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After being released from prison for Forgery and Theft, Multi-linguist Raju (Dev Anand) reflects on his life as a Guide; his meeting with the daughter of a prostitute, Rosie (Waheeda Rehman), who was unhappily married to Marco (Kishore Sahu), and wants to take up acting and dancing as a career. Rosie separates and moves in with Raju and his mom (Leela Chitnis). Then both re-locate, and with Raju's encouragement, she succeeds in an acting and dancing career, resulting in both becoming very wealthy. He then succumbs to gambling, and alcohol, and forges Rosie's signature. He is arrested, tried in court, found guilty and imprisoned. Now discharged from prison, he changes his mind about returning home to his mother, and decides to go elsewhere and start afresh - a decision that will alter his life and way of thinking forever. Written by
In India, this movie is considered a textbook for directing films. I would say it's a textbook for acting, editing, song-writing, and music direction. If Vijay Anand's direction made this movie a classic, S.D. Burman's music made it unforgettable.
Of course, before the movie came R.K. Narayan's story of Raju, the guide; a story that lent its honesty to the film: The protagonist is not infallible, he is human. He doesn't get everything right. He is not loved by everybody. He cheats, albeit in love, and pays the price. He attempts to cheat again when he tries to run away from the village where he is being considered a saint and is being expected to fast for rain. That's when he realizes he has run enough attains peace.
Without going any more into some of the more abstract reasons this is my all-time favorite film, I'll point out some of the more obvious. Only the genius of S.D. Burman could create "Din Dhal Jaaye", "Tere Mere Sapne", and "Piya Tose Naina Laage Re" - all for the same film! It is rumored that R.D. Burman ghost-composed some of the songs (especially "Aaj Phir Jeene Ki") as his father had taken ill at some critical point in the film. Regardless of which Burman did it, I am thankful for what he did.
Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman are two of my most favorite actors. With this movie, Dev Anand silenced his critics. His acting, especially in the last part of the movie, is heart-wrenching.
I disappointed to know that S.D. Burman did not win the Filmfare award for Guide. Not that awards matter - Pink Floyd never won a Grammy (well if you don't count the one they got for "Cluster One", which was just and instrumental).
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