Night's End (1975)
"Nishaant" (original title)

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Vishwam (Naseeruddin Shah) is the youngest brother of the powerful and influential village Zamindar (Amrish Puri). The Zamindar will not hesitate to do anything for the welfare and ... See full summary »



(original screenplay), (dialogue) (as Pt. Satyadev Dubey)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anant Nag ...
Eldest Zamindar
Satyadev Dubey ...
Priest (Pujari)
Rukmani (as Smita)
Mohan Agashe ...
Policeman Patel
Sadhu Meher ...
Special Appearance
Savita Bajaj
Master Altaf
Suresh Bedi ...
(as Soresh Bedi)
Rukmini Menon
Sesham Raju


Vishwam (Naseeruddin Shah) is the youngest brother of the powerful and influential village Zamindar (Amrish Puri). The Zamindar will not hesitate to do anything for the welfare and protection of his family, which also includes bending the law to his own advantage. Vishwam is married to Rukmani (Smita Patil), and unlike his brothers, does not indulge in alcohol or women, nor does he have any bad habits. Then the village gets a new schoolmaster (Girish Karnad), who has a wife, Susheela (Shabana Azmi). When Vishwam sees her for the first time, he is unable to take his eyes off her, and unable to get her out of his mind. Susheela does not reciprocate his attentions. Then one night, Susheela is forcibly carried away in a car by the Zamindar's right-hand men (Mohan Agashe and Anant Nag). The schoolmaster's efforts to stop them are to no avail, and the several people present do nothing to stop this abduction. What will the schoolmaster do to get his wife back, knowing fully well that even ... Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime





Release Date:

6 September 1975 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Night's End  »

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Actress Smita Patil's debut film. See more »

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User Reviews

The End Of Night...The Horror Begins
13 July 2008 | by (Fraggle Rock) – See all my reviews

'Nishaant' is perhaps Benegal's most chilling movie to date. With this movie who also introduces the ever so talented Smita Patil to Hindi cinema. Through brilliant execution and with superb cinematography, Shyam Benegal tells us this compelling, brutally honest and haunting tragic story. The background music brilliantly adds to the mood. While dealing with various themes such as oppression, corruption, power, violence, abduction and poverty, he also presents controversial taboo issues like rape and homosexuality. 'Nishaant' is also quite graphic in nature. Particularly the scene where Anjaiya and Prasad gang rape Sushila is disturbing to watch and then there's the shattering ending which haunts the viewer.

Like in all of Benegal's films, the actors do nothing short of a fantastic job. Amrish Puri gives a restrained performance and his silence makes his character much more frightening than any of the over-the-top villain roles he was more known for. Shabana Azmi is sublime. Smita Patil is very effective in a small but strong role. With a brave choice, she already proves that she's here to stay and if it weren't for her untimely death one would have witnessed more of India's best actress on screen. Naseeruddin Shah is excellent. Mohan Agashe and Anant Nag are scary as the evil brothers. Girish Karnad too is great.

Benegal also deserves mention for portraying unusual relationships between the characters. When Sushila encounters her husband, she resents him for not rescuing her and chooses to come back to the 'zameendar's haveli' instead of going back home. Yet, she too is conflicted as she terribly misses her son but also develops an attraction towards her kidnappers' brother Vishwam (the only sympathetic brother in the household). There's Rukmani who was once proud of her faithful husband Vishwam but she perceives Sushila as a threat and once her husband begins a physical relationship with her, it becomes resentment.

'Nishaant' is based on a true story and Benegal portrays the realities of a village sensibly as he shows a good understanding of life in the village. Although there have been plenty of films that try to use the same themes, they lack the gritty rawness of 'Nishaant'. Overall, 'Nishaant' is an excellent compelling drama that needs to be watched.

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