The ankle-bells symbolizing a courtesan’s fate

Ghunghroo was released in 1983. It is a movie made under the banner of Prakash Mehra but directed by Prakash Mehra’s assistant Ram Sethi who is better known for doing comedy roles in his movies. The movie was a flop but while watching, I found it quite entertaining. It boasts of a good star cast like Shashi Kapoor, Smita Patil, Waheeda Rehman, Suresh Oberai, Kunal Goswami (the son of the Bollywood’s legend – Manoj Kumar) and Komal Mahuvakar. It is a social drama with regular Bollywood formulae. However it is an engrossing watch with good music and good performances.

E184493The story belongs to the love blossoming between a courtesan, Kesar (Smita Patil) and Vikram (Shashi Kapoor) who is the adopted heir of the queen of a princely state (Waheeda Rehman) who is called Rani Maa by all. Rani Maa does not allow her adopted son, Vikram to marry Kesar who is now pregnant. Vikram is married to a princess of another state (Padmini Kapila). Kesar finds support of Sooraj (Suresh Oberai) who has been loving her (one-sidedly) since their childhood. Several years after these events, the own son of Rani Maa (Kunal Goswami) falls to the charms of an innocent girl of his college (Komal Mahuvakar). In fact, Rani Maa had not considered Vikram as her son after herself giving birth to a son and had made him the Deewan (caretaker) of the state. The love story of Vikram and Kesar finds a repeat now in the form of the love story of Rani Maa’s son and the girl who is none else but the daughter of Vikram and Kesar. Rani Maa is against their marriage but her son is not ready to succumb to her pressures as Vikram had done years ago.The unscrupulous relative of Rani Maa (Ranjeet) plays his game to grab the state but the sacrifice of Sooraj ensures that everything gets well in the end.

indexThe title of the movie is Ghunghroo (ankle-bells tied to a dancer’s feet) because of Smita Patil’s being a courtesan. Ram Sethi has ably directed the story written by Prakash Mehra. Though the end of such movies is always predictable, yet the movie is very interesting from the start to the finish. The good emotional story with many twists is enriched by good songs like – Tohfa Kubool Hai Hamen Sarkaar Aapka, Pyar Ke Dhaage, Jo Safar Pyar Se Kat Jaaye Woh Pyara Hai Safar etc. Especially the song Tohfa Kubool Hai Hamen picturized upon Smita Patil is simply superb in both listening and viewing (interestingly the lyricist of this song is a well-known politician – Mrs. Prabha Thakur). It reminds of the songs of Paakeezah (1972). The melodious music has been composed by Kalyanji Performances are quite admirable. First let us talk about Late Smita Patil, one of the greatest actresses of not only India but the world. She has delivered a splendid performance in the role of the courtesan Kesar first and the responsible mother of a young daughter later. She has never been known as a great dancer, yet her performance in the song – Tohfa Kubool Hai Hamen is surprisingly excellent in which she has blended her dance movements with her emotional facial expressions with magnificent proficiency. In some other review, I have said that Shashi Kapoor is the most under-rated actor of the Kapoor clan of Bollywood. I repeat this statement. He performs quite naturally. Another knock-out performance comes from Suresh Oberai as the silent and sacrificing lover of Smita Patil who submits his whole life to his one-sided love. Suresh Oberai is one of the most versatile actors of Bollywood but got very less chances to showcase his talent. In Ghunghroo, he got the opportunity and encashed it. Waheeda Rehman’s character is weak but she manages. Kunal Goswami is so-so. Komal Mahuvakar is in perhaps the only role of her life in a romantic lead but she demonstrates that she is a good actress. Her innocent acting is lovable. Other actors viz. Ranjeet, Padmini Kapila etc. are routine.

3046810734_b6b2a5e170_zThe technical and production value aspects of the movie are quite okay. The length of the movie is also all right considering the large canvas of the story and several characters to accommodate.

Ghunghroo is a formula-based movie but when we have to watch a movie for sheer entertainment, it is a good choice which manages to keep the viewer focussed for the major part of it. The lovers of social dramas as well as the fans of Late Smita Patil should watch it.


© Copyrights reserved

About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
This entry was posted in Movie Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The ankle-bells symbolizing a courtesan’s fate

  1. Smita Patil was a gem we sadly lost when she passed away in the prime of her career. She would have gone on to greater heights. I agree about Suresh Oberoi too, an unsung hero with great acting talent and a super voice too. Thanks sharing. I had not seen this movie.

  2. jmathur says:

    Hearty thanks Kamal Ji. If possible, please watch this movie on any classic movie channel or internet. It won’t disappoint you. I endorse your views regarding Late Smita Patil and Suresh Oberai.

  3. Indrani says:

    I haven’t seen this movie, but I wish I had just to see Smita Patil.

  4. I do not have any recollection about the box office performance of the movie when it was released, but it created a lot media buzz.

    • jmathur says:

      Thanks Durga Prasad Ji for the value addition made and enrichment of my knowledge in this regard. It’s a good movie but could not succeed on the box office.

  5. Yes, just for Smita..I would love to watch the film…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s