Kagaaz Ke Phool, is a cult classic Hindi movie of 1959, produced, directed and acted by Guru Dutt.The film was a box office disaster of its time but was later resurrected as a world cinema cult classic in the 1980s. The theme and tone of this movie were ages ahead of the Indian audience of the 50s who were used to simpler plots and story lines. The underlying tones of the film were complex and story was controversial for the time.This movie came as a shocker specially since it was released after the stupendous success of Pyaasa, another Guru Dutt cult classic. Here are a few interesting facts about the movie.....
- At the film's premiere,Rajendra Prasad,then President of India and invited chief guest, walked out of the cinema hall deeply offended and unsatisfied.
-Audiences in Regal Cinema in Delhi threw stones at the screen during the screening. Reactions like these deeply affected the sensitive and introverted Guru Dutt.
- The cinematographer of Kaagaz Ke Phool was the legendary V.K.Murthy, who has the distinction of making the first Indian film in wide 75 mm Cinemascope, created the sun breaking through studio roof shot in the movie with use of a pair of ordinary mirrors to get a parallel beam, as seen in the song, Waqt Ne Kiya kya haseen sitam.
- An explanation for the inspiration of this movie is Guru Dutt's association with Gyan Mukherjee,the famous 1940s director whose Kismet (1941) had made him into a household name. The life and subsequent failures of Mukherjee, whom Guru Dutt had joined in 1950, influenced him deeply. Many think that Kaghaz ke Phool was based on Gyan Mukherjee's life and failures, as Guru Dutt's previous film Pyaasa had been dedicated to him.
- Many claim that the film is semi-autobiographical of Guru Dutt and that he portrayed his angst in the movie. At the time of production of the film, Guru Dutt's marriage to Geeta Dutt was under strain due to his liking for Waheeda Rehman. This was openly known causing Guru Dutt's personal life to resemble that of the protagonist in the movie
-Even though Guru Dutt produced and acted in two commercially successful and critically acclaimed hits after this, namely Chaudhvin ka chand (1960) and Sahib,Biwi aur Gulam (1962), he NEVER don the role of director again, thus we lost the magic of a truely superb director !!