“Kaagaz Ke Phool” is one of my favourite Hindi films. I absolutely love the movie. Everything about it and this is before I had heard how it flopped, before there were any preconceived notions formed in my head. There is something about this movie, not to forget so many memories attached to this one because of my father, who had this immense love for old Hindi movies. I have got it from him, so when my favourite movie was converted to an original screenplay, I could not wait to read it.
“Kaagaz Ke Phool: The Original Screenplay” is yet another screenplay by Dinesh Raheja and Jitendra Kothari. It is not just another screenplay though. It is magical, given how the movie is. There is the director’s downfall, played superbly by Guru Dutt, almost depicting his life. There is the heroine he loves, played by Waheeda Rehman, subtly to the hit. He is married. His career is going nowhere. He is soon forgotten by the world. That in short is the plot of the movie.
The screenplay comes alive in two languages – Hindi and English. The essay on Guru Dutt’s troubled relationship with Fame and Success is what stands apart in the entire book. It is beautifully written, honest and yet heartbreaking. The interviews are again the icing to the plot – with Waheeda Rehman, VK Murthy (the camera assistant), and Devi Dutt (Guru Dutt’s younger brother) manage to bring out the man, the director and the creative genius that was Guru Dutt. The tragedy of his life, is so reflective in the book – through the essay, the interviews and the emotion with which these two writers have penned this book.
“Kaagaz Ke Phool: The Original Screenplay” in more than one way is a dedication to the director, the actor, and the story of the movie. It is timeless, but of course, but Raheja and Kothari might as well have done the younger generation a huge favor by publishing this book and bringing this classic to life.
Here is the beautiful and ethereal song from the movie, Waqt Ne Kiya: