Tanqeed Film Festival: Kalyug (1981)

Today is Shashi Kapoor’s birthday so check out the movie Kalyug produced by him and directed by Shyam Benegal. Its a modern day adaptation of Mahabharata set against two rival business families. It won Best Film at the Filmfare Awards. It was nominated for a Golden Prize at the 1981 Moscow International Film Festival.

Synopsis: The film is tale of intrigue, plots and the inevitable war between the two families. Ramchand and Bhishamchand were two pioneering brothers in business. Bhishamchand, a lifelong bachelor brought up the two sons of Ramchand on his demise. He also gave the family business a firm foundation. Khubchand (Vinod Doshi) the elder son of Ramchand begets two sons, Dhanraj (Victor Banerjee) and Sandeep Raj (Akash Khurana). Puranchand, Khubchand’s younger brother had died a few years ago. His three sons are Dharamraj (Raj Babbar), Balraj (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) and Bharatraj (Anant Nag). Another player in the game is Karan (Shashi Kapoor) an orphan brought up by Bhishamchand. A series of events take place that bring the long hidden feud between the two families to light and despite Bhishamchand’s efforts to mediate between the two, the situation gets out of hand and events take a tragic turn. Dhanraj’s men accidentally kill the young son of Balraj and to take revenge Bharatraj murders Karan. Quite a few skeletons from the family cupboard are brought out in the open that only adds to the tensions and hatred. (From Wiki)

  1. dwnpiyush 11 years ago

    Worth a watch. The pre-cursor to Raajneeti set in the corporate world. Following is the link to a detailed write-up that I did on this movie- more of a critique than an appreciatory note.


    • Author
      sputnik 11 years ago

      Read your critique/review.

      “None of them are likeable and the motivations behind many of the things the various people do are quite unclear.”

      I think same can be said of Mahabharata in that they are grey characters but I like them more precisely because of this reason.

      Shyam Benegal obviously could not show Rekha married to both brothers but he was definitely hinting at something more than a regular Bhabhi Devar relationship between Rekha and Anant Nag.

      “Supriya Pathak irritates as the young bride of Bharatraj who has nothing to do in the world except listening to a formulaic Bappi Lahiri’ish’ love song. ”

      I did not like the Supriya Pathak romantic track either and it seemed totally out of place in the movie. The song “What’s your problem” was irritating specially that it kept popping multiple times.

      I thought the performances were decent/good by everyone. Agree that Shashi Kapoor got the meatiest part and does a good job of it. May be Anant Nag did ham but I don’t remember in detail. I know Anant Nag can ham it up sometimes. I liked him best in an episode of Malgudi Days where he plays the sweet maker.

      While I did find Raajneeti entertaining (it also borrowed from The Godfather and also somewhat from politics) I think Kalyug was a much better adaptation than Raajneeti.

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