Wednesday, October 11, 2006

guru dutt week - mr. & mrs. 55


guru dutt's 1955 romantic comedy mr. & mrs. 55 contains one of the great comedic lines of indian cinema, when sita devi asks preetam in reference to his work, "are you a communist?" and he answers "no, a cartoonist".

the film centers around dutt as a down on his luck cartoonist, agreeing to marry anita (played by madhubala) so she can inherit a large sum of money. the plan, devised by anita's man hating aunt sita devi (played by lalita pawar) expects that the arranged marriage will end immidately after the money is inherited. the situation becomes complex once dutt and anita realize they are actually in love.

the film definitely took inspiration from preston sturgess, and the screwball romantic comedies of spencer tracy and katherine hepburn. while mr. & mrs. 55 is one of dutt's few out and out comedies, it also relates strongly to ideas carried through much of his work, particularly a strong disdain for many of india's social realities of the time. it's one of several of dutt's films where the main character is a struggling artist who is unable to make ends meet and whose genius is ignored by the public. ironically, this was one of dutt's first hits with both the public and critics.

this song, is titled preetam aan milo, and is sung by geeta dutt. it's actually a song that was a hit years before the film was even made, by a different singer, c.h. atma. geeta's version is dreamy, and i really like how they left some of the background sounds on the LP recording. click here and listen.


Blogger slightheadache said...

Beautiful song, a great example of Geeta Dutt's singular talent to break hearts.

9:21 PM  

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