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Junoon (1979)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 290 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

Set during the 1857 War of Independence, an obsessed Indian Nawab desires to wed a young Anglo-Indian woman, but the girl's obstinate mother stands between them.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Jalal Agha ...
Kader Khan
Nafisa Ali ...
Ruth Labadoor
Tom Alter ...
Priest
...
Firdaus (Javed's wife)
Ismat Chughtai ...
Maternal Grandmother of Ruth Labadoor
Benjamin Gilani ...
Rashid Khan
Karan Kapoor
Kunal Kapoor
Sanjana Kapoor
Shashi Kapoor ...
Javed Khan
Geoffrey Kendal
Jennifer Kendal ...
Mrs. Mariam Labadoor (Ruth's mom)
...
Lalal Ramjimal
Deepti Naval ...
Rashid's wife
Pearl Padamsee ...
Bitter woman
Edit

Storyline

The movie chronicles the period of 1857 to 1858 when the soldiers of the East India Company mutinied and many smaller kingdoms joined the soldiers in the hope of regaining their territories from the English. The movie is shown from the perspective of one of the leaders of the fight (Shashi Kapoor). Written by Neel V Kumar <neelvk@terway.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

30 March 1979 (India)  »

Also Known As:

A Flight of Pigeons  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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User Reviews

 
A Potpourri of Vestiges Review: Shyam Benegal's cinematic epic featuring a tour de force from Shashi Kapoor
20 April 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

Junoon is a 1978 Hindi feature film directed by Shyam Benegal and produced by Shashi Kapoor. Junoon is a lost gem that deserves more attention than it has received over the last three decades. Based on a novel by Ruskin Bond, Junoon presents the haunting tale of love, obsession, jingoism and death set around the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The movie underlines the atrocities of war while simultaneously trying to grapple with various social, moral and political issues. Junoon's ensemble star cast includes Jennifer Kendal, Shabana Azmi, Nafisa Ali, Naseeruddin Shah, and Shashi Kapoor.

Shyam Benegal and team need to be applauded for bringing Ruskin Bond's poignant tale to life. The movie's attention to period detail is immaculate. Benegal also succeeds in eliciting strong performances from all his actors. While the movie's real highlight is Shashi Kapoor's breathtaking performance, it would be unjust to overlook the other performances. The cinematography speaks for itself: the vivid and powerful images enrich the movie with an element of realism which woos the viewers into believing as if they are part of the history. The history unfolds with a subtle element of drama that keeps monotony at bay, also ensures that it doesn't become melodramatic.

Benegal, by the virtue of his groundbreaking cinematic works in the '70s and the '80s, rightfully established himself as the undisputed heir to the legacy of great Indian auteurs whose works paved the way for a new movement in Indian cinema during the late '40s to the '60s, popularly known as Indian New Wave/Parallel Cinema. Benegal's first four films created a strong buzz among the Indian film aficionados and that's what brought him in contact with Shashi Kapoor who went on to back his next two projects: Junoon and Kalyug.

Shashi Kapoor is breathtaking to watch in the lead role of a love-struck feudal chieftain, Javed Khan, who falls for a young British girl. This, in my opinion, also happens to be Kapoor's best performance ever. What makes the portrayal special is its deceptive simplicity. It may be a cinch to play a madman but it's exceedingly challenging to play a role that lies mid-way between sanity and madness. An actor is required to muster all his talent to bring such a complex caricature to life and that's exactly where Kapoor triumphs as he effortlessly goes through a gamut of emotions during the portrayal.

Junoon is a cinematic epic which serves as a powerful eye-opener for the contemporary Indian filmmakers who, blinded by the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, seem to lack both the ideas and the resolve needed to make great cinema. A major area where the movie scores heavily is in its balanced use of visuals and dialogues. Junoon is a great means to get acquainted with classic Indian cinema and a must watch for anyone who admires topnotch world cinema. 9/10

A more in-depth review can be read at:

http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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