Title: Chaudhvin Ka Chand: The Original Screenplay
Authors: Dinesh Raheja and Jitendra Kothari
Publisher: Om Books International
Genre: Film, Screenplay
Why must one write screenplays? Why must make a book of it? I have always wondered about this. A lot of screenplays as being published as books, with additional material, such as interviews and such. Till recently, I did not see the significance of this. I remember reading the screenplay which the author, Dinesh Raheja had written earlier – that of Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam and having loved it, but still my questions remained unanswered. But I guess, I got my answers after reading Dinesh Raheja and Jitendra Kothari’s new book (again an original screenplay), “Chaudhvin Ka Chand”. I think it is mainly because of what it depicts, what it is, the dialogues, the larger context of the movie and the fan’s relation to it – from start to finish.
If I had to pick one of Guru Dutt’s finer works as an actor, I think after Pyaasa and Sahib, Bibi aur Ghulam, I would pick this one. There was definitely a lot which has been underrated in the entire movie. The movie is a Muslim social drama and it is a love-triangle at that. It is a comment on male friendship (bromance in today’s parlance). It is also a tribute in so many ways to a time gone by (the book I mean), given the movie released in 1960.
The setting of the movie is Lucknow, so one can only imagine the dialogues written by Saghir Usmani would shine on screen, and they do. The story is of Aslam (Guru Dutt) and Pyare Mohan (Rehman) – friends who have fallen for the same woman, Jameela (Waheeda Rehman) unknowingly and sacrifice and guilt is the crux of the movie.
The original screenplay written by Dinesh Raheja and Jitendra Kothari must have only been painstaking given the Urdu in all those dialogues, and yet the screenplay is a delight to read. The interviews (yes there are few) only enhance the script. Raheja and Kothari capture the essence of Guru Dutt and his work. Though this movie was not directed by Dutt, you can see traces of him and that is what they speak about. The commentary and extended analysis are a treat in this book to watch out for. And of course do not forget, that once you are done reading it, you would only want to go and watch the movie and live the magic of this wonderful film and all its grace and sensitivity.