Hindi movie GUIDE (1965) boldly tackles the taboo subject of extra marital relation when infidelity was considered a forbidden subject in India. Ever green actor and filmmaker Dev Anand’s film GUIDE is a cult classic that holds a place of pride in the annals of Indian cinema.
Inspired by distinguished Indian author R. K. Narayan’s English novel, “THE GUIDE”, the film is remembered for its brilliant direction by Vijay Anand, exceptional music by S. D. Burman and soul stirring performance by Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman.
The film GUIDE is one of the earliest efforts in Indian Cinema to actually depict both its hero and heroine in negative shade. While Dev Anand, the hero of the movie is shown going errant after acquiring wealth on the other hand the heroine Waheeda Rehman dares to desert her husband who is high headed and a womanizer, and elopes with her lover who helps her in her ambition to become a famous dancer.
Table of Contents
Story of Film Guide
Once, an aged archaeologist Marco (Kishore Sahu) and his young dancer wife Rosie (Waheeda Rehman) visit Raju’s city. Marco wants to devote his full time into his research work and decides to live inside the caves on the outskirts of the city. Hence, he hires Raju (Dev Anand) as his wife’s guide so that she can entertain herself by travelling nearby historical sites.
Marco and Rosie are not happy in their relationship and one day, Rosie tries to commit suicide when she learns that Marco is using a native tribal girl to relax himself, inside the caves. Raju stops her from ending her life and inspires to live to pursue her dream. He takes her home and this turns Raju’s family, friends and entire community against him. However, Raju develops love for Rosie and he helps her embark on a dancing career and Rosie becomes a star.
Rosie starts doing number of dance shows and earns lot of money. As fame and wealth comes in, Raju becomes habitual of gambling and drinking. He finds happiness in materialistic world while Rosie has nothing to be happy about as too many dance shows consume her passion for dance and she starts feeling exhausted. One day, a bank representative comes to Raju and informs him about a joint account that is in the names of Marco and Rosie. Now, Marco desires to close this account and also wants to have some jewelry released that is deposited into bank vault. The representative also tells Raju that the bank is handing over the jewelry to Rosie on Marco’s wish and the bank needs Rosie’s signature to complete the paperwork. Raju, who loves Rosie, also fears of losing her. He feels jealous and doesn’t want Marco to have any sort of contact with Rosie. Hence he forges Rosie’s name on the release of jewelry.
After few days, Raju gets convicted of forgery and sentenced to two year imprisonment. Rosie and Raju drift apart. When released from jail, Raju decides not going back to home and keeps wandering in despair and loneliness until he finds a deserted temple in a small village to relax. He comes in contact of local farmers and impresses them by his changed perspective towards life. He also solves their problems smartly. In a short time, he is taken as the Swami Ji (a holy man) for the entire village.
Villagers provide Raju respect, food, gifts etc. because of their faith in him and Raju also keeps staying in the village because of their love. One day, Raju finds himself trapped by an unexpected situation when drought and famine hit the region and villagers believe that only Swami Ji can make it raining by his saintly powers. Forced Raju starts fasting on their requests but also experience a spiritual transformation in his soul and mind. Raju gains mental strength and determines to fast until it rains. He knows that practicing hunger has no relation with raining but he keeps suffering because of his followers’ strong faith. In the end, it rains but Raju (Swami Ji – The Ultimate Guide) dies.
What makes GUIDE exceptional is that after its English version made in collaboration with Pearl S Buck and directed by Ted Danielewski failed in the West, Dev Anand was disappointed and was about to dump his ambitious project when Vijay Anand (Dev Anand’s younger brother) took the challenge and handled the taboo subject so convincingly that movie was not just a super duper hit in India but was hugely successful globally and went on to become India’s official entry to the Oscars!
Vijay Anand deserves kudos for being enterprising to tell a bold and unconventional romance between a married woman and a tourist guide. In fact, it is one of the earliest efforts in Indian Cinema to actually depict both (Dev Anand Waheeda Rehman) its hero and heroine in negative shade.
Vijay Anand was Destined to Be Part of Guide
Dev Anand had to face many hurdles while making the film on such a bold subject. In 1965, the theme of the film was considered anti-social and there was a fear of failure because most people assumed that Indian audience was not ready to confront the story on adultery. As the subject was unconventional, hence Dev ‘Sahab’ wanted his veteran elder brother Chetan Anand to direct the film but as he was busy with his own film HAQEEQAT, and he had to approach his old friend Raj Khosla but he too backed out fearing the sensitivity of the results. Eventually Dev Anand approached his younger brother Vijay Anand reluctantly, as he was quite young hence Dev Anand had reservation, if he would identify with the intricate subject. Ironic Vijay Anand presented the subject on the silver screen with such competence that viewers were bowled over by his simple narration laced with dance and superlative music. GUIDE today is regarded as perhaps the best film that Vijay Anand has ever made.
Awards and Recognition
The smash hit GUIDE received the Certificate of Merit for the Third Best Feature Film in Hindi at the prestigious 13th National Film Awards. National Film Awards are given every year to honor films made across India. The film also created a furor at the 14th Filmfare Awards (1967) as it won all the leading awards including Best Film, Best Director (Vijay Anand) and Best Story (R.K.Narayan). Dev Anand gave perhaps his best performance in the title role that justifiably won him the Best Actor award. Waheeda Rehman, as Rosie lived the character to perfect T. She won the Best Actress award.
With his film GUIDE, Vijay Anand reached the peak of his career and won reputation of Hindi Film’s premier song picturizer and also established himself as a great filmmaker. The film GUIDE speaks volumes about Dev Anand’s conviction towards the subject as the movie became a path breaking cinematic experience and perhaps one of the cornerstone films of Indian Cinema.