Watched it many a time and still can't get off it. There are so many new things observed this time too. The use of lighting when Bhootnath explores the hums coming across in the Palace. It was typical Guru Dutt style the narrative being told from the perspective of a servant (ghulam) and it is conveyed as if only what he sees and not what happens when he is not there. Even the typical item song of the dancer (if I may call so) is showed as an observation of Bhootnath.
Acting is so superb and so into the character. Bhootnath is the innocent bihari villager who does not have a great deal of worldly knowledge. He does have a dialect of the villager who is fascinated by the city life. The enticing and naughty girl Jaba played by Waheeda Rehman is so endearing and charming. In one confrontation between Guru Dutt and Waheeda, he tells "Haan toh maine soch liya hai" to which Waheeda retorts "soch bhi lete ho, batao kya socha hai" or the scene where he explains "Aurat jaat ke liye itna bada apmaan, itni badi lajja aur koi nahi" and when she asks who it is about, he escapes giving a silly reason because actually Bhoonath does not know what it actually meant. The conversations of Waheeda and Gurus Dutt and very lively and enthusiastic. The chemistry for sure is so great and in subtle nuances there is a huge lot of meaning.
Music is actually not up to the standard if I can say, expect for very two special and exceptional songs Bhawara Bada Nadaan and Na Jaao Saiyyan.
All the performances are apt but one that stands out and is so very awesome that I like to watch it again for it, that was Meena Kumari's Choti Bahu portrayal. So royal, that it hid the pain so gracefully but she wants to give her wish, a chance and since she could not, she resorts to a much terrifying habit that later ruins not just her but the whole family and the palace.
Meena Kumari had the royal grace and presence and Guru Dutt had that innocence charm. This acting was extracted mostly by Guru Ditt as he could only derive such expressions. Another notable thing is Make Up. The first scene and the immediate next scene are so much contrast that it took a while to realize what make up can do if used properly.
The art direction is superb as the movie transcends from the once royal to the now bereaved family, the soul of palace also diminishes. The climax scene in which Bhootnath finds truth speaks a great deal of what happened to place and also the first scene where construction is happening.
Watch it for the dialogues, the expressions and yes for Meena Kumari.
My rating is 5/5 for one of the best films ever made.
I have a compliant, I need more detailing to this movie for this movie has a soul so beautiful that it deserves much more impeccable presentation. Though I saw it in DVD, I want a Blu ray so that the detailing is intact and the print is enhanced too.