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Upkar (1967)

 -  Drama
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 299 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Cult classic highlighting the contrast between Indian and Western values in the newly independent state.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Asha Parekh ...
Kavita
Manoj Kumar ...
Bharat
Prem Chopra ...
Puran 'Kumar'
Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi ...
Lala Dhaniram (as Kanhaiyalal)
David Abraham ...
Major saab (as David)
Manmohan Krishna ...
Kishan (as Manmohankrishan)
Madan Puri ...
Charan Das (as Madanpuri)
Sunder ...
Sunder Lal
Asit Sen ...
Lakhpati
Mohan Choti ...
Mangal
Shammi
Laxmi Chhaya
Mahesh ...
(as Master Mahesh)
Manmohan ...
Kavita's Brother
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Storyline

Widowed Radha lives in rural India circa 1960s, along with two sons, Bharat and Puran. While she would like to educate her sons, and ensure that they lead good lives, she cannot do so on her own, and must sacrifice the career of one son so that the second can achieve this goal. For this purpose, Bharat willingly sacrifices his life, toils hard so that Puran can get a decent education, which he does, excels in his studies, and also goes abroad. The family is very pleased, when Puran returns, hoping that he will ensure that they all live happily in India. But the man they know as Puran has been replaced by a cruel, self-serving man who now calls himself Kumar, and whose one goal is to usurp and divide the family property, so that he can continue to live a comfortable life. "Kasme vaade pyar wafa sab, baaten hai, baaton ka kya, koi kisika nahin, yeh jhootey naahtey hai, naahton ka kya..." by Manna Dey, continues to be popular even today, which translated means that "Promises, faith, love... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Good Deed  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leading lady Asha Parekh had an image as a dancing heroine. Star and filmmaker Manoj Kumar wanted to change her image, since she was playing a doctor promoting planned parenthood, so he gave her only two dance moves in the entire film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Bollywood Bound (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Kasmen Wade Pyar Wafa
Sung by Manna Dey
Music composed by Kalyanji-Anandji
Lyrics by Indivar
See more »

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User Reviews

An August 15 Cult Classic
14 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Upkaar is a sadly overlooked film in canonical film studies, despite its popularity. It has probably been played on TV on independence day in India more than any other film.

Manoj Kumar as the faultless Bharat is the epitome of 'Ram Rajya' and Asha Parekh is the immaculately subservient partner. Prem Chopra is the brother gone astray, turned over by the collusion of the western influences of the city, and the evil moneylender/landlord (and thus, both evils are one!). Several symbols of nationhood, benevolent military, self-sacrificing mothers (and westernized wenches) present a complete, unadulterated picture of the struggles of the righteous in a rising nation-state. See Chinese propaganda films of the Great Leap Forward, the farm-worker parallels are astonishing.

Interestingly, this was not just a turning point in Manoj Kumar's career (he practically turned to a staple screen patriot after this), but also in Pran's career - usually playing villain, Pran excelled here as a disabled farmer, a role that entirely changed his own career path in the Hindi film industry.


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