17 March 2003 | Herag
One of a kind
The book was penned by an ace novelist by the name of R.K.Narayan, who wrote the story surrounding a small village in North India. The director was Vijay Anand younger brother of Dev Anand, who reluctantly accepted the task and changed the location to Udaipur, also called the Pink City, for its ornate pink palaces and now a tourist mecca. The partnership was called Navketan International. Navketan International even handled the advertising for this movie, which was pioneering and unique even for the '60s. The actor playing "Raju" was none other than,Devdutt Pishorimal Anand, Aka Dev Anand, Evergreen Anand, Dev Saab, an English major who trekked his way to Bombay (now Mumbai) the "Hollywood" of India now inaptly titled "Bollywood". Dev Anand was accepted by the Indian moviegoers instantly since he had chiseled features (mixture of Gregory Peck & Rock Hudson!)wore hats at a rakish angle,walked sort of sideways! and spoke Hindi with a clipped and poetic accent. Being handsome compared to some actors who were cherubic! didn't do any harm either. Dev Anand, who started his career in 1946, went on to act in over 100 movies in a span of fifty years, now an octogenarian, writer, producer,director of movies OF which, less said is better!
But If there was one movie that was reflective of the confluent talent that was prevalent in Indian cinema of the '60s and '70s, it had to be "Guide". Dev Anand is not an actor in the sense of acting talent like Raj Kapoor or Rajendra Kumar(Sangam) but he got away because of his good looks. Where as Waheeda Rahman, was the Liz Taylor for looks and Merryl Streep for acting in Indian cinema. The part of "Rosie" was sculpted for her. She was a noted classical dancer. She too was reluctant in accepting the part that had, lot of insinuations and was considered a bad career move. Accepted she did and the rest is history, a cinematic masterpiece caught in Eastman color by cinematographer Jal Mistry. There is a scene, where, Raju (Dev Anand,) is drunk and sings his heart and soul to Rosie (Waheeda Rahman) who has emotions crushed between a pillow and she walks down the stairs and their hands meet between rails. This was the master director Vijay Anand at work using haunting melody of music that was the staple of great music directors like "Dada" Sachin Dev Burman, whose music will linger for ever. "Guide" is a movie you will treasure, to be taken out and watched once in a while, lest we forget the fact that there were gifted craftsmen who made great movies, when movie art was a passion practiced by chosen few. It was a Sacred Sanctum, albeit not Sacred Anymore!!