Sahib ( Master) Bibi ( Mistress) Aur ( And) Ghulam ( Slave)
This is yet another Great Classic from The talented Guru Dutt...
Based on Famed Bengali writer Bimol Mitro's novel, this is the story of Bengal's decaying feudalism..The decadent lifestyle of the Zamindars (Land owners) at the end of the 19th century Bengal is shown in this masterpiece of a movie..A magnificent film with some extraordinarily beautiful photography and extraordinary song picturizations and brilliant performances by the star cast...truly a masterpiece..
Guru Dutt was eons ahead of his time, and, in this film along with Writer /Director Abrar Alvi, he scripted the story of Adultery that was far ahead of its times .Hindi film Industry was not ready to accept it as it was written, hence, they had to change the story line to suit the mindset of the general public and the distributors of that time
The Story The story is told in flashbacks..
It is the story of a Zamindari(Land owners) family and the tale of its daughter in law .'Sahib' is the Rich pampered Zamindaar, 'Bibi' is his wife and Ghulam which translates slave or servant.The 3 main characters of the film.
The Zamindar brothers are a rich pampered lot generally neglecting their wives, spending their days pigeon racing or tormenting the poor farmers, at the same time being taken for a royal ride by their own accountants and prefering to spend the evenings and nights in the company of alcohol and dancing girls.
Here the younger daughter in law of the family is determined to make her husband come to her and spend more time with her.She is not supported in this by the other ladies of the house, for, they believe that, this is the kind of life style that needs to be followed by their rich husbands.And, as long as they are kept in wealth and comfort it was alright for the men to do what they want!!!.. But the enchantingly beautiful Choti Bahu(Younger Daughter in law) takes it as a challenge to change things and she is prepared to go to any lengths to do this, even to the extent of consuming alcohol like the dancing girls did, a taboo!! for women belonging to High Caste Hindu families...Comes a young villager called Bhootnath, an architect, employed by the household, totally mesmerised by the haunting beauty of the Choti bahu, ready to do anything for her, becomes her liasion, as she desperately tries to conspire and win her spouse back from the charms of the courtesans, she asks him to fetch some special and sacred Sindoor(Vermillion powder) that is supposed to have the power to charm one's husband, and he does, but with little result on her negligent, drunk, womanising husband..As things progress, the young architect's platonic relationship with the aristocrats wife is misunderstood by the household and leads to a scandal.
THE CAST AND MY VIEWSI consider this as one of the finest films ever made in hindi cinema, of all times..
It is a superb film, a dramatic film that keeps you spellbound and stays in your memory forever.Every single scene is etched in my memory, goes to show the superb direction and care for details that has been taken by the director and his team.
The movie belongs to the tremendously sensitive and touching portrayal of the young Choti bahu played by Meena Kumari who looks mesmerising and ravishing, she is the heart and the soul of the film..This was the ultimate role written for any actress and Meena kumari's portrayal of the role can only be described in superlatives.She really has given a flawless and tremendous performance.I personally consider this as one of her best roles, other than Pakeezah...Guru Dutt, as Bhootnath has put in his best, he has a much lighter role as compared to his previous brooding intellectual ones .
I personally feel that Guru Dutt is any day a better director than an actor..he is adequate in his role as the bumbling and raw villager trying to please Chhoti Bahu, but, his role nor his acting is really outstanding .
Waheeda Rehman as Jaba, the charming young girl interested in Bhootnath is grace personified and provides some lighter moments .I especially liked her emoting for the lovely and naughty song 'Bhanwara bada naadan hai' and the very emotional and touching romantic number 'Meri baat rahi mere man mein'..a very melodious song superbly sung by Asha Bhonsle.
Rehman as Choti bahu's husband is adequate in his role as the self indulgent, pampered alcoholic and womaniser..Guru Dutt has cleverly highlighted the status of women of those days by not giving a name to Meena kumari;s role.She is simply known as Chhoti bahu (the younger daughter in law), known only by her relationship to the Zamindari household.
The songs from this film are beautifully picturised..my own favorite being "Piya aiso jiya mein samaye gayo re" sung by Geeta Dutt, it is lovely to watch the picturisation of this, where Meena kumari is getting dressed and waiting for her husband.Each time i watch this song i keep speculating about the color of the exquisite saree that Choti Bahu gracefully drapes on herself and admire the way her hair is plaited and twined etc: a beautiful and artistic way of filming a song, with that special Guru Dutt touch.Geeta Dutt's rendering of the three songs for Meena Kumari 'Koi Door Se Awaaz De Chale Aao', 'Piya Aiso Jiya mein' and 'Na Jao Saiyan chudake baiyan' represents some of the finest singing she has ever done. Her voice with all its sensuality and pain complements Meena Kumari's performance perfectly.
Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam went on to win Filmfare Awards for Best Film, Director, Actress and Photography.
The film was also screened at the Berlin Film Festival in June 1963 and was India's official entry to the Oscars that year.The Black and White photography and cinematography by Guru Dutt favourite VK Murthy is stunning.I cant imagine a moe stunning effect in a color film.The opening notes of the haunting song Chale aao Koyi door se.. is made magical by the light and shade effects and the picturisation.
This is an enthralling human drama about relationships that will haunt you forever..
CAST AND CREWStarring : Meena Kumari, Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Rehman, Dhoomal, Minoo Mumtaz, Sapru, Jawahar Kaul, Nasir Hussain (Actor)
Directed by : Abrar Alvi
Produced by : Guru Dutt
Story : Bimal MitraScreenplay : Bimal Mitra, Abrar Alvi
Cinematography : VK Murthy
Music : Hemant Kumar
Lyrics : Shakeel BadayuniEditing : YG Chawhan
Playback : Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt, Hemant Kumar
No of Discs: 1DVD Release Date: 1 Dec 2003
Run Time: 148 minutesMain Language: Hindi
Subtitles: EnglishLIST OF SONGS
Koi Door se Awaaz De - Geeta Dutt
Piya Aiso Jiya Mein - Geeta Dutt
Na Jao Saiyan - Geeta Dutt
Meri Baat Rahi Mere Man Mein - Asha Bhosle
Meri Jaan O Meri Jaan - Asha Bhosle
Saaqiya Aaj Mujhe Neend Nahin Aayegi - Asha Bhosle
Bhanwara Bada Nadan - Asha Bhosle
Sahil ki Taraf Kashti Le Chal - Hemant Kumar (Deleted from the original film)
Summary: Sahib bibi aur Ghulam is an Enthralling human drama about relationships that will haunt you forever .