On the occasion of Jaya Bachchan’s birthday, let’s revisit Guddi: the glamorous world of films that continues to dazzle us
For anyone born in the past three decades, Jaya Bachchan is the filmed mother who is ready with a puja ki thali when her son is nearby. While this is a quintessential Hindi cinematic moment, Jaya Bachchan hasn’t always been the quintessential cinematic heroine.
For his 73rd birthday, we revisit director Hrishikesh Mukherjee Guddi (1971) where Jaya starred alongside Dharmendra, Utpal Dutt and Samit Bhanja.
Guddi is the story of a 17-18 year old girl named Kusum (Jaya Bachchan), affectionately called Guddi, who is simply obsessed with movie actor Dharmendra (played by Dharmendra). In her naive mind, she believes herself to be the Meera of her Krishna. When Guddi receives a marriage proposal from a man (Samit Bhanja), she refuses because she has accepted Dharmendra as her beloved. Her uncle (Utpal Dutt) hatches a plan for her to meet Dharmendra in person and learn that not everything you see on screen is real life.
As we meet a young Jaya Bhaduri at the start of the film, her childlike innocence is evident in the way she candidly lies to her teacher. The dream sequence where she imagines a movie star serenading her is adorably naive and a bit laughable too but nonetheless, she presents her as an impressionable girl who is fascinated by what she sees on the big screen.
Guddi is stunned when she gets the chance to hang out with Dharmendra on a movie set, but as her maturity kicks in and she learns that much of what she sees on screen is invented, it begins to value heroic actions in real life. vs those that require duplicates.
Guddi is the story of the distinction between the imaginary and the reality. The film takes audiences and Guddi to examine what we perceive to be glamorous versus what goes on behind the scenes. The sub-plot involving Asrani who left his family behind to become a movie star, the gravely ill man of light who cannot afford to let go of his daily salary, the journalist who has to exaggerate the salacious content of his magazine to To increase sales, Pran’s cameo that completely opposes his villainous on-screen image further reinforces the narrative that the glamorous world of cinema has a dark side. The scene where Dharmendra shows him the abandoned set where they once shot Bandini forces you to think about the fleeting nature of films.
Guddi was co-written and directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, and just like his other films, Guddi also relies on simplicity to effectively deliver the message – all that glitters is not gold. The music for Vasant Desai’s film, with lyrics by Gulzar, is timeless and with a track like “Bole Re Papihara” it looks like it will stay with us for decades to come.
Guddi’s plot can be seen as a ruse as he is presented with a lie through his uncle and even though his actions are for the greater good, the titular character is never told the truth about himself. saying chance meeting with a movie star. This particular aspect seems problematic in the scene where Guddi is teased by false morons. Navin rushes to save her and ends up beating them pretty hard, which convinces Guddi that Navin is a true hero.
To the audience watching today, Guddi appears to be a girl too young to be married, but it’s entirely believable that a woman in her late teens would be married to a man in her early twenties in the late twenties. 1970s.
When it comes to the film’s relevance, the film’s main plot – distinguishing between glamor and reality, and his take on the film industry’s farce is just as true today as it was. 50 years ago.
Guddi is available to stream on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.
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