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752 Ratings


Directed by Guru Dutt
India, 1957
Drama, Musical, Romance


Vijay writes unpopular poems about the destitute and poor. Ridiculed by his brothers and scorned by publishers, Vijay finds encouragement in a woman, Gulabo, who helps him to try and get his poems published.

Our take

Pyaasa, a 1957’s drama from the iconoclastic Guru Dutt, is a zenith of Indian cinema. Concerning a poet (played by Dutt himself!) whose radical works are neglected from a society distracted from truth, the film is a towering emotional experience in love, art, and defiance.

Pyaasa Directed by Guru Dutt
Guru Dutt is a tragic figure in Bollywood history, a tremendously talented actor and filmmaker who committed suicide at the age of 39. He was able to direct eight films before his passing, the most famous of which is Pyaasa (1957), an intensely moving melodrama about a struggling poet, Vijay (played by Dutt).
January 10, 2017
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The film’s subsequent tale of fame, mistaken identity, and class exploitation is one worthy of Dickens, but what really comes through is a portrait of a rapidly modernizing society obsessed with money, status, and power — and the lonely romantics who foolishly, heroically refuse to give in to it.
October 28, 2015
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The wondrous Pyaasa, Dutt’s masterpiece, is an exploration of the tragic idiom, unprecedented in Hindi cinema. A bleak view of materialistic post-Partition India, it concerns a homeless poet, suffering from his lover’s betrayal and living on the streets of Calcutta—with his only friend being a young prostitute. The great S.D. Burman songs from the movie are still popular today.
September 29, 2009
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