to come to the village, ruled in Sukhilala's favor. Mother India is the evergreen story of a family's struggle to survive against the evil of Sukhilala.

What more can you ask for in a movie? A rich story, excellent acting, great songs, technically superb. The story is about Radha played by Nargis who works hard to bring up her two children, played by Sunil Dutt and Rajender Kumar, after her husband goes away. Birju played by Dutt is the more flamboyant one who gets in trouble with the village Lala's daughter and runs away and becomes a dacoit. The end is the most unexpected part of the movie.

Made on a large canvas, this movie runs like an epic. This Mehboob Khan's effort came very close to winning the Oscar for the Best Foreign Film. During the shooting of this film Dutt saved Nargis from a fire and soon after that they were married.

Naushad's music is another highlight of the film with some great songs like "Duniya Mein Hum Aaye Hain", "Nagri-Nagri Dware-Dware", "Holi Aayi Re Kanhai", "Tan Rang Lo Ji" etc.


(1980)feroz khan's

*feroz khan,vinod khanna,zeenat aman,
amjad khan,shakti kapoor,amrish puri.

Three of the best looking stars in the movie
business came together in one of the most stylish films ever made-"qurbani"

It was with this movie that feroz khan's excellance over the medium came to the fore.
his conceptualization of scenes,his shot-taking,his deft way of handling even emotional scenes was all proof that he was
indeed inspired from the west.

Looking back ,when one thinks of "qurbani",
one is instantly reminded of alluring stars,
cool action,fast-paced cars,pulsating music,
magnificent locales and in general-
style at its best.

15.kabhi kabhie

(1976)yash chopra's

waheeda rehman,shashi kapoor,amitabh bachchan
raakhee gulzar,rishi kapoor & neetu singh.

Yash Chopra is undoubtedly one of the most
successful filmakers of hindi cinema and part
of his enduring appeal lies in surprising
the audience with every new film.

Today top stars would balk at playing parents
at the peak of their career as lead stars.
only yash chopra could have persuaded a whole
lot of them to agree-especially Amitabh Bachchan who was at his angry young man stage

A large part of the credit for the films
successs would go to Khayyam who set Sahir Ludhianvi's superb lyrics("kabhi kabhie mere dil mein khayal aata hai","tere chehre se nazar nahin hat ti",main pal do pal ka shaayar hoon") into memorable won awards for the lyricist,composer and singer Mukesh.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 5:45 pm 
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Hey! cool post :thumbs:
But just one question, are all these films reported on an actual source?

There is a stranger in your mirror

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 11:24 pm 
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i'm picking the 100 films out of personel choice......

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 11:31 pm 
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good stuff, keep going raj, because your list looks top noch so far.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 1:25 am 

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I must say this is one of the best threads I have seen so far. I can imagine the time & effort you must have put in creating this list. Keep up the good work.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 1:30 am 
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excellent choices.....

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 3:30 am 
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Some good choices there man!
I wonder where your gonna put SHOLAY!?!
Keep it up! :thumbs:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 10:14 am 

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Brilliant>>> look forward to seeing the others.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 12:06 pm 

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Great list...Lagaan is there...good good...hey where is Dil Chahta Hai? ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 3:58 pm 

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great list,good choices so far.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:00 pm 

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great list,good choices so far. also, is MEA is at #1 or list is in no particular order.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 4:19 pm 
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the list is in no particular order.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2002 5:48 pm 
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*balraj sahni,dharmendra,priya rajvansh,
jayant,vijay anand,sanjay khan.

(1964)chetan anand's

The main strength of "haqeeqat" is its rugged
landscape and authentic battle scenes,seldom
ever captured in indian cinema until J.P Dutta made "Border" more than three decades later.
Shot in Ladakh,the entire cast braved climatic and dare one say,climatic hardships
as the the perfectionist within chetan anand
set out to make a gripping and scathing film.

Haqeeqat ignited a sense of oneness and a
patriotic pride among indians at a time when the nation's marole had hit rock-bottom.
chetan anand later made another war film
"Hindustan ki Kasam",in 1973 with the indo-pak war as the backdrop.

How do we explain the mythical aura of
Besides a cast that seems born to battle for
the country,the film is also a lyrical love
story about two people who find each other
during stressful and trying times.


Sunil Dutt,Raaj Kumar,Sadhana,Sharmila Tagore
Shashi Kapoor,Balraj Sahni,Shashikala,Motilal
Rehman,Achala Sachdev,Madan Puri,Jeevan.

(1965)prod:b.r chopra-dir yash chopra

A lost-and-found melodrama. Not the original, Kismet (1943), occupying that slot, but definitely the best known in the genre today. Yash Chopra's third film, and one of the longest as well, Chopra establishing that part of his legacy quite early.

