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?
Apart from the semi-autobiographical nature of the movie, another explanation for the inspiration is Guru Dutt's association with Gyan Mukherjee,is considered to be an homage to Mukherjee. the famous 1940s director whose 'Kismet' (1943) had made him into a household name. The life and subsequent failures of Mukherjee, whom Guru Dutt had joined in 1950, influenced him deeply. Many think that 'Kaghaz ke Phool' was based on Gyan Mukherjee's life and failures, as Guru Dutt's previous film 'Pyaasa' had been dedicated to him. Read More