If you are not familiar with the history of Hindi films and are led by the high ratings here to expect a big masala movie indicative of contemporary Bollywood films, you may come away from this film scratching your head and wondering where the high ratings came from--particularly if you are new to Hindi cinema ( as opposed to " Bollywood").HOWEVER, having said that, let me encourage those who are unfamiliar with what is known as the "Golden Age" of Hindi cinema and the historical times that gave birth to this film to do some reading and THEN watch it. 1951 was only 4 years after partition, but unfortunately, many Indians were already becoming disenchanted with the new government's ability, or lack thereof, to bring about the sweeping changes many had hoped would come with the new beginning for the new country. Pyassa came at a time of disenchantment and soul-searching as the new socialist, secular India struggled to find her footing. (Author Tejaswini Ganti does an excellent job illuminating this very different yet important time in Hindi Cinema.) It presents a very bleak picture of greed and corruption, and yet there is a small beacon of hope for understanding, for good to find a way to continue, for equality to stand against injustice, hope for the future. Understanding this is integral to appreciating WHY this is considered one of the greatest films in Hindi cinema history. Learn, watch and enjoy.