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Namak Haraam (1973)

 -  Drama  -  19 November 1973 (India)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 726 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 2 critic

Somnath (Somu) lives in a shanty house in a Delhi slum with his widowed mom, and unmarried sister, Sarla. He is friendly with Calcutta-based wealthy Vikram (Vicky) Maharaj. When Vicky's dad... See full summary »

Writers:

(associate screenplay), (story), 8 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Somnath (Somu) / Chander Singh
...
Vikram (Vicky) Maharaj
Simi Garewal ...
Manisha
...
Shyama
Asrani ...
Dhondu (Shyama's brother)
A.K. Hangal ...
Bipinlal Pandey
Om Shivpuri ...
Damodar Maharaj
Manmohan ...
Jai Singh
Durga Khote ...
Somu's Mother
Raza Murad ...
Alam
Jayshree T. ...
Courtesan
Yogesh Chhabra
Darshan
Neelam
Lalita Kumari
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Storyline

Somnath (Somu) lives in a shanty house in a Delhi slum with his widowed mom, and unmarried sister, Sarla. He is friendly with Calcutta-based wealthy Vikram (Vicky) Maharaj. When Vicky's dad, Damodar, has a heart attack and is advised to take bed-rest for two months, Vicky fills in his father's shoes, has a confrontation with a senior employee and union leader, Bipinlal Pandey, which results in a strike. His father intervenes, asks Vicky to apologize to Bipinlal, which Vicky does, and everything returns to normal. Vicky confides about his humiliation with Somu, and both conspire to teach Bipinlal a lesson. As a result, Somu accompanies Vicky to Calcutta, gets a job as a laborer in his mill, befriends his fellow-workers, gets some monetary relief to injured workers, amongst other benefits, is elected as the union leader replacing Bipinlal. With Somu as the union leader and Vicky as the boss there is no stopping these two - until Damodar finds out and decides to put a stop to Vicky being... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

union | slum | friend | friendship | death | See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

19 November 1973 (India)  »

Also Known As:

The Ungrateful  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Vicky Maharaj (Amitabh Bachchan) first shows up, he mentions that he is wearing two watches. In real life, Amitabh Bachchan is very fond of various wristwatches and sometimes wears more than one at a time. See more »

Connections

Featured in Tan-Badan (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Bachchan and Khanna's best.
10 March 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film teams the two biggest stars of the day--Rajesh Khanna as Somu and Amitabh Bachchan as Vikram. It's an interesting film from start to finish and it has a lot to say--much more than a typical Bollywood film.

When the film begins, Somu and Vikram are two friends that are closer than brothers. Although Vikram is quite rich, he shares what he has with Somu and his family--and neither work. They mostly hang out and have fun together during the first portion of the film. However, when Vikram learns that his father has had a heart attack, his entire life changes. Because of his dad's illness, Vikram's days of playing are over and he has to run his father's company. However, Vikram shows himself to be a horrible boss--and he treats his employees like dirt. He also is quite distrustful of them and hates the union representative, so he contacts his friend Somu and asks him to come to the city and help him with running the place. The plan is for Somu to pose as a disgruntled employee with a lot of guts and eventually get the employees to elect Somu as their union representative--a representative in the pocket of the company, so to speak.

Through the course of Somu's time at the company, however, his attitude changes. While he still loves Vikram, he cannot hear about the plight of his fellow workers without feeling for them as well as resenting the way Vikram is taking advantage of his workers. And, over time, the two friends drift farther and farther apart. What's next? See the film--it's worth it.

Apart from Vikram taking responsibility for a crime he did not commit (and this made little sense to me), there's an awful lot to like about this film. The two actors are quite good and the plot is a wonderful social commentary. The film also seemed to have a bit of a gay subtext, as the two leads really, really like each other...a lot. Well worth your time and well-crafted.


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