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Sharmeelee (1971)

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An army captain falls for an outgoing young woman, but unknowingly weds her shy twin sister.


(as Samir Ganguli)


(dialogue), (story)
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Title: Sharmeelee (1971)

Sharmeelee (1971) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shashi Kapoor ...
Captain Ajit Kapoor
Rakhee Gulzar ...
Kanchan / Kamini (as Raakhee)
Nasir Hussain ...
Father Joseph (as Nazir Hussain)
Narendra Nath ...
Ranjeet ...
Iftekhar ...
Krishnakant ...
Dwarka (Kanchan & Kamini's Father)
Uma Dhawan
Dulari ...
Rashid Khan ...
Ruby Mayer ...
Aunt Rosie (as Sulochana)
Lalita Kumari
S.N. Banerjee ...
(as S.N. Bannerjee)


While returning from Army Base, Captain Ajit Kapoor stops over at a rest-house, where there is a party on, and he meets a charming, vivacious young lady. When he reaches home, his guardian, Father Joseph, wants him to get married. When Joseph accompanies Ajit to see the girl, whose name is Kanchan, Ajit is thrilled to find out that it is the very same girl he met at the rest-house. Ajit indicates his approval, and the stage is set for them to get married. It is then Ajit finds out that the Kanchan is not the girl is he had met, but her twin-sister. Kanchan is heart-broken at this, but wants her sister to be happy. Ajit is even more happy when he finally meets Kamini, who also recognizes him. Then Ajit's Army Colonel summons him for assistance in locating a female spy, who closely resembles the twin sisters'. Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

25 April 1981 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Dois Amores, Um Destino  »

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Reshmi ujaala hai
Sung by Asha Bhosle
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User Reviews

enjoyable Hindi musical romance triangle
15 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I can't believe this movie has not inspired any comments. It's founded upon a couple of beloved concepts for Indian films -- arranged marriages and identical twins. Here we have Kanchan (Rakhee), lovely but just misses being cloying, a traditional girl who loves animals and moves in a brilliant-colored setting that looks like fantasy Kashmir recreated on a Disney soundstage. Her problem? She's shy and nobody wants their sons to marry her. Everytime a prospective mom-in-law comes over, it winds up as, "Can't we have the fun sister, Kamini, instead of that dull Kanchan?" Under the circumstances, you can hardly blame the girl for being shy and self-effacing.

Twin Kamini (also Rahkee) is a westernized chick, and would demand that noun, I'm sure. This being a 1971 film, she looks sorta like she's dressing herself out of SEVENTEEN magazine, about 1967. She's very outgoing and has a bunch of swinger friends she likes to spend time with, going on vacations to the Himalayas &c. During the latter, she has a meet-cute encounter with army officer Ajit (Sashi Kapoor). kamini steals food from the army base for herself and her friends, and Ajit tracks her down to the lodge where they're all staying. A musical number leads to love, as it always does in Hindi films. But she and her friends catch the midnight train to Georgia, leaving love-struck Ajit with those "I Wonder Where She's Gone Blues."

Meanwhile, Ajit's foster dad and the twins' parents decide that Ajit would be a great match for the difficult to marry off Kanchan. When the two are introduced, natch, Ajit thinks she's the same hottie he met up in the mountains and he's ecstatic. Kanchan thinks it's herself that he has these feelings for and falls deliriously in love, up to a gorgeous bright pastel pregnancy fantasy that has even an old crab like the 12-stringer going, "Awwww... " Until the real Kamini shows up and Ajit realizes his mistake in identification, and, just like everybody else, he demands the other sister. Now we have plot complication.

Out of the blue the filmmakers spring it on us that Kamini is not just the free spirit we've been spending time with, but rather, what those of us in backwoods West Virginia would spell S.L.U.T. It's an out of the hat, rather than a payoff of anything we've been prepped for. But it leads to quite a dramatic plot turnaround, and not nearly the last in this story.

For the rest of it, you need to watch the movie. It's a typical Hindi musical romance, about 2:45 in length. The DVD quality is pretty good, but I have to note that while the image is 1.33:1, the original film looks like it was shot in 1.66:1, and cropping is noticeable here and there. Nothing to interfere with your enjoyment of the film, but it's amazing how fast we get spoiled by letterboxed DVDs.

Kapoor's Captain Ajit is a bit of a jerk at times, though you can give him the benefit of being besotted with love for that swinging babe Kamini. Rakhee gets lots and lots of beautiful closeups (especially as Kanchan) and is pretty good in both roles. Kamini has more edge than Kanchan, who seems awfully submissive from the western perspective. But this is part of the characterization, so you really can't fault her for not being as feisty as a western audience might prefer, in the light of the story's events.

On the IMDb scale, I give this a 7. The musical numbers weren't especially memorable for me. Kamini's swimsuit and near-rape scenes must have impressed the frontbenchers in Uttar Pradesh (they sure impressed the 12-stringer). I'd still like to know, where did the ocean come from in the big action finale? Weren't we amid the Himalayas just a minute or two ago?

Disclaimer: I'm quite new to Hindi films and had never even seen one until June '03, when Turner Classic Movies carried a "Salute to Bollywood" festival which changed my life -- or at least the movie-loving portion of it. Now I just can't get enough of these films!

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