The servant of a wealthy family in Calcutta, Bhoothnath (Guru Dutt) develops a special relationship with his employer’s wife, Chhoti Bahu (Meena Kumari). As Chhoti Bahu grows increasingly depressed, Bhoothnath watches helplessly as the family destroys itself from within. Featuring remarkable performances, director Abrar Alvi’s poignant drama is widely revered as one of the top films in Indian cinema history.
I think one of the ironies of the film is that, inspite of its feminist theme, Chhoti Bahu's insistence on pleasing her husband seems pretty conservative today - though it fits her character, and the social milieu she lived in, quite well. All said, an haunting elegy for a time that has passed. Would accompany The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance or The Magnificent Ambersons well as a double-bill.