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Sunday, February 19, 2012
Meena Kumari was sublime in Guru Dutt’s Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam.
Meena Kumari in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam.
Legendary actress Meena Kumari was sublime in Guru Dutt’s Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. Guru Dutt produced the film while Abrar Alvi directed the film. It was released in 1962. It was the remake of the Bengali classic film of Uttam Kumar, namely Saheb Bibi Golam of 1956. The story of the film was written by Bimal Mitra on the history of a royal family of Kolkata called the Choudhurys.
In the film Guru Dutt came to Kolkata to work in Mohini Sindoor Company of Naseer Hussain. Nasir Hussain was a member of the Brahmo Samaj, with his daughter Wahida Rehman who took care of Guru Dutt. One day Dhoomar took Guru Dutt to give Mohini Sindoor to Meena Kumari who was the choti bahu, that means the wife of the young brother in the clan three brothers of Choudhury family. Sapru played the role of the elder brother, while the eldest brother died.
Guru Dutt came to know about the aristocracy of the Choudhury family. Meena Kumari tried her best to keep her husband Rehman within four corners of her house. He had inclination to go to Jaanbazar to visit the mujra of baijees. Meena Kumari even asked Guru Dutt to buy alcohol for her to act as drunkard and sing and keep Rehman attracted within the house. Rehman stayed in the house for some time but after some time got irritated. When he visited the baijee para again, he found the members of Chenu Dutta, another aristocratic family and in a fight became severely injured. When Meena Kumari went with Guru Dutt in a horse cart, Rehman’s elder brother Sapru ordered his men to attack Guru Dutt and kill Meena Kumari. When Guru Dutt returned back as construction overseer, he saw the ornaments of Meena Kumari in the walls of the house. At the end of the film it was shown that Wahida Rehman married Guru Dutt, which a departure from the story of the novel.
Hemant Kumar’s music was impressive, with Geeta Dutt’s song “na jaon saiwa” and Wahida Rehman’s song “bawra bara nadan hai” becoming big hits. Guru Dutt won the filmfare award for the best producer in 1962, while Meena Kumari won the award for the best actress for the performance in the film.
If the film could be compared with the Bengali film, there were many flaws. The character artists in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam were less prominent and inferior in performance if compared with the majestic performance of Chabi Biswas in the role of the middle brother, the insane performance of Jahar Ganguly in the role of Gharibabu, the performance of Haridhan in the role of a assistant of Chabi Biswas. Even the performance of Nitish Mukherjee, Pahari Sanyal, Anubha Gupta were per excellence along with Uttam Kumar’s outstanding performance. Besides, realities like Swami Vivekananda’s return from Chicago conference to Kolkata was not shown in Guru Dutt’s Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam at all.
But the only reason Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam did great business was due to the majestic performance of Meena Kumari. She displayed the character is style and expressed the frustration of the young wife of aristocratic family in blood and flesh. The film should be preserved for her performance.