It tells, in flashback, the story of Suresh Sinha (Dutt), a famous film director. His marriage to Bina (Veena), the daughter of a wealthy parvenue (Mahesh Kaul), is wrecked because film directing is a job lacking in social status. Sinha is denied access to his beloved daughter Pammi (Baby Naaz) who is sent to a private boarding school.
On a rainy night Sinha meets Shanti (Rehman) who turns out to be ideally suited to act the part of Paro in Sinha’s film Devdas. Shanti becomes a star and gossip columns link her with Sinha. The distraught Pammi pleads with Shanti to quit films, which she does, and her withdrawal leads to a rapid decline in Sinha’s fortunes. Soon he is a forgotten and destitute man.
Eventually, after some painful adventures (reminiscent of Emil Jannings’s fate in Sternberg’s The Last Command, 1928) Sinha is found dead in the director’s chair in an empty studio.
Did you know?
Many claim that the film is semi-autobiographical and that Guru Dutt portrayed his angst in the movie. At the time of production of the film, Guru Dutt's marriage to Geeta Dutt was under strain due to his liking for Waheeda Rehman. This was openly known causing Guru Dutt's personal life to resemble that of the protagonist in the movie. However, the forecast of his own (Guru Dutt's) death, to parallel the sad and imminent death of the protagonist in the film, is debatable. Read More