Guide movie: Change can bring chaos or transformation in society. But, in the irrational fear of chaos, many times society stands steadfast against any form of change. On the contrary, any idea, however pragmatic it may be, needs time and proper channel to receive the ascent of the society even for a deliberation. Apparently, this is what happened with Dev Anand on multiple occasions. The charismatic Hero had to face many brickbats for his progressive perspective and forward outlook.
The Success Mantra
In the 1940s RK Narayan wrote the iconic short story collections under his famous ‘Malgudi Days’. The acclaimed author had a huge fan following for his literary work and novel. Going ahead, in 1958, he gave another masterpiece novel by the name Guide. In 1960, he won the Sahitya Academy Award for his novel ‘Guide’. After the immense success of RK Narayan’s novel, American writer Pearl S. Buck and Hollywood director Tad Danielewski wanted to make a film on this novel. They wanted to cast Dev Anand for the film as his craze was on another level. The duo wanted to combine the popularity of both the legendary Indians.
By that time, Dev Anand had a cult fan following through his iconic and charismatic roles on the big screen. Reportedly, he was a heart-throb among female fans. Considering his craze in female fans, the government had to issue prohibitory dress directions time and again.
The smashing idea of collaboration bore fruit when Dev Anand agreed to act in the movie based on RK Narayan’s novel Guide. However, before finalising the deal, Dev Anand put forth a condition before the duo. He clearly stated that the film would have to be made in Hindi as well. Further, he would have the liberty to amend the script for the Hindi version of the movie.
In 1965, the film was completed in both languages. However, the Hindi version got stuck with the Censor Board. The film was accused of promoting adultery. Using his acquaintance with the then Information Broadcasting Minister Indira Gandhi, Dev Anand got the film released.
Controversies marred the legacy of ‘Guide’ Movie
It is said that in real life, popularity doesn’t add up like normal arithmetics, rather it works on Chemistry. The success mantra couldn’t prove as effective as the team of movie Guide would have wanted. Ironically, both the legends, RK Narayan and Dev Anand had a public fallout. After watching the English version of ‘Guide’, RK Narayan was deeply hurt and disappointed. He even termed the movie ‘A misguided Guide’. Moreover, the English version didn’t click among the audiences and failed miserably.
However, the cult and insane fan following of Dev Anand played to the advantage of the Hindi version of Guide. The Hindi version was made by his brother Chetan Anand. It had a striking chemistry of the protagonists, Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. Their dancing grooves and impeccable dialogues also impressed the audiences. Plus, the impressive songs like ‘Piya Tose Naina Laage Re’ and ‘Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai’ in the melodious voice of Swar Kokila Lata Mangeshkar made the Hindi version a superhit.
The negative review by RK Narayan himself played a major role in it. But his objection was not unfounded. The film has made several changes from the original script. The novel had a sad ending with Raju, the protagonist dying in abject poverty and the village kept suffering from drought. But the film version had a complete opposite ending with Raju dies after becoming popular and the suffering of the villagers ends after receiving the blessings of Rain God.
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However, the major blot on the movie was the accusation that it was promoting and spreading adultery. Apparently, Dev Anand and his brother had to face government actions after the controversy around his movie spiralled. They had to go through legal implications.
The Guide movie had all the key ingredients. It had a meaningful, impactful and entertaining factor. But on account of above stated reasons, majorly the blot of adultery, the movie could not develop a cult following for itself which the other superhit movies of those era did successfully.
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