With Pyaasa West discovered Bollywood

Locarno:  French film critic Jean-Michel Frodon introduced Indian filmmaker Guru Dutt’s 1957 classic Pyaasa to the audience at the 64th Locarno International Film Festival as a dark film that helped the West discover the auteur theory – reflecting the director’s personal creative vision – in Bollywood.

Pyaasa, a cinematic masterpiece by the master craftsman, was a satire on the social system. Directed by Guru Dutt, the film that boasts of flawless performances by Dutt and other cast, including Waheeda Rehman, Mala Sinha and Rehman, was screened here as a part of Open Doors programme that put the spotlight on Indian movies.

“With Pyaasa the West discovered that there is auteur film inside Indian cinema. There is not only Satyajit Ray, but also others inside Bollywood,” Frodon told the audiences who came to watch the movie.

Pyaasa is a dark film that showed Guru Dutt’s specific style – use of close ups and even of songs not only as an entertaining interplay but also as a part of storytelling,” he added.

He also informed the audiences about Guru Dutt’s relationship with the film’s lead actress Waheeda Rehman and his wife Geeta Dutt.

Giving a brief about the filmmaker’s work, Frondon said: “Guru Dutt made Pyaasa after giving commercial successes like Mr. Mrs. 55. After that he made Kaagaz Ke Phool, which was his own story. It was a dark film and a commercial failure and he decided not to direct again after that.”

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