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Razia Sultan (1983)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 108 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

Emperor Sultan Iltames is known for his fairness, compassion, and sense of justice. He takes swift action when he comes to know that his very son has violated the peace, and broken the law,... See full summary »

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Title: Razia Sultan (1983)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Razia Bano
...
Yakut Jamaluddin
Parveen Babi ...
Khakun
Pradeep Kumar ...
Sultan Iltames
Vijayendra Ghatge ...
Amil Altunia (as Vijayendra)
Ajit ...
Amil Balban
Veena ...
Empress Shah Turkhan
Tajdar Amrohi
Sohrab Modi ...
Vazir-e-Azam
Sarika
Radha Saluja
Shandaar
...
Laila (as Dolly Jena)
Madhu Malini
Chitra
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Storyline

Emperor Sultan Iltames is known for his fairness, compassion, and sense of justice. He takes swift action when he comes to know that his very son has violated the peace, and broken the law, and has him severely and publicly whipped, incurring his wife's displeasure. The apple of Sultan's eye is his daughter, Razia, and he would like her to succeed him as Emperor. This decision raises a hue and cry against the emperor, as many are opposed to a woman ruling over them. Razia proves herself to the people by showing herself as much caring, compassionate, and dedicated as her dad, earning the respect of all, and she is accepted as the first ever female emperor of the land. After her succession, the court officials start to gossip about her personal life, and her affair with a Yakut Jamaluddin. The problem is that Yakut is a dark-skinned man, who was the emperor's slave at one time, but set free and inducted in the army. Razia must now chose between her crown and her love for Yakut. Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

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Drama

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1983 (India)  »

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User Reviews

Worth it for one song
28 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

This film should have everything going for it - directed by Kamal Amrohi, lavish palace sets, costume design and loosely based on an true story from the era of the Turkish sultanates in India. Razia trained in combat by her Ethiopian slave Yakoot (who suspiciously looks like a blacked up Dharmendra!) proves herself a more worthy heir than her brothers. After the death of her father Razia assumes control of the sultanate to become the first female Muslim leader in South Asia. But Turkish nobility enraged at her relationship with a black man start a power struggle for the throne.

The Turkish sultanate era is nicely brought to life but despite having topics such as gender, politics, history and race on offer the film has a major problem - its coma inducing lack of pace. I can watch a slow film but this takes some effort. Although made in the eighties it tries very hard to recreate the feel of the old epics so there's a lot of silence, overacting and shouting which grates after a while.

However... the whole film is saved by the truly beautiful song 'Ay Dil-e-Nadaan' (My Innocent Heart). With a video to match we see Hema Malini, looking every inch the Turkish princess, wandering through the desert at sunset lonely and frustrated at her inability to express her love for Yakoot.

Worth a watch if you're into slow romantic epics, the history or the girl power angle but you could just read up on real story of Razia Sultan and save yourself three hours. Perhaps ripe for a serious remake?


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