Pakeezah l Ashok Kumar, Raaj Kumar, Meena Kumari l 1972

Synopsis : This movie is about a tawaif Sahibjaan (Meena Kumari), who is born to a courtesan, Nargis (also Meena Kumari). After being spurned by her lover Shahabuddin’s (Ashok Kumar) family, Nargis is driven to a graveyard where she gives birth to Sahibjaan secretly. Nargis dies during childbirth and her sister Nawabjaan (Veena), a brothel madam, brings her up as her own. Unable to break away from the vicious circle, Sahibjaan grows up to be a beautiful and popular dancer and singer. The aggressive, Nawab Zafar Ali Khan (Kamal Kapoor), wants to make her his own with the help of the brothel madam, and takes her to his boat for the night, which is attacked by elephants, saving Sahibjaan from a horrific fate, but throwing her in the fast flowing river, in a broken boat. Whence here she is taken to the riverside tent of Forest ranger Salim Ahmed Khan (Raaj Kumar), where alone with his diary, she reads how he was the same man who had written a beautiful couplet on her feet, and left for her to read it, while travelling in the same compartment some time before. She sings in rapture and love, remembering this beautiful interlude in her otherwise barren life. Salim Ahmed Khan returns to his tent and is pleasantly surprised to find her. Enthralled by her beauty and innocence, he eventually convinces her to elope with him, which she does. But trials and tribulations await Sahibjaan as she is recognized by men wherever she goes in the company of Salim. When Salim renames her Pakeezah (pure of heart) and takes her to a cleric to be legally married, she refuses and returns to the brothel. Salim eventually decides to marry someone else and invites Sahibjaan to dance at his wedding, to which she agrees. During this event, Nawabjaan recognises Shahabuddin and calls him to witness the irony of the situation; his own daughter dancing and entertaining his family. Shahabuddin’s father tries to shoot Nawabjaan to silence her, which leads to a very surprise ending.

Director: Kamal Amrohi
Producer: Kamal Amrohi
Music: Naushad, Ghulam Mohd.
Main Cast: Ashok Kumar, Raaj Kumar, Meena Kumari, Veena… more
Genre: Drama, Social
Release: Feb 04, 1972

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