Guru Dutt and accent of Parallel Cinema

Movies always served as a source of recreation. When corona isolated everyone in rooms, movies & digital platforms were the only open doors of recreation. Things have changed a lot from monochrome to colors, cinema halls to OTT platform & parallel cinema over a commercial one. But few things never fade away & one such thing is Guru Dutt and his impactful movies.

V. K Shivshankar Padukone to Guru Dutt :

Guru Dutt, A legendary director, producer, actor, and choreographer was born on 09th July 1925 in Bengaluru. His original name was Vasant Kumar Shiv Shankar Padukone. He was 5 when his family moved to Bengal. Bengali culture fascinated him a lot. He got so familiar with the place and locals that he named himself “Guru Dutt”.
Film making and cinema were not passion nor pre-planned. He was a bright student and wanted to attend college, but financial drought compelled him in movies. He went to ‘Uday Shankar Academy of Music & Dance’ at Falsima, Almora in 1941, where he practiced dance professionally. In 1944, he moved to Mumbai & joined ‘Prabhat studio’ as ‘Assistant dance director’.

He eventually found two good friends ‘Dev Anand ’ & ‘Rahman’ there. The journey continues & he made his acting debut in ‘Vishran Lakhrani’s Lakhrani in 1945’ and appeared as an actor in ‘Hum ek hain’ in 1946 for the first time. Directing and producing phase continues from ‘Jaal Baaz, Pyaasa, Kagaz k Phool and so on.

A man ahead of his time :

Parallel cinema refers to the term where films serve serious content and realism. Their main motive is to satisfy the niche market audience over commercial gain. Guru Dutt’s ‘Kagaj k phool ’ was one such movie, with a simple storyline but development at times uneven. It was a flop then but considered to be a masterpiece today. It seems to be so fascinating that it has been added to film courses & being taught in 12 different film universities around the globe.

Another melancholic masterpiece is Guru Dutt’s all-time classic ‘Pyaasa’. It beautifully highlights the struggle of young writers who are devoid of money or any prospects in life. Concurrently struggling between relationship, consequences of employment & economic stature. It reflects the harsh side of society where eminent people are limited to money and fame only whereas a prostitute kept a good sense of art with a golden heart. Another thing that sets the movie apart is the brilliant use of songs. “Ye dunia agar mil bhi jaye toh kya hai” signify the storyline completely.

Also read : Pakeezah – A Tormented Love of Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari

Prioritizing parallel cinema :

Filming a realistic, socio-economic, multicultural pluralistic society and providing a genuine warmth to the audience are the main purpose of cinema. Mira Nair, Dibakar Benerjee, Anurag Kashyap, Sarakar, Kankana Sen & Vikramaditya Motwane are few names who are resurrecting parallel cinema. Movies produced by these filmmakers reawakened the realistic genre where the story summoned audience to the theater & not the stars in it. It shines a ray of hope for the young & talented creators, simultaneously fulfills the mentioned criteria. Therefore, it should be recognized, promoted & appreciated more.


Monika Rawat

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