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Pyaasa (1957)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 2,524 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 20 critic

A talented but indigent poet Vijay struggles for love and recognition in this selfish world.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mala Sinha ...
Guru Dutt ...
Vijay
...
Gulabo
Rehman ...
Mr. Ghosh
Johnny Walker ...
Abdul Sattar
Kumkum ...
Juhi (as Kum Kum)
Leela Mishra ...
Vijay's Mother (as Leela Misra)
Shyam
Mehmood ...
Vijay's brother
Radheshyam
Tun Tun ...
Pushplata
Maya Dass
Moni Chatterjee ...
Chatterjee (as Moni Chatterji)
Ashita
Neel Kamal
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Storyline

Unemployed Vijay is the youngest in his family consisting of his widowed mom, and two brothers. His passion is poetry - frowned upon by his brothers - who want him to find gainful employment instead. Vijay's poems are quite radical in which he laments about the poor, the destitute, and the arrogance of the rich after the departure of the British from India. His efforts to get them published are in vain. He takes to drinking, gets in trouble with the law, is disowned by his brothers, ends up at a brothel and befriends a prostitute named Gulabo. Gulabo is sympathetic, listens to him as he pours his heart out, and decides to assist Vijay. Watch what happens when Gulabo approaches some of her affluent clientèle to assist Vijay and try and get his work published, without revealing that they are written by an alcoholic, disheveled, homeless man. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 February 1957 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Thirsty  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was to be made with Nargis and Madhubala in the roles Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman played eventually. However the two actresses were unable to decide which role they wanted to play and Guru Dutt eventually opted for two then new actresses, Mala and Waheeda. See more »

Quotes

Vijay: Jab hum chalein toh saaya bhi apna na saath de; jab tum chalo toh zameen chale, aasmaan chale! Jab hum rukein, saath ruke shaam-e-beqasi; jab tum ruko, bahaar ruke, chandni ruke!
See more »

Connections

References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye Toh Kya Hai
Sung by Mohammad Rafi
Music composed by Sachin Dev Burman
Lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simply Superb
2 September 2006 | by (Te Ika a Maui, Aotearoa) – See all my reviews

Hindi cinema cops a lot of flak for its escapist fluff, and rightly so, when it churns out drek like MPKK, HSSH and HTHS with depressing frequency. It was, however, not always so. Pyaasa reminds us that the Golden Age of Hindi cinema was just that, truly golden. There is almost nothing at all to fault with this gem. I'm listening to Sar Jo Tera Chakraye while I type this, but the whole soundtrack is outstanding, and the story, both in design and execution is a great demonstration of the fact that commercial cinema _can_ be fine art, too.

The evocation of atmosphere is well-done, and the main characters are well drawn. Johnny Walker is, as always, excellent in the comic relief. Some have said that they found him an intrusion, but for me, this very un-comic movie benefited from a little lightening touch from the inimitable Johhny. Subhaan Alaah that it wasn't Johnny Lever!

I love every song in the soundtrack, and think that it is the best soundtrack from any of the 320 or so Hindi films I've seen. It is, in my opinion, rare to find a Hindi film in which the songs work very well both in the film AND on their own. Sometimes, there are boring films with great songs, like Swades, and sometimes there are unremarkable songs that work well inside the film, like Dhadak Dhadak from "Bunty aur Babli". In Pyaasa though, every song fits AND every song survives apart from its context in the film.

However, the clincher for me the ending. There are maybe three or four Hindi films I've seen with almost perfect endings, in terms of being right for the film. I would say that they are, Dil Se (breathtaking and brave, but absolutely right for that film), Page 3 (the 21st century Pyaasa in its storyline, to me) and at the top of the heap, Pyaasa. The fade out to Yeh Duniya Agar is utterly perfect. I love this film to bits, and it was the ending that sealed it for me.


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