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Kalapani (1958)

 |  Crime, Musical, Romance
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 123 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Based on A.J.Cronin's 'Beyond This Place', this movie narrates the story of an untiring crusade for justice. A young man, learning about his father's wrongful implication in a ... See full summary »

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(source material), (screenplay) (as G.R. Kamat) , 2 more credits »
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Title: Kalapani (1958)

Kalapani (1958) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Karan Mehra
...
Asha
...
Agha ...
Badru
Nasir Hussain ...
Inspector Mehta (as Nazir Hussain)
D.K. Sapru ...
Diwan Sardarilal (as Sapru)
Kishore Sahu ...
Rai Bahadur Jaswant Rai
Krishan Dhawan ...
Jumman
Mukri ...
Madhosh Miyan
M.A. Latif
Bir Sakuja ...
Editor at the press company
Jankidas ...
Daulat Chand (as Janki Das)
Praveen Paul ...
Hotel Owner (as Parvin Paul)
Mumtaz Begum ...
Mrs. Shankerlal Mehra
Heera Sawant
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Storyline

Based on A.J.Cronin's 'Beyond This Place', this movie narrates the story of an untiring crusade for justice. A young man, learning about his father's wrongful implication in a fifteen-year-old murder, vows to bring the true criminals to justice and release his innocent father from 'kaala paani' (life imprisonment), for which he enlists the help of a press reporter, a retired police inspector and an unwitting prostitute who happens to possess some key evidence. Written by Hrishi Dixit <hrishi@slb.com>

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Genres:

Crime | Musical | Romance

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Also Known As:

Kala Pani  »

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Soundtracks

Jab naam-e-mohabbat leke
Sung by Asha Bhosle
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User Reviews

 
Charming actors, corny screenplay
28 July 2010 | by (India) – See all my reviews

This wasn't as great film as it is made out to be. At least it doesn't seem to be as entertaining today. Which means Kala Pani is not timeless in the vein of some of Dev Anand classics like Jewel Thief and Guide.

From scene one, the film gets bang on point when Karan (Dev Anand) gets to know that his father, who he believed was dead all through life, was alive and sentenced to life imprisonment in Hyderabad jail. Karan immediately goes there to meet his father who pleads of being innocent and falsely implicated through fabricated evidence. Thereby starts Karan's attempts to study the 15 year old mystery, gather fresh evidence and reopen the case. One feels that the story is tight and focused on cracking the crime case.

But what starts as a crisp screenplay soon starts wandering into a slack love story (Madhubala's natural appeal is the only saving grace) and a more uninspiring courtesan track (played by Nalini Jaywant, Kajol's cousin maternal grandmother) with verbose shayaris and ghazals. The courtesan, Kishori had some secret letters that can serve evidence in favour of Karan's father so Karan is manipulating love with her to get hold of that proof. The fact that Kishori was a courtesan 15 years back and continues to be a charmer even now doesn't seem digestible.

After much time has been spent on these love tracks, the film gets back on solving the murder mystery but is handled very carelessly and conveniently. The flashback of the murder scene is never detailed properly. The actual murderer surfaces from nowhere and has no background account. The reason for him committing the crime is never revealed. And what the viewer actually looks forward as the most interesting episode in the film in the form of a courtroom drama in the climax (since the film is about Kala Pani – life imprisonment) is unfortunately merely rushed in just one scene. The lawyer abruptly confessing of his crime in the climax seems confusing – was he guilty or he intended to save the real murderer?

Can't comment on the authenticity of the adaptation since I haven't read the original source material – a novel 'Beyond This Place' written by A J Cronin which was subsequently directed as an English film 'Web of Evidence' by Jack Cardiff (which released after Kalapani).

Dev Anand's charm, Madhubala's beauty and S D Burman's songs like 'Acha Ji Main Haari Chalo Maan Jao Na' make you sit through the film.

  • Gaurav Malani



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