Bengaluru International Film Festival

Guru Dutt: Portrait of a ‘split personality’

Arun Khopar speaking at the launch of the Kannada translation of his work in Marathi, Guru Dutt: A Tragedy in Three Acts.

Arun Khopar speaking at the launch of the Kannada translation of his work in Marathi, Guru Dutt: A Tragedy in Three Acts.  

Guru Dutt, one of the greats of Indian cinema, had a “split personality” and his two sides can be discovered through a careful study of his cinema, says his biographer Arun Khopar.

Speaking at the launch of the Kannada translation of his work in Marathi, Guru Dutt: A Tragedy in Three Acts, Mr. Khopar said on Monday that while some films reflect the actor-director’s melancholic side, others show a more vivacious one.

The author spoke about the historical context that influenced Dutt’s genius through the prism of Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool and Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam, and about another face of Dutt through films such as Mr & Mrs 55, Baazi and CID, among others. The first three films, while not a trilogy, have a consistency in emotions and romantic passions, he said. “But the brighter side of Guru Dutt can be found in his other films,” he said.

Film-maker Girish Kasaravalli, while admitting that he did not take Guru Dutt seriously initially, said Mr. Khopkar’s work had enabled him to better understand Dutt’s melancholy. Songs in his films were not inserted but built as an integral part of the entire work, he said.

The release of the Kannada translation, by Uma Kulkarni and Virupaksha Kulkarni at the 9th Biffes, turned out to be a trip down memory lane for many fans of the Karnataka-born Guru Dutt, who was described as a “troubled genius”.

The Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy has brought out the book with the support Mr. Kasaravalli and Gopalakrishna Pai, among others.

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Printable version | May 23, 2020 9:56:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Guru-Dutt-Portrait-of-a-%E2%80%98split-personality%E2%80%99/article17204461.ece

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