By Hindustan Times
Guru Dutt’s film career might have been short-lived, but in those 20 odd years he spent in the industry, the veteran actor-director created for himself a legacy that is still revered by cinema enthusiasts today. And those intrigued by the grand turn his career took in such a brief span now have a chance to watch his life unravel on stage in a new theatrical production called Ten Years With Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey, which premieres in the city tomorrow.
The play is based on a book called Ten Years With Guru Dutt: Abrar Alvi’s Journey by Sathya Saran, which was released in 1998. A close friend of Dutt, Abrar was the scriptwriter of the actor’s iconic films like Pyaasa (1957) and Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959).
Saattvic, who has directed and acted in the production, reveals, “The intent is to educate the present generation about this great artiste’s contribution to Indian cinema. Since Sathyaji was a family friend, I have got this opportunity to bring Guruji’s charisma back to life on stage.”
Following a non-linear narrative approach, the 90-minute play starts with the enactment of Dutt’s life in the ’50s and ’60s. It touches upon landmark moments like the launch of Waheeda Rehman and the dramatic entry of Meena Kumari into the cast of Saheb, Biwi Aur Ghulam (1962). The story then moves ahead to the ’70s ( Guru Dutt passed away in 1964) and features an old Abrar recounting stories about the artiste to a journalist.
“The play is not entirely based on the book. We’ve manipulated the story slightly to make it relevant to our time,” says Saattvic. “I had to keep all the characters’ looks in mind and I was very cautious about the way the actors enacted the parts.”
The play will be staged on November 20 at Prithvi Theatre, Juhu at 9 pm and on November 21 at 6 pm.