Kaagaz Ke Phool: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kaagaz Ke Phool
Directed by Guru Dutt
Written by Abrar Alvi
Starring Waheeda Rehman
Guru Dutt
Baby Naaz
Johnny Walker
Music by S.D. Burman
Cinematography V.K. Murthy
Editing by Y.G. Chawhan
Running time 148 min.
Language Hindi

Kaagaz Ke Phool, (Hindi: कागज़ के फूल; English: Paper Flowers), is a 1959 classic Hindi film produced and directed by Guru Dutt, who also played the lead role in the film.

The film was a box office disaster of its time but was later resurrected as a world cinema cult classic in the 1980s. The film's music was composed by S. D. Burman and the notable lyrics were written by Kaifi Azmi, giving hits like Waqt ne Kiya Kya Haseen Situm, sung by Geeta Dutt.

In the 2002 Sight & Sound critics' and directors' poll, Kaagaz Ke Phool was ranked at #160 among the greatest films of all time.[1]



Motivated by the success of Pyaasa, Guru Dutt embarked on the creation of yet another of his socially challenging movie, Kaagaz Ke Phool. The theme and tone on this movie were ages ahead of the Indian audience of the 50s who were used to simpler plots and storylines. The underlying tones of the film were complex and story was controversial for the time.

Considered one of Guru Dutt's finest film by many, Kaagaz Ke Phool was a commercial disaster when it was first released. At the film's premiere, Dr Rajendra Prasad, then President of India and invited chief guest, walked out of the cinema hall deeply offended[citation needed]. Audiences in Delhi's Regal cinema threw stones at the screen during the screening. Reactions like these deeply affected the sensitive and introverted Dutt[2] Guru Dutt himself admitted in an interview to Filmfare in 1963,

" It was good in patches. It was too slow and it went over the head of audiences."

Even though Guru Dutt produced and acted in two commercially successful and critically acclaimed hits after this, namely Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960) and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), he never undertook the role of director again. There is some speculation that Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam was ghost directed by him, although it lists Abrar Alvi as the director, for which he won the year's Filmfare 'Best Director' award.

Ironically, today Kaagaz ke Phool enjoys a cult following[3], and became a commercial hit at its 1984 re-release in France and Japan. Critically acclaimed even at time of its release, it is often listed in top ten Hindi movies of all time listings today. The film is regarded by many as India's equivalent of "Sunset Boulevard". Guru Dutt's influence in Indian cinema continues to date.

The cinematographer of Kaagaz Ke Phool was the legendary V.K. Murthy who won prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2010 and it has the distinction of being the first Indian film made in wide 75 mm CinemaScope.[4] He created the sun breaking through studio roof shot in the movie with use of a pair of ordinary mirrors and sambarani to get a parallel beam, as seen in the song, Waqt Ne Kiya. This scene won him the Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award for 1959. The film also won critical acclaim in direction, lyrics and poetic songs. S.D. Burman and Kaifi Azmi poured their heart and soul in the music and lyrics of this film respectively.


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 (Naaz) who is sent to a private boarding school.

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 in the making 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 parent’s marriage another chance. Moved by Pammi’s plea Shanti throws away her career and becomes a school teacher in a small village. Shanti’s departure drives Suresh to alcohol, a downhill slide in his career and consequent decline in his fortunes. Shanti is forced to return to films since she has a contract with the studio. Eventually he gets a chance to make a comeback film only if it stars Shanti; but by then she is unable to help him, as he is too far-gone for redemption. In the final scene, Sinha, remembering his glorious past, dies in the empty film studio in the director's chair, a lonely and forgotten man.

Plot Inspiration

Many claim that the film is semi-autobiographical of Guru Dutt and that he portrayed his angst in the movie. At the time of production of the film, Guru Dutt's marriage to Geeta Dutt was under strain due to his liking for Waheeda Rehman. This was openly known causing Guru Dutt's personal life to resemble that of the protagonist in the movie. However, the forecast of his own (Guru Dutt's) death, to parallel the sad and imminent death of the protagonist in the film, is debatable.

Another explanation for the inspiration is Guru Dutt's association with Gyan Mukherjee, the famous 1940s director whose Qismet (1941) had made him into a household name. The life and subsequent failures of Mukherjee, whom Guru Dutt had joined in 1950, influenced him deeply. Many think that Kaghaz ke Phool was based on Gyan Mukherjee's life and failures,[5] as Guru Dutt's previous film Pyaasa had been dedicated to him.


  • Waheeda Rehman - Shanti
  • Guru Dutt- Suresh Sinha
  • Kumari Naaz (Baby Naaz) - Pramila 'Pammi' Sinha
  • Johnny Walker - Rocky (Bina's brother-in-law)
  • Mahesh Kaul - Rai Bahadur B.P. Verma (Father-inlaw)
  • Veena (Veena Sapru) - Bina (wife of Suresh Sinha)
  • Minoo Mumtaz - Veterinarian
  • Nilofer
  • Ruby Myers (as Sulochna Devi)
  • Sheila Vaz
  • Vikram Kapoor
  • Mehmood
  • Mohan Choti
  • Munshi Muqqa
  • Haroon
  • V. Ratra
  • Tony Walker
  • Ratna
  • TunTun - Telephone Operator
  • Pratima Devi - Mrs. Varma(Rai Bahadur's girlfriend)

Production credits




Dekhi Zamane Ki Yaari 'बिछडे सभी बारी बारी' - Mohammad Rafi

Kaifi Azmi teamed up with S.D. Burman for Kaagaz Ke Phool, coming up with some scintillating gems like the following treatise on disenchantment:

Dekhee jamaane kee yaaree, bichhade sabhee baaree baaree
kyaa leke mile ab duniyaan se, aasoo ke siwaa kuchh paas nahee
yaa fool hee fool the daaman me, yaa kaanto kee bhee aas nahee
matalab kee duniyaan hain saaree, bichhade sabhee baaree baaree..[7]

Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam 'वक्त ने किया क्या हसीं सितम' - Geeta Dutt

The most popular song of the film is the deeply emotional "Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Situm; Tum Rahein Na Tum, Hum Rahein Na Hum"[8] . Soulfully tuned by the S. D. Burman, this song was brought to fruition by the pain-lashed voice of Geeta Dutt to make it the perfect theme song for a lost season of grace. Many singers, including Lata Mangeshkar, have tried unsuccessfully to re-create the same magic as Geeta Dutt.

Commemorative DVD

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


  • The tune of the song "Hum tum jise kehta hain shaadi" is inspired by "Whatever Will Be Will Be" written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans for The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956).[9]
  • Imminent box office failure was predicted by many of Guru Dutt's close associates. However, they had also predicted failure of Pyaasa, which became a box office success and later a Time 100 movies of all times.


  1. ^ "2002 Sight & Sound Top Films Survey of 253 International Critics & Film Directors". Cinemacom. 2002. http://www.cinemacom.com/2002-sight-sound.html. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  2. ^ Reactions to Kaagaz ke Phool on release in 1959.
  3. ^ Kaagaz Ke Phool Filmreference.
  4. ^ Reference to Kaagaz ke Phool being first Indian film to be screened in 75mm CinemaScope.
  5. ^ Reference to Guru Dutt's association with Gyan Mukherjee.
  6. ^ Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)-Awards Internet Movie Database.
  7. ^ Bichade Sabhi.. - Lyrics www.geetmanjusha.com.
  8. ^ Waqt Ne Kiya
  9. ^ IMDB trivia entry

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address