A teenage girl fantasises about her favourite Bollywood star at the expense of a potential suitor for marriage in this surprisingly weak and sappy effort by Mukherjee.
Dir. Hrishikesh Mukherjee
1971 | India | Drama/Comedy | 115 mins | 1.78:1 | Hindi
Not rated – likely to be PG
Cast: Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Sumita Sanyal, Utpal Dutt, Samit Bhanja
Plot: Guddi, a quiet schoolgirl, is mesmerized by Bollywood movies and blinded by her love for the superstar Dharmendra, unwilling to consider any other man. In her devotion, she rejects an eligible bachelor, Navin, who loves her deeply.
Source: Shemaroo Entertainment
Subject Matter: Moderate – Filmmaking, Marriage
Narrative Style: Straightforward
Pace: Slightly Slow
Audience Type: Mainstream
I tried my best, but I couldn’t quite enjoy this movie. Made in the same year as Anand, arguably director Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s finest film, Guddi surely pales in comparison, but it is surprisingly weak on its own.
With a plot that sounds intriguing on paper, one might hope that Guddi is at least entertaining, but its execution is sappy and there is not much depth accorded to the characters.
Here we have Bollywood star Dharmendra in the thick of things as he plays some version of himself who is asked by a family to help persuade their teenage girl, Guddi (Jaya Bachchan), to forget fantasising about him, and see what’s in front of her—a family friend who is a potential suitor for marriage.
For those who find behind-the-scenes moviemaking fascinating, Guddi has plenty of these in abundance as Dharmendra and Guddi’s family conspire to put on an effortful ‘show’ for her, so that she doesn’t think that the movies are always glamourous and the stars can-do heroes.
I find it all a drag, with the requisite Bollywood songs not strategically helping in terms of pacing. Already, the pacing seems off from the start, as a far-too-lengthy song sequence in a school sees students singing along with the teachers in a morning assembly.
I also can’t quite see how the whole ‘farce’, if you will, might change someone’s mindset. I’m sure Guddi has its fair share of fans, but I suggest that you skip this and watch the other key works of Mukherjee first.