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Ijaazat (1987)

 |  Drama, Musical, Romance
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Mahendra is in love with Maya and would like to marry her. But Maya is a woman of the 20th century, who does not believe in marriage, but would like to continue having a relationship. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anuradha Patel ...
Ram Mohan
Sulabha Deshpande ...
Parvati (as Sulbha Deshpande)
Dina Pathak
Rita Rani Kaul
Ashok Mehta
Rajesh Bombaywala
Ashfaque Ahmed
Bhupinder Sharma
Sunil Advani
Monesh Prem


Mahendra is in love with Maya and would like to marry her. But Maya is a woman of the 20th century, who does not believe in marriage, but would like to continue having a relationship. Mahendra's family pressures him into getting married, and he finally gives in and marries another woman by the name of Sudha. But Mahendra is unable to get Maya out of his mind, and his marriage with Sudha fails, and ends up with a formal separation. Years later, Mahendra and Sudha meet at a railway station, and both do remember each other, and share their experiences after their separation. There is one shocking experience that Maya does not share, but which Mahendra will find out soon. Written by rAjOo (

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Drama | Musical | Romance





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Did You Know?


Naseeruddin Shah's role was first offered to Sanjeev Kumar. Anuradha Patel's role was first offered to Hema Malini. See more »


Kaali haath shaam aayi hai
Sung by Asha Bhosle
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User Reviews

Gulzar's poetic masterpiece
24 April 2007 | by (India) – See all my reviews

What is it about?

The story is a love triangle between Mahinder (Nasseruddin Shah), Sudha (Rekha) and Maya (Anuradha Patel). Mahinder is an ostensibly ordinary photographer. Sudha is his equally ordinary, understated and understanding wife. Maya is Mahinder's sensitive, enigmatic, complex and impetuous ex-girlfriend with an extraordinary gift of poetry.

When the film begins one night, we meet two of the three main characters- Mahinder and Sudha in the waiting room of a train station in the middle of nowhere while it rains relentlessly outside. It is immediately apparent to us that these two characters have shared something in the past as there is an unmistakable sense of familiarity and an edgy chemistry between them. Then, through a series of sporadic flashbacks, we are transported to the past where we find some answers to our questions

Mahinder was expected to marry his childhood friend Sudha but while he was away from home, he had fallen in love with Maya (titled so aptly as she would later play the 'other woman' and hence symbolizes selfish greed for the protagonist, Mahinder) and Mahinder confides in Sudha that he wants to get married to Maya. Circumstances however act against his wishes and Maya disappears and he, having thought that she had walked out on him (something which is never confirmed in the film), ends up marrying Sudha.

However his old house is where the more vivid memories of Maya can be found. Her flavor through the windows and her demons under the carpet; she is omnipresent- in the nooks, crannies, cobweb ridden closets and basements, her memories linger on and she lives on between Mahinder and Sudha like those articles of old furniture one develops a sentimental fixation for and hence, neither is ever discarded.

Long gone are the days when he used to revel in his reveries about her but some of the memories still linger on like the rain's aftermath. You know how the tumultuous waves of the capricious oceans return and bring to the shore an unmistakable sense of sweet sad Deja Vu and so, one can almost hear the patter of Maya's feet upon the antediluvian seashore of Mahi and Sudha's house. And the imprints made by the patter of her feet upon the frivolous sand of time and the echoes of which can still be heard in its corridors. They are part of a different dimension where time, space and place were of no consequence and they live on still, in the house of memories, ever so fraught with her undeniable presence

It is this state of turmoil that Mahinder finds himself to be in. He has to make a choice. Should he stay on with the sweet reality of Sudha or try to grab the beautiful, mirage like illusion of tempestual, blissful happiness in Maya? He opts for the latter and more self destructive path and then something happens which is not revealed till towards the end of the film

Why is it so good?

Ijaazat is simple, yet layered, subtle yet profound and overwhelmingly poetic. This is probably the best script/screenplay Gulzar has ever written. Every single dialog between the characters is worthy of interpretation, worthy of quiet listening. It makes you wonder, what was said, what was unsaid, what was implied, what was hidden, what was meant

I especially loved the way the characters are written and developed. Its hard not to empathize with all three of them. Everyone has given a brilliant performance. Through simple acts like hanging a towel, combing one's hair, fiddling with a light switch; character motivations are brought forth in a stunningly unique and beautifully subtle way. The dialogs are scattered with poetic verses that are both pleasant and profound. Some examples-

Sudha: "Kya Ghar Abhi Bji Wahi Hain" Mahinder: "WAHI Toh Kuch Nahin Raha Par Haan, Hai WAHEEN, Usi Jagah" & Mahinder: "Yeh Duniya Bhi Toh Ek Waiting Room Hi Hai"

Ijaazat….A remarkable story of two lovers whose love story was incomplete…A movie about love- lost, found and lost again. Poignantly poetic and tremendously metaphoric with allusions of the concept of a Waiting room and the illusions of Maya, Ijaazat has a classic absorbing story, stunning performances, outstanding poetry & beautiful rhythmic music.

The passion between Rekha and Naseerudin Shah and between Naseeruddin and Anuradha has been dealt with amazing finesse and sophistication. The songs " Mera Kuch Saaman" and 'Katra Katra' are amazing in its rendition and also the perfect embodiments of the situation between the protagonists.

Someone rightly said that he film takes off from the moist surreal world of olive branches dripping with Gulzaresque poetry and goes right into the hearts of the characters. The film sees them all- the pure and serene Sudha, an unsolvable cipher like Maya and the tragic Mahinder- through a beautiful albeit maudlin prism. This is a kind of lost love in the true sense of the world. Not only was their love incomplete in the film but more broadly, this movie is also representative of a time bygone, an innocence lost. The heart just doesn't beat anymore nowadays like it used to in the environs of films like these. Back in the days when the pace was slower, the skies bluer, and there was still some magic left in the innocent charms and affairs of the resplendent heart.

Ijaazat is an unusual and ingenuous movie in the sense that it sees sophisticated poetry in the most ordinary situations, lives and events. An affair to remember…. indeed!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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