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Adapted from a novel by R.K. Narayan, this 1965 Indian feature charts the spiritual growth of a tour guide (Dev Anand) who becomes a concert promoter but who's then jailed for forgery. When released from prison, he treks through villages in northern India until he's mistaken for a holy man. Meanwhile the two women in his life—his mother and the married dancer who loves him (Waheeda Rehman)—search for him, and their reminiscences reveal his past. Writer-director Vijay Anand devotes two-thirds of the film to the lovers' illicit affair (then a taboo subject in Indian cinema), sensationalizing every turn of their tumultuous relationship; the dialogue is so florid that the musical numbers come as a relief. Vijay never really engages the class and gender issues inherent in the story, and the hero's redemption through Buddhism (symbolized by a miraculous rain) is both belabored and trivialized in a gaudy, expressionist musical number. In Hindi with subtitles. 183 min.

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