Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Katyar Kaljhat Ghusali - Movie Review

A 1967 play of the same name, remade in 2015. Katyar Kaljhat Ghusali means (as I understand it) a dagger that pierces the heart. The story is set in fictional town Vishrampur,  ruled by a genial king who enjoys music and appreciates art. His court singer is Pandit Bhavani Shanker. Enter Aftab Hussain Bareliwale who is a great singer but with a humongous ego. The poor and helpless Aftab is helped by Panditji who notices the young man's great talent and invites him to Vishrampur. Panditji gets him a home, his children access to schools and looks upon the man as his friend. But when the king announces a competition for singers for the post of the court singer and a rich purse, Khansaheb challenges his mentor Bhavani Shankar - and loses.

For 14 successive years he loses. On the 15 he wins by default because Panditji mysteriously does not sing. The ego of Khansaheb rises sky high. When an old disciple of Panditji Sadashiv returns, Khansaheb tries to scuttle the young talent with unreasonable demands, including making him his slave. But the persistence of Khansaheb's daughter Zareena gives Sadashiv his freedom. The young musician challenges Khansaheb in next year's competition. While the competition is in progress, Khansaheb accuses Sadashiv of stealing his music. Khansaheb invokes the condition on which he was appointed when he won the competition - that he is allowed one murder. He asks the king to allow him to murder Sadashiv with the dagger that was presented to him. Even as the film draws to a close, dark secrets are revealed.

The metaphor for killing here is not the person but the ego and Khansaheb realises that a bit too late. Sachin Pilgaonkar as Khansaheb is outstanding. Shankar Mahadevan as the genial court singer fits the bill. Fabulous music and a tight storyline makes for a great watch. Bottom line, let not the ego get the better of you ever. 

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