Monday evening review: Lost in stardom – Revisiting Guddi (1971)

Have you ever been attracted to an actor or an actress for the person they are on screen? Did you ever imagine spending a lifetime with the character in a movie or a person who truly exists? Confused? That is exactly, what Kusum’s world had been.

Guddi, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherji, is known for its rather light, funny and clever presentation, The film gives you insights into the real lives movie stars in the year 1971.

What is Kusum’s story?

Kusum, aka Guddi, is a high-school student and gifted singer. She is also an ardent fan of the film star Dharmendra (incidentally, the actor stars as himself in the movie). Kusum lives with her father, brother and her sister-in-law (who showers her with a lot of motherly love).

One day, a distant relative decided to pay a visit to Kusum and her family. Despite knowing each other for a long time, the relative develops a certain fondness for Kusum and is keen on marrying her. He decided to confess his love for her but to his bad luck, Kusum was in love with someone else – the movie star – Dharmendra.

The gentleman decided to tell her sister-in-law about Kusum’s emotions. Following the incident, she decides to join the relative on his trip to Bombay (present-day Mumbai) to meet an uncle and asks Kusum to accompany her as well. At Bombay, the story begins to take a turn like none other and Kusum re-discovers Dharmendra – the person!

What makes the movie special?

The movie presented a tale that is popular among many young teenagers. It talks of how we often fall an illusion of goodness, despite the best being before us. More importantly, the movie was not entirely melodramatic and is quite relevant even today.

High school kids and wives?

Perhaps it is the impact of being a 21-century woman, but the depiction of a high-school student being groomed to become a wife is not my idea of a safe and happy life. The movie led to me pondering about many questions related to a girl’s desires and dreams.

Evergreen music

The music by Vasanth Desai, combined with Gulzaar’s lyrics, continue to linger in many minds. Interestingly, songs like Hum ko mann ki shakti dena, and even Bole re papihara (sung by Vani Jairam) are popular even today.

My take

Guddi is an adorable movie. Perhaps – a watch but not more. The movie does become an overdose of cinema somewhere down the lane and slows down during the second half of the presentation. But, if you wish to relive those moments when you believed that film stars were truly all good and never bad – this might cheer you up.