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?
With a more complex narrative structure than Pyaasa, this film can be seen as a meditation on the control of space, itself an eminently cinematic concern and brilliantly rendered by Murthy’s astonishing CinemaScope camerawork. The film dramatises the conflict between open and constricted spaces, between spaces controlled by the director and spaces constraining him, spaces he can enter and those from which he is excluded. Eventually these tensions are resolved in the enclosed and womb-like but huge and free-seeming space of a deserted film studio. Read More