Raj Mistry's world

Me,my stories and world around….

The charm of Guru Dutt is Back….

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…I know…i know….but ‘am back with the magic of Guru Dutt’s movies….so what will be our movie today? hmmmmmmmmmmm…….what about Sahib,Bibi Aur Gulam? a fantastic film craft from princess of emotions..tragedy..Mina kumari..showing the facts of life being crushed under the burden of wealth and power and emotions…nothing to add,just go forward and watch it….

sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam 

(Hindi:साहिब बीबी और गुलाम, is a 1962 Indian Hindi film. Produced byGuru Dutt and directed by Abrar Alvi. The film’s music is by Hemant Kumar and lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni Cinematography by V.K.Murthy. The film stars Guru Dutt, RehmanMeena Kumari,Waheeda Rehman and Nasir Hussain. The film is based on a book by Bimal Mitra by the same name, and is a look into the tragic fall of the haveli-dom in Bengal during the British-Raj.

Indiatimes Movies ranks the movie amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
Directed by Abrar Alvi
Produced by Guru Dutt
Written by Abrar Alvi
Bimal Mitra
Starring Meena Kumari
Guru Dutt
Waheeda Rehman
Rehman
Saproo
Minoo Mumtaz
Music by Hemant Kumar
Cinematography V.K. Murthy
Language Hindi

The story…..

Bhoothnath (Guru Dutt), a middle-aged architect wanders through the ruins of an old haveli. Flashback to end of the 19th century. The lower-class but educated Bhoothnath arrives in colonial Calcutta looking for work. He lives in the grand haveli of the Choudhurys’, a family of zamindars while working beyond its compound at the Mohini Sindoor factory run by Subinay Babu, a dedicated member of the Brahmo Samaj. Subinay Babu’s young daughter Jabba (Waheeda Rehman) is amused by Bhoothnath whom she considers an unsophisticated rustic. Bhoothnath becomes fascinated with the goings-on in the haveli and every night observes the decadent lifestyle of the Choudhury bothers. One night the servant, Bansi, takes Bhoothnath to meet the younger zamindar’s (Rehman) wife Chhoti Bahu (Meena Kumari) who implores him to bring her Mohini Sindoor believing it will keep her unfaithful husband home. Bhoothnath is struck by her beauty and sadness and inadvertently becomes Chhoti Bahu’s secret confidante. A bomb explodes in the market place and Bhoothnath is injured in the ensuing crossfire between Freedom fighters and British soldiers. Jabba looks after him. Bhoothnath becomes a trainee architect and goes away to work on a training project.

Chhoti Bahu’s repeated attempts to appease her husband have failed until she becomes his drinking companion in order to keep him by her side. Bhoothnath returns some years later to Calcutta to find that Subinay Babu has died and that he and Jabba were betrothed as children. He returns to the haveli and is shocked to find it in partial ruins. Chhoti Bahu is now a desperate alcoholic and her husband, paralyzed. She asks Bhoothnath to accompany her to a nearby shrine to pray for her ailing husband. Their conversation is heard by the elder zamindar, Majhle Babu. He orders his henchmen to punish her for consorting with a man outside the Choudhury household. As Bhoothnath and Chhoti Bahu travel in the carriage, the carriage is stopped. Bhoothnath is knocked unconscious and Chhoti Bahu, abducted. When he wakes up in hospital, Bhoothnath is told Chhoti Bahu has disappeared and the younger zamindar is dead. The flashback ends. Bhoothnath’s workers inform him a skeleton is found buried in the ruins of the haveli. From the jewellery on the corpse, Bhoothnath realizes it is the mortal remains of Chhoti Bahu.

Music

The music of the film was composed by Hemant Kumar.Shakil Badayuni..penned the lyrics.

Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam cover
Soundtrack by Hemant Kumar
Recorded Unknown
Genre Film soundtrack
Label
Producer Guru Dutt
Hemant Kumar chronology
Dui Bhai
(1962)
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam
(1962)
Nav Diganta
(1962)
Title Singer Picturised on
Saakhiya Aaj Mujhe Neend Nahin Aayegi Asha Bhosle Minoo Mumtaz
Meri Jaan O Meri Jaan Asha Bhosle  
Piya Aiso Jiya Mein Samaaye Gayo Re Geeta Dutt Meena Kumari
Na Jao Saiyan Chudaake Baiyan Geeta Dutt Meena Kumari , Rehman
Koi Door Se Aawaaz De Chale Aao Geeta Dutt Meena Kumari
Bhanwara Bada Naadaan Asha Bhosle Guru Dutt , Waheeda Rehman
Meri Baat Rahi Mere Man Mein Asha Bhosle Waheeda Rehman

