Kaagaz Ke Phool

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Kaagaz Ke Phool
Kaagaz Ke Phool59.jpg
Directed by Guru Dutt
Written by Abrar Alvi
Starring Guru Dutt
Waheeda Rehman
Kumari Naaz
Johnny Walker
Music by S. D. Burman
Cinematography V.K. Murthy
Edited by Y.G. Chawhan
Release date
2 January 1959
Running time
148 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi

Kaagaz Ke Phool (Kāgaz kē Phūl, Translation : "Paper Flowers") is a 1959 Hindi film produced and directed by Guru Dutt, who also played the lead role in the film. The film is regarded as the first Indian film in CinemaScope and is the last film made in Guru Dutt's direction.

The film was a box office bomb in its time, but was later considered as a world cinema's cult classic in the 1980s. The film's music was composed by S. D. Burman and the lyrics were written by Kaifi Azmi and Shailendra (for one song "Hum Tum Jise Kehta Hain"), giving hits such as "Waqt ne Kiya Kya Haseen Situm", sung by Geeta Dutt. Many consider this film to be much ahead of its time.[1]

In the 2002 Sight & Sound critics and directors' poll, Kaagaz Ke Phool was ranked at #160 among the greatest films of all time.[2]


The film tells, in flashback, the story of Suresh Sinha (Guru Dutt), a famous film director. His marriage to Bina (Veena) is on the rocks because her wealthy family sees filmmaking as a job lacking in social status. He is also denied access to his daughter Pammi (Kumari Naaz), who is sent to a private boarding school in Dehradun.

On a rainy night Sinha meets a woman, Shanti (Waheeda Rehman), and gives her his coat. She comes to the film studio to return the coat, unintentionally disrupting the shooting by walking in front of the camera. While reviewing the rushes, Sinha recognises her potential as a star and casts her as Paro in Devdas. Shanti goes on to become an acclaimed star. Shanti and Suresh, two lonely people, come together. Their liaison is hotly debated in gossip columns and results in Pammi's friends tormenting her in school. Pammi pleads with Shanti to leave Sinha's life and allow her parents' marriage another chance. Moved by Pammi's plea, Shanti throws away her career and becomes a school teacher in a small village. Pammi decides to live with her father, who fights his in-laws in court, but is defeated and is forced to let Pammi go with her mother. Losing her and Shanti's departure drive Suresh to alcohol, a downhill slide in his career and consequent decline in his fortunes. Meanwhile, Shanti is forced to return to films since she has a contract with the studio. Her producer agrees to hire Suresh because of Shanti, but his ego will not let him return and owe his job to Shanti's star status; so she is unable to help him, as he is too far gone for redemption. In the final scene, remembering his glorious past, he dies in the director's chair in an empty film studio, a lonely and forgotten man.


The film is said to have been inspired by Guru Dutt's association with Gyan Mukherjee, and to be an homage to Mukherjee.[3] Mukherjee was a famous 1940s director whose Kismet (1943) made him a household name. The life and subsequent failures of Mukherjee, whom Guru Dutt had joined in 1950, influenced him deeply.[4]


Production credits[edit]

Post-production credits[edit]

  • S. V. Rau – Ramnord Research Labs



Commemorative DVD[edit]

Yash Raj Films released a commemorative DVD of the movie. Included in the special features is a three-part documentary produced by Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on the life and works of Guru Dutt. His close associates and some of his family members remember him, his life and work. There is also a tribute to Geeta Dutt by Lata, in which she sings "Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam".


External links[edit]