An earthquake destroys the home of a rich trader, Kedarnath. His wife and three sons get separated and go their own ways. While Kedarnath is handed out a life sentence for murder, the three sons, Raja, Ravi and Vijay get separated. While Raja, played by Raaj Kumar, becomes a thief, albeit one who robs the rich winning their trust at parties, Ravi is adopted by a rich household and becomes a lawyer. And covet the love of the same girl, Meena and try to win her over with their contrasting charms. Vijay meanwhile stays with his mother and coincidentally becomes a driver in the house of the woman he cares for, Renu. As is decreed, their paths cross when Raja is framed for murder and all the family come to the court room where they recognise each other and fall weeping for joy in each other's arms, a pattern that was to get repeated endlessly in mainstream Indian cinema.

The film went on become a major success at the box office and established the director. The songs, aage bhi jaane na tu, din hai bahar ke, ai meri zohrajabeen and others were popular as well and helped draw in the crowds.

18.Amar Akbar Anthony

*Amitabh Bachchan,Vinod khanna,Rishi kapoor,
parveen babi,shabana azmi,neetu singh, pran,nirupa roy,jeevan,ranjeet.

(1977)manmohan desai's

Time plays strange tricks.Today when you say
the name Amitabh Bachchan,the associations
that spring to mind for most young filmgoers
are that of a 'mature' screen legend with an
imposing personality and voice,and an
unshakeable paternal dignity.This is the result of the big B's "kaun banega crorepati"
and his "mohabbatein"/"k3g" screen image.

But before this new avatar of the screen deva was moulded,the name Amitabh Bachchan
conjured up a very different image.A virile,
imposing superhero who played larger than-life characters capable of risking life and limb to achieve their impossible goals.
A combination of great personality,physical
agility,romantic charisma,drunken humour,and
that totally unique dancing style that's copied by baraatis in wedding processions
even today.
India has never seen such a living legend
dominate the scene for so long and so successfully as Amitabh Bachchan.
And that historic AB avatar was set by a single film,"amar akbar anthony".
Although manmohan deai's superhit entertainer starred three male leads and a
host of other stars,the historic value of the
film rests on its creation of the Bachchan persona.That was its greatest contribution
to hindi cinema.


*Nutan,Ashok Kumar,Dharmendra Raja paranjpe, Tarun Bose,Asit Sen,Chandrima Bhaduri
Bela Bose,Iftekar,Hiralal,Moni Chatterjee

(1963)bimal roy's

One of Bimal Roy's best known films, this 1963 classic remains on the all time favourite lists of many a Hindi film aficionado, as much for its haunting music and storyline and a powerhouse performance by Nutan.

Set in 1930s undivided Bengal, Nutan plays Kalyani, a village girl who stays with her father. She comes in contact with a revolutionary, Bikash, actively involved in the ongoing freedom struggle, and is soon in love with him. Circumstances lead Bikash to declare that Kalyani is his wife, and he promises to marry her as soon as he can. But he disappears, putting Kalyani in an awkward situation. Forced to emigrate to the town, she works in a hospital. Asked to look after for a mentally unstable woman, she is shocked to discover that the woman is Bikash's wife. Upset, the news of her father's death reaches her. Unable to bear this double shock, and the tantrums of Vikas's wife, Kalyani kills her and is imprisoned for life. All this is told in flashback to the jailor, Deven, a doctor who is taken in by Kalyani's nature and dedication to duty. Deciding to marry her, Deven gets Kalyani's sentence commuted. On the way to Deven's house, Kalyani runs into a terminally ill Bikash...

A brilliantly shot film, there are many passages in the film that leave a deep imprint on the watcher - a classic example being with the final conflict between love and security as Kalyani is deciding between Bikash and Deven. S D Burman's music for the film recieved widespread acclaim. As for the songs - mere saajan hain us paar, o panchhi pyare, ab ke baras bhej, mora gora rang, jogi jab se tu aayaa mere dware - there has rarely been a film with a greater number of memorable songs. The cinematography is especially brilliant, and combined with Roy's genius in using subtle yet evocative imagery, the film seems to be straight from the heart.


'Pyaasa', or 'Thirst'. Thirst for answers, for recognition, for understanding, for redemption and salvation of the human spirit. When we think of 'Pyaasa' we can virtually see Guru Dutt framed in the shaft of light, or is it Vijay the young poet who is looking for recognition? 'Pyaasa' is Guru Dutt's masterpiece. Relating the story of the thirst for love, for recognition, and spiritual fulfilment. There is a strong parallel between the hero, a poet, an outsider trying to make a place for himself in the society he inhabits; and the director, the outsider, trying to leave his independent stamp in a world of formulaic cinema. It is in 'Pyaasa' that we really see Guru Dutt transcend way above the ordinary and succeed in totality. Many individual shots and scenes have become impressionistic images extolling his lyricism as a director and artist.

