This evergreen melancholic classic begins with a resounding dialogue of Guru Dutt: " My poems are not for ordinary souls. They are priceless.",
while chiding a publisher who urges him to write in a sale able manner.
(meaning Thirsty in English) is one of the masterpieces of Guru Dutt,
a film maker who stands light years away from other film makers in terms of style, boldness, anguish, lighting, editing, acting, props, music, camera and last but not the least originality
(though I could not help but draw parallels with the Norwegian classic Sult, which means 'Hunger' in English!).
The music of the movie (S D Burman) form the defining moments, forming a classic example of use of music to take the story forward
. The melody as well as the meaning of 'Jaane woh kaise log the...'
is haunting and summarises the story of the movie and to some extent probably the life of Guru Dutt himself, who many believe led a life full of bitterness.
This is the story of a poet (Vijay) who cannot compromise, but wants to earn money and make his dreams come true - see his mother happy and marry the girl he loves
. Poverty and humiliation come to him instead, when people fail to understand his verses and his brothers disown him. His despair hits te bottom when his lover (played superbly by Mala Sinha) dumps him for a wealthier man (Rehman - a publisher).
Being pushed into the ocean of this unruly greedy world, he meanders from one friend to another, always disappointed by thier womanising, exploiting ways and an extremely distorted, imperfect world, which he deems fit to be destroyed rather than live in. Hungry and thirsty, one morning he finds his brothers performing the last rites of their mother
and takes to drinking heavily.
A young prostitute
(the brilliant Waheeda Rehman's debut in Hindi movies) comes to his rescue and tends to him. In love with his poetry, Vijay considers her and a roadside massager the only genuine human beings.
The story takes a dramatic turn when the world presumes him to be dead
and makes him a super hero overnight. His books become bestsellers and all the people who had disowned him earlier turn up for a share of the the earnings.
Not just in Hindi Cinema, this movie is a must-see for all artlovers in the world. Guru Dutt actually dissects the human brain, life and heart for us all to see in the most brutal sublime manner.