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A Tale of Reincarnation
Jun 10, 2010 07:41 PM 4189 Views
(Updated Jun 10, 2010 07:45 PM)

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Please  Note:  This  review  is  about  the  1981  Movie Kudrat,  starring  Rajesh  Khanna,  Hema Malini  and  Vinod Khanna.   It  has  nothing to do with  the  Akshaye Khanna-Urmila  Matondkar  flop show.


Reincarnation  or  the  punarjanam   concept  is  something  that  has  been  an  eternal  favorite of  our  movie makers.  It is a  genre  that  is  unique  to  Indian cinema,  yes  there  have  been  some  on  this  theme  in Hollywood,  but   not  as  extensive  as  our  movies, be it  Hindi  or  any  other  regional language.  Mahal(1949)   that  starred  Ashok Kumar  and Madhubala,  kick  started  this genre, and  then  there have been  many  others  like  Madhumati,  Karz,  Karan Arjun  and  the  recent  Om  Shanti  Om.  In  the  same  league  of  those movies  is  Chetan  Anand's 1981  movie Kudrat.  Among the  Anand  brothers  Chetan  has  always  had  his  own  identity,  not  too flamboyant  like  Dev Anand  nor  as  popular  as  Vijay  Anand.   As  a  director  however   he  has a  good  track   record,  covering  various  genres  like  film noir( Taxi  Driver),  comedy( Funtoosh),  war( Haqeeqat),  love  stories( Heer  Ranjha)   and  social dramas( Hanste Zakhm,  Sahib  Bahadur).


Interestingly  it   was  Chetan  Anand  himself  who  directed  Rajesh  Khanna  in  his  debut  movie  Aakhri  Khat.  Kudrat  starts  off   with  the  heroine  Chandramukhi( Hema  Malini)   arriving  in Shimla, for   vacation,  where  she  meets  Dr. Naresh  Gupta(  Vinod Khanna),  a pyschiatrist  and the son of  her  mother's  friend.  Both  of  them  fall  in  love  with  each  other,  and  are  ready  to get  married.  Chandra  however  is  haunted  by  a series  of  nightmares, where  she  sees  herself  chasing  a man, who falls  from a  huge  cliff.  Also  while  traveling with  Naresh  around  Shimla,  she  finds  the  sights  and  sounds  of  the  place  familiar  to her.  Naresh  tries  his  best  to cure  her,  using  hypnosis  but  to no avail.


On the other  side,  Mohan  Kapoor(  Rajesh  Khanna)  arrives  to  take  charge  as  Public  Prosecutor, and  also  meet  his  mentor  and  guide,  Choudhury  Janak  Singh(  Raj  Kumar),  a  rich and  highly  influential  person in  Shimla.   Choudhury   had  taken  care  of  Mohan  since  he  was a child,  and  he is forever  grateful  to him. Mohan  is  engaged  to  Karuna(  Priya  Rajvansh),  Choudhury's  daughter, and a  lawyer  herself.  The  movie  takes  a twist,  when  Chandra  while  roaming  around Shimla,  sees Mohan  and  immediately   goes  into a  flashback  of  their  past  life.  Both   of  them were  servants, Madho  and   Paro,  respectively,  working  on  the  same  Choudhury   Saab's  estate,  during  the  Raj.   Deeply  in  love  with  each  other,  they  had  a  happy  life.   Chandra  is  determined that  Mohan  is  her  past  lover,  while  he  feels  she  is just  hallucinating.  In  fact  he  does  not  take her seriously.   One fine  day,  Chandra  goes  to  the  home of  Chaudhury  for  the  engagement  ceremony,  and  seeing him there,  shrieks  out  loud  and  flees  from there.   Who  is  Chaudhury  actually?  Why  was Chandra  so terrified  of  him?  What  happened  to  Madho  and  Paro  in their  previous birth?  Well  just  watch the movie.


Chetan  Anand  skilfully  keeps  making  the  transition  from  the  present to the past, and other  way around,  not  making  it  look  odd.    The key  to  a supernatural  movie,  is  the  way  the  suspense  and tension  is  maintained,  and  Chetan  does  it  quite well here.  The  movie  keeps  twisting  and  turning at  every  possible  stage,  leaving  us  guessing.  Also  the  movie  has some excellent  dramatic  scenes.


Vinod  Khanna  trying  to  make Hema   recall  her  past life


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Hema  first  listens  to  the  song  "Humein Tumse  Pyaar Kitna"  by  Aruna  Irani, and runs out  scared.


Hema  trying  to  make  Rajesh  Khanna  recall  their  past  life.


Hema  meeting Rajesh  Khanna for the first  time  in Shimla, and  going into a flashback.


The  movie  also  has a  good  score  by  R.D.Burman, with  some excellent  lyrics by  Majrooh  Sultanpuri.   The  best  is  obviously "Humein Tumse  Pyaar  Kitna"


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