Any all-time great list of Hindi cinema ever made will be compelled to include “Pyasa’, “Sahib, Bibi Aur Ghulam” and ” Kagaz Ke Phool” in it. Guru Dutt, involved with these gems either as a director or as an acor was born today in 1925.
Vasanth Kumar Shivashankar Padukone, known to the world as genius Guru Dutt was born on 9 July 1925. A master director and accomplished actor, he was also choreographer, writer an producer.
Any cinephile would vouch for the artistry in the filmmaking typical of Guru Dutt school. His usage of close-up shots, paly with lighting, and portrayal of melancholy brought cinematic medidum to a newer height.
His chef-d’oeuvre remain Pyaasa (1957) which is included in Time magazine’s 100 Greatest Movies list. Along with Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962) are acclaimed all over the world by connoisseurs of good cinema.
Guru Dutt born in Karnataka spent his childhood at Kolkata. He studied at Uday Shankar’s School of Dancing and Choreography in Almora. After working as a telephone operator for a brief period, Guru Dutt landed contract at Prabhat Film Company in Bombay.
As destiny would have it, he met another newcomer at Prabhat that would influence forever – his lifelong friend Dev Anand. Dev Anand and Guru Dutt had promised each other that if Dutt were to become a filmmaker, he would hire Anand as his hero, and if Anand were to produce a film, he would use Dutt as its director. Keeping this promise, when Dev Anand founded Navketan, a new film company, the duo made Baazi (1951), starring Anand himself and marking Dutt’s directorial debut.
The moral ambiguousness sof the lead character and the play with experiments with shadow and light, the Guru Dutt touch was a tribute to the noir genre of Hollywood of the 1940s. Baazi was followed by Jaal (1952). Both films were successful commercially.
Over the years there was a formidable Guru Dutt team was formed. It included Johnny Walker (actor-comedian), V.K. Murthy (cinematographer), Abrar Alvi (writer-director),Waheeda Rehman (actress), SD Burman ( Musician) and Sahir Ludhuyanvi ( Lyricist)
Guru Dutt married Geeta Roy Chaudhary known as Geeta Dutt, a well-known playback singer and had three children, Tarun, Arun, and Nina. However, it is speculated that Guru Dutt had an unhappy marital life. Guru Dutt’s alleged infatuation with actress Waheeda Rehman also worked against his marriage.
Guru Dutt died on 10 October 1964, aged only 41. It is speculated that he died due to mixing of alcohol with sleeping pills, which could be either suicide or an accidental overdose.