Guru Dutt was, in the most complete sense of the word, a true legend of the Indian film industry. He will forever be remembered as a brooding yet intensely romantic lover. Through his works, he has captured the imagination of a country through lights and shadows. An original film-maker, but somehow ahead of his time. While other film-makers of his genre were busy cashing in on public preferences, he pursued his own creative excellence. Though his style of film-making was unique, still it didn’t appeal to the masses. As a result, there is a prevailing belief that he was a misfit. It was only much later that the newer generations explored cult films and discovered the gem called “Guru Dutt.” Here are the top 7 reasons, why Guru Dutt was a misfit in Bollywood.
Guru Dutt was an absolute dreamer. Disillusioned and dissatisfied with the reality that shrouded him, he embarked on his personal dreams and portrayed those on the celluloid. He portrayed numerous examples of selfless and passionate love beautifully on screen. His characters were very simple and utmost realistic, thus becoming iconic.
Critics brand this great film-maker being a pessimist throughout his life and this is what reflected from his films. Audience disliked this black-and-white side of him as people were burdened under the socialistic umbrella. They wanted a dose of laughter, not pain, in the 180- minutes of unbridled entertainment.
It is said that Guru Dutt was much ahead of his time. His films never became a phenomenon in that era, for a multitude of reasons. One of the possible arguments for his less-than-deserved recognition was that the average film-goer of the time was suppressed, deprived and expecting different kind of cinema.
Although Guru Dutt, was a charismatic personality, his charm didn’t appeal to the masses. The repeated commercial failures of his films left him frustrated but he didn’t compromise on his thought-process and ideals. Despite these setbacks, he never compromised on his aesthetic ideals.
In terms of critical appreciation, Guru Dutt achieved a great deal in a short span of time. However, as a creative person, he wanted to explore the limits of his artistic boundaries. This personal agenda of stretching the limits of his abilities put a great strain on his emotional well-being, thus rendering him further apart from the general bonhomie of the Hindi film industry.
Although married, Guru Dutt fell in love with his protégé, Wahida Rehman, who acted in a number of his acclaimed films. Neither Rehman reciprocated his feelings nor did Dutt’s wife, Geeta Dutt, tolerate his association with the actress. His wife left him and this dejection created a vacuum in his life that very much upended his mental equanimity. After losing his love in real life and frustrated with the rejection, he resorted to alcohol, turning into a near-addict that left him devastated. Turning into one of his tragic heroes from Pyaasa, and Kagaz Ke Phool, he immersed himself into the comforts of alcohol, breaking himself away further from the chains of reality.