Pyaasa is a poignant tale of a struggling poet, named Vijay, ostracised by a hypocritical society that faces no qualms in immortalising the dead, but finds it difficult to exalt the living. He is very well educated but unemployed and this becomes his biggest weakness. The songs were integrated in the movie’s narrative. Guru Dutt has been regarded as one of the most influential film-makers of his time. His unique style of film-making has been a subject of discussion for most influential film-makers of his time.
In the starting, Dilip Kumar was the first choice of the role of Vijay but at the end, Guru Dutt had to come forward as the agreement couldn’t be reached. Guru’s eye for detail made him work brilliantly on camera and behind the camera. Pyaasa has not only achieved appreciation as Dutt’s magnum opus, representing a departure from the traditional style of film-making in Hindi cinema but also for blurring the line that hitherto separated art cinema from commercial cinema.
Pyaasa is thought-provoking and underlines the root cause of human plight: poverty, not of material but of thought. The protagonist’s apparent anger for society’s hypocritical rigidity is indicative of his inner sense of chagrin for having failed in his efforts to be loud enough to be heard and for quietly accepting his fate.
Pyaasa has Mala Sinha as the former love-interest of Vijay in college and Waheeda Rehman , a prostitute who loves Vijay due to the power of his poetry. The film’s music is an evocative poetry by Sahir Ludhianvi and soothing music of S.D. Burman.