The story of a poet whose poetry speaks of human suffering, which has no makings of the superfluous fluff and romance that is purported to be saleable in the mainstream. At home, his brothers are angered by his refusal to take on an ordinary job and contribute to the family expenses, and retaliate by selling his poems as waste paper. This acts as the catalyst and Vijay leaves home in desperation and lives on the streets of Calcutta. Thus begins the poet's search for his manuscripts. After great pains, he learns that a mysterious woman, recognising the worth of the poems, has bought them from the paper vendor. Roaming the city, he hears the voice of a woman singing one of his poems. She is Gulab, the prostitute, who lures Vijay in, thinking him to be a client, but throws him out on realising he is not there to give her business. Later Gulab realizes that Vijay is the author of the poems that have won her heart and, full of remorse, tries to befriend Vijay who now spurns her. When misunderstandings are cleared, a rare friendship blossoms between them.

One day, at a reunion at his college, Vijay meets Meena, the girl whom he used to love. She is now married to a successful publisher, Mr. Ghosh, whose wealth proved more attractive to her than the love of a struggling poet. Suspicious of Meena's relationship with Vijay, and curious to know more about her past, Mr. Ghosh gives Vijay a small job in his office. However, soon, humiliated by Meena at a party, and sacked by her husband, he starts drifting once again. On hearing about his mother's death, along with the depression of his own failure, he aimlessly wanders through brothels and bars till he decides to end it all. But Gulab intervenes and tries to give him solace. Only to one day find that he has disappeared without trace. The newspapers announce Vijay's death by accident and Gulab, the only person who has believed in his talents, spends her life's savings to get Vijay's poems published by Mr Ghosh. But Vijay is not dead. On his way to eternity that night, he had stopped to give away his coat to a beggar. When he attempts to throw himself in the path of a speeding train, the beggar, in an attempt to save his benefactor, is killed. His body was identified by Vijay's coat. Recovering in a hospital, Vijay learns about the great success of his book; but when he claims to be its author, his brothers and his publisher, who are reaping the profits, refuse to identify him and he is sent to an asylum for the mentally ill.

It is only with the help of an old friend, a poor masseuse, that Vijay escapes from the asylum. Attending a meeting in the city hall to pay homage to the supposedly 'dead' poet, Vijay is struck by the irony of the situation, and is provoked to denounce the organizers as hypocrites. Beaten up as a gatecrasher, he is rescued by one of the publishers who had earlier rejected his works, and now has hopes of future profits. Another meeting is called to prove that Vijay is alive, but despite Meena's pleas to admit the truth, Vijay now claims to be an imposter, embittered by the mercenary attitude of the people around him. Rejecting the world that has so long refused him recognition, Vijay decides to go away, taking Gulab with him.

The movie is a classic example in its cinamatic treatment, and direction. The musical score brings to mind the passion portrayed by the baul singers which in fact voices the prostitute's passion for the poet. The earthly love she feels is uplifted and given a spiritual dimension through the words. And the amazing rendition of the song by Geeta Dutt further reinforces this. The last scene of the film shows the prostitute, overcome with joy at seeing the poet at her doorway, running down the steps of her house into his arms. They are one. What is most interesting to note in their relationship is that the prostitute shares with the poet a greater attraction for spiritual fulfilment rather than materialistic fulfilment.

Guru Dutt's films usually have him caught between two women - like in 'Baazi', 'Aar Paar', 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' and 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam'. In 'Pyaasa' too there is another woman , his ex-girlfriend from college who leaves him and marries for security. Her priority for materialistic fulfilment adds to the negative shades of her role making it a more difficult and challenging in the film as against the standard prostitute with a heart of gold. The role has its shades of grey and counts as one of actress Mala Sinha's better performances, who was otherwise considered a rather mechanical and melodramatic performer. Waheeda Rehman is outstanding in the role of the prostitute and Guru Dutt himself is perfect for the role of the poet. Perhaps the parallels between him and the character help him in coming out with his best ever screen performance.

Interestingly, 'Pyaasa' has that rare element in a Guru Dutt film which stands apart - the song treated like a fantasy. An idyllic daydream of the hero, the song 'Hum aapki aankhon mein' is picturised amongst clouds as the heroine descends from the moon. It stands out when viewed against the whole film. Perhaps it was picturised to catet to the distributors who felt that an 'item number' was needed! As usual, the music by S.D. Burman is extraordinary, as is the rendering of the songs. The background music helps to create the necessary atmosphere for a number of individual scenes. Mala Sinha's character has her own signature tune - a simple yet haunting melody played on the harmonica. Whenever the poet sees her, the tune is repeated representing for him the love he has lost.

But if one person is the soul of 'Pyaasa' it is lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi on whose poems the lyrics were based. Sahir's words seem to articulate Guru Dutt's own view of the world and experience of tragedy. 'Pyaasa' sees some of Sahir's best work. 'Yeh mehlon, yeh thakhton', 'Jaane woh kaise log the jinke' and 'Jinhe naaz hai Hind par woh kahaan hai' - the last looking at the disillusionment that had set in a decade after the giddy euphoria of Indian Independence. It was taken from his poem Chakle (Brothels). A fine example of political comment combined with humanitarian compassion.
To sum it up simply, a classic!

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