Kagaz Ke Phool is the story of the personal life and the rise and fall of a film
director. The paper-flowers of the title signify the nature of the life in the
film world, which is attractive from a distance but artificial and devoid of fragrance
The tale has Suresh Sinha, once a famous movie director, reflecting on his life. His marriage is a failure because of his association with films. His wife Bina and father-in-law, being from a rich, snobbish family, consider his vocation cheap and cut off all relations with him. Their only daughter Pummy is sent to a boarding school in Dehradun and kept away from him.
Suresh goes to Dehradun to see his daughter, but Bina has left instructions that Pummy should not be allowed to meet him. He goes to his father-in-law's house but nobody is prepared to meet him. And in a park, on a rainy day, he happens to meet Shanti, a sensitive orphan girl.
On returning to Bombay, he finds that his producer is faced with a big quandary since the heroine had ordered drastic changes in the story of the under-production film. The matter reaches a crisis when Sinha strongly opposes them and declares that it would be either the heroine or him. Since Sinha is a very successful director, the preference is given to him.
The problem now is to find a new heroine. When by chance Shanti strays into the studio to return his coat, the director discovers a new face. Reluctant Shanti is groomed into stardom, and she becomes as much a hit as the film.
For a time Shanti tries to adopt the tinsel glamour of a star. Sinha frowns at it and she soon gives it up. The relation between the two also grows closer. and this becomes a topic for the print gossip.
On reading this, and provoked by her classmates, Pummy comes to Bombay to bring about a reunion of parents. She happened to come across Shanti and pleads with her to go out of her father's life. Shanti, who never herself wanted to be an actress, goes away to a village and becomes a teacher.
Sinha, now deprived even of the brief but inspiring spells of Shanti's companionship, begins to grow listless and weary. He loses interest in his life and work. His films begin to fail and he starts sliding down the dangerous path of oblivion. He starts drinking. There is a chance of his being given another chance if Shanti again agrees to work. Shanti visits him and tries to plead with him. But he refuses to work in this manner.
It's future tense, and Pummy is now getting married, but he has nothing to give her. He cannot even show her his face. Having grown old, feeble, unrecognizable and looking for some work to keep the body and soul together, he comes to the same studio where he had once commanded power and repute. He is not considered worthy to be even an extra. Quietly and alone, with the studio walls around him and the dust of the sets in his nostrils, he sinks in the director's chair and breathes his last.
This movie is the part of a 10-day Guru Dutt film festival, held at Hari Hari Kala Bhavan. Please contact Prakash Reddy, Hyderabad Film Club, at 373-0841 or 373-0265 for further details.
Direction: Abrar Alvi
Cast: Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Baby Naaz, Johnny Walker