[edit]Trivia

  • The year in which it was released was one of triumphant success for Meena Kumari. She made history as she bagged all the three Filmfare Best Actress nominations for that year. For ‘Aarti’, ‘Main Chup Rahungee’ and of course for ‘Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam’, for which she eventually won the award[2].
  • Though Abrar Alvi directed the movie and won the filmfare award for it, several claim that the movie was actually directed by Guru Dutt and Abrar was a ghost director. After failure of Kaagaz Ke Phool, Guru Dutt was unwilling to put his name on any movie.
  • Hemant Kumar lost out the Award for Best Music which went to Shankar-Jaikishen for their populist score in Professor (1962).
  • The film was screened at the Berlin Film Festival in June 1963
  • Was India’s official entry to the Oscars for 1963.
  • Meena Kumari‘s performance as Chhoti Bahu is regarded as one of the best performance in Hindi Cinema.
  • The famous song Na Jao Saiyaan by Geeta Dutt became Classic because her voice, with all its sensuality and pain, complements Meena Kumari‘s performance perfectly
  • This movie was remade in a TV-Series starring Raveena Tandon.
  • This movie will be remade again in 2008 with Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra by the title Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam.
  • Nargis Dutt turned down the role Of Chhoti Bahu to spend time with her infant son Sanjay.
  • Guru Dutt considered Shashi Kapoor and then Biswajit before taking on the part of Bhoothnath.
  • Jitendra Arya’s wife Chhaya was considered for the role of Chhoti Bahu.
  • Guru Dutt wanted S.D. Burman and Sahir Ludhianvi for the music and lyrics but S.D. Burman was unwell and Sahir declined the offer.

[edit]Review

Besides a commercial success, the film was also a huge critical success. To quote the review featured in the Times of India dated June 24, 1962… The well-knit screenplay, achieving an effective balance between the various characters and emotional phases, provides a neat dramatic pattern. It appears to be a specially successful job considering the verbosity and digressiveness of the novel of Mr. Bimal Mitra who, though often brilliant, writes in a highly disorderly way.

Hemant Kumar’s evocative music particularly Chhoti Bahu’s songs give the film a haunting quality. Geeta Dutt’s rendering of the three Chhoti Bahu songs – Koi Door Se Awaaz De Chale AaoPiya Aiso Jiya and Na Jao Saiyaan represents some of the finest singing she has ever done. Her voice with all its sensuality and pain complements Meena Kumari’s performance perfectly. Chhoti Bahu’s ‘signature tune’ – the melancholic music played each time Bhoothnath meets her adds enormously to the aura of tragedy surrounding her. Mention must be made of Bhanu Athaiya’s costumes and Biren Naug’s Art Direction and above all V.K. Murthy’s stunning cinematography with masterly use of light and shadow, none better than the mujra – Saaqiya Aaj Mujhe Neend Nahin Aaegi, where the lead dancer is always in the light and the dancers in the background lit up in a manner that no light falls on their faces. This when often there is both character movement and camera movements being coordinated in the course of the shot! And rarely has the Indian screen seen better use of close-ups particularly those of Meena Kumari who looks absolutely stunning. The editing rhythm with its many dissolves and fades adds to the film’s mysterious feel..

Chhoti Bahu Meena Kumari, becomes a desparate alcoholic, to make ZamindarRehmanstay at home, in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam

While each of the performances are spot on, if there is one person who is the heart and soul of the film, it is Meena Kumari. Her portrayal of Chhoti Bahu is perhaps the greatest performance ever seen on the Indian Screen. The sequence where Chhoti Bahu dresses for her husband singing Piya Aiso Jiya Main is a poignant exploration of a woman’s expectations and sexual desire. And later on when she has become a desperate alcoholic, you cannot help but cry with her in the sequence where she pleads with her husband to stay with her and then angrily turns on him to tell him how she has prostituted her basic values and morals to please him. However the common factors between the actress’s life and Chhoti Bahu are too dramatic to be merely coincidental – The estranged marital relationship, the taking of alcohol, turning towards younger male company, the craving to be understood and loved – all elements evident in Meena Kumari’sown life.

Last song of the film, Sahil Ki Taraf Kashti Le Chal sung by Hemant Kumar was edited out of the film. The song had a shot which showed Chhoti Bahu resting her head on Bhoothnath’s lap in the carriage. Audiences reacted sharply to this so Guru Dutt removed the song and the ‘offending shot’ changing the carriage scene to a dialogue exchange between Chhoti Bahu and Bhoothnath. He also shot an additional scene with the paralyzed husband repenting his sinful and debauched lifestyle. Hemant Kumar reused the tune for Sahil ki Taraf for the song Ya Dil ki Suno in film Anupama (1966)[3]

[edit]Awards and nominations

Film also won:

  • President’s Silver Medal.
  • Bengal Film Journalist Association film of the year.

[edit]Directorial Controversy

The controversy about who actually directed Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam has increased over the years. Since the film is characteristic of Guru Dutt’s feel and style, it is difficult to think that he did not direct the film. However Guru Dutt never denied Abrar Alvi’s role in the film nor did he make any counter claims when Alvi won the Filmfare Award for Best Director for the film. Abrar Alvi has stated that Guru Dutt did direct the songs in the film, but not the film in its entirety. The editor of the Film Y.G. Chawan however says that for the film it was Abrar who sat with him. To quote him… Abrar worked so hard on that film but he never got any credit. People say it was produced by Guru Dutt so it had to be Guru Dutt’s film[3] Waheeda Rehman, one of the film’s stars, also confirmed that it was Alvi, not Guru Dutt, who directed the film

so, be with me in this journey of life and facts….enjoy all flavors…

with love…

Raj

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