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In Custody (1994)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  3 June 1994 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 243 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 6 critic

An editor asks Deven, a teacher who loves Urdu poetry, to interview poet Nur Shahjehanabadi, an aging whale of a man. Deven goes to Bhopal from Mirpur to meet Nur, of whom he is in awe. He ... See full summary »

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(novel), (script), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shashi Kapoor ...
Nur
...
Imtiaz Begum
...
Deven
Sushma Seth ...
Safiya Begum
Neena Gupta ...
Sarla
Tinnu Anand ...
Murad
Prayag Raj ...
Jain
Parikshat Sahni ...
Siddiqui (as Ajay Sahni)
Sagar Arya ...
Chiku
Alakh Nandan ...
Trivedi
Yusuf Khurram ...
Young Poet
Riju Bajaj ...
Young Poet
Maza Bi ...
Safiya's Attendant
Nayeem Hafizka ...
Young Poet
Veerendra Saxena ...
Young Poet
Edit

Storyline

An editor asks Deven, a teacher who loves Urdu poetry, to interview poet Nur Shahjehanabadi, an aging whale of a man. Deven goes to Bhopal from Mirpur to meet Nur, of whom he is in awe. He finds him living with feuding wives, visited by sycophants who drink his whisky and eat his food. Deven wants to record Nur for posterity and seeks funds to buy an aged tape recorder, to bribe Safiya, the elder wife, to get Nur into a room at a brothel for a week for the recording, and to feed Nur's pals who show up. Nur's beautiful second wife, Imtiaz, wants to be taken seriously as a poetess. Dever dismisses her and ignores his own wife and child much as Nur does. In the end, what is preserved? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 June 1994 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Hifazaat  »

Box Office

Gross:

$92,612 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shabana Azmi, who plays Imtiaz Begum, who aspires to be a poetess in her own right in the movie is related to many poets, namely, father Kaifi Azmi, husband Javed Akhtar and father in law Janisaar Akhtar. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unique and much misunderstood
29 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The first scene of an old man composing a poem, as he looks out the window of his decaying villa at the timeless Indian landscape, establishes that he is a great poet. The rest of the film shows us the price that he has willingly paid for his poetry, and the tragedy of writing in a dying language. The comic efforts of the school teacher to record the old man reading his poetry highlight the tragedy, and as the teacher becomes more and more entangled in the poet's life, he comes to understand (as we do) that none of the poet's sacrifices have diminished him, and that he has no regrets. Perhaps the most poignant scene is the teacher's interview with the poet's young second wife, who (unable to create poetry) performs his poems to music and passes them off as her own. Her response to his charge of plagiarism leaves him speechless, and reveals more about the position of women in Indian society than a dozen feminist studies. Perhaps the reason why this film received poor reviews is that everyone is looking for Hollywood (or Bollywood) stereotypes, and missing a very moving story that is told in a quiet and unpretentious way.


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