With this innovative and, for the period, daring film Guru Dutt enters the happiest phase of his career. He plays Kalu, a taxi driver and mechanic who has served a jail sentence for rash driving and is in love with Nicky (Shyama), the daughter of his boss at the garage. Several subplots are woven into their romance: a gang of safe busters led by Captain, kidnappers employed by Nicky’s father and lovable ruffians like Elaichi Sandow (Jagdeep). Considered until recently a relatively minor Guru Dutt film, its bravura song picturisations such as the ‘tragic’ version of the song Ja ja ja ja bewafa (inverting the earlier number Sun sun sun sun zaalima), where the camera pans over a series of black pillars hiding heroine Shyama from the viewer, announce Pyaasa (1957) and the melodramas that followed. Dutt experiments with novel ways of cutting songs into the story, e.g. omitting introductory music. The opening song sequence introduces the Western musical ploy of interposing incidental characters into the narrative choreography as the street urchins energetically dance in the streets of Bombay. As in all Dutt’s films, the Geeta Dutt songs are perennial hits, including Babuji dheere chalna, Yeh lo main haari piya, Mohabbat kar lo, ji bhar lo (the last a duet with Mohammed Rafi). The film exudes a lighthearted cheekiness which, coupled with the elaboration of new generic conventions, divided the contemporary audience, offending the stuffier traditionalists and delighting the others.
Did you know?
Dev Anand was to play the hero in the film, but since he couldn't make it on time, Guru Dutt played the role himself. Read More