Guru Dutt
Saturday, October 06, 2001 13:00 IST
By Santa Banta News Network

Guru Dutt was rediscovered by the world long after he had committed suicide in despair, and got more fame and adulation as a filmmaker posthumously than he did when hewas alive.

Guru Dutt Padukone was born in Mysore in South India on July9, 1925. He trained in dance with maestro Uday Shankar after which he joinedPrabhat Studios as an assistant choreographer. It was here he met Dev Anand who was making his acting debut with Hum Ek Hain. Movielore has itthat the two became friends and promised that whoever made it big first would offer the other a break.

After a spell at Prabhat, Guru Dutt assisted directors like A Banerjee, Gyan Mukherjee and Amiya Chakrabarty. When Dev Anand launched his own banner, Navketan, he kept his promise and invited Guru Dutt to direct a film for him.Thus he made a sensational debut with Baazi, a crime thriller starring DevAnand, Geeta Bali and Kalpana Kartik. Guru Dutt and singer GeetaRoy met during the song recording of Baazi, fell in love and got married a short while later.

After Baazi, he made the highly appreciated but not-too-successful Jaal and Baaz, followed by Aar Paar, in which he also acted. This film made him a director to reckon with. It wasn"t a great film in terms of content, but the director had the ability to lend his own unique point of view to the most mundane situations.

Guru Dutt"s song picturisations, his innovative use of light and shade, his intense close-ups, fresh use of colloquial language and refreshing view of Mumbai, all made him a master of his craft.

After the frothy Mr and Mrs 55, Guru Dutt"s work took on a dark,brooding tone. Pyaasa, which is now considered his greatest work was about the disillusionment of a poet with the material world. This and the next Kaagaz Ke Phool had autobiographical notes. Kaagaz Ke Phool, was about the rise and fall of a film director and was a flop at the box office. It was criticised forbeing too pessimistic and self-indulgent, though it is now considered amasterpiece.

The failure of this film disappointed Guru Dutt so much that he did not direct a film again. He continued to produce and act in films (like SahibBibi Aur Ghulam and Chaudhvin Ka Chand).

Guru Dutt"s personal life also took a turn for the worse. His romance with WaheedaRehman had wrecked his marriage. He was said to be depressed when on Oct.10, 1964 he took an overdose of sleeping pills.

He wasn"t a prolific actor and director, but the films he made have left amark, and are textbooks in style and technique.

His brothers Atmaram and Devi Dutt were also filmmakers, hisson Arun made an unsuccessful attempt at direction, Shyam Benegalis his cousin and Kalpana Lajmi his niece.

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