The back-drop of the movie is Thakurs (Landlords) and their lifestyle. Rehman plays the role of the youngest of the 3 thakur sons. They are filthy rich… and DUMB! So consumed are they, by their own shaan and baan (ego and self-esteem) which is largely pretentious. But, it doesnt take them much to whither away all the money, in their drunken state!
A lot of things come to the fore with this movie. A peek into the kind of lives these Thakurs lived. Their extravagant life-style which required them to do nothing but drink and drawl! They had “servants” to take care of everything else. Also, the treatment of women in those days. The daughter-in-laws of the family were required to do only two things – To disassemble (I am not sure if thats the right word) or melt all the jewellery and get new ones made. They have no other work, they dont even get to see their husbands much. The reason – Husbands would be watching naach gana (Dances) whole night and drinking.
Meena Kumari is one such unfortunate daughter-in-law of the Thakur family, who wants to be near her husband. She is the wife of Rehman. She keeps waiting for her husband to come back to her and he never does… He comes back home once in three days and then leaves immediately. She tells him, “I will do all that you want me to do, just stay with me for some time.” He laughs. And then forces her to drink wine. She does. And, thus, she manages to make him stay with her… What comes to the fore is the dilapidated condition of a Pati-vrata stri. She starts drinking, which was considered unholy, and yet she does, because for her, being near her husband is more important than anything else.
Guru Dutt and Waheeda have very little role to play. Guru Dutt plays Meena Kumari’s confidante in the movie – the only person she trusted.
The story is about the destruction of a family… destruction of a lady, and her attempts to grab the attention of her husband. Its a heart-rendering movie, with some great acting from Meena Kumari. She gets into the role of the drunken lady with so much ease, you are left gaping at this bundle of talent.
Music of the movie was scored by Hemant Kumar. Geeta Dutt gave her voice to some of the ever-green songs like Piya Aiso Jiya Mein Samaaye Gayo Re and Na Jao Saiyan Chudaake Baiyan. And how can one forget the melodious Bhanwara Bada Naadaan sung by Asha Bhosle.
I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone, for tremendous performances and some great music! After watching this movie, I am really tempted to catch hold of Pyaasa.