|Index||7 reviews in total|
Well, as the title says, it is infact the most underrated movie ever produced by Indian cinema. Its all about the un-riped, non matured persona of Indian movie viewers of that time, which rejected a sheer classic just because it was not in common man`s language, but indeed had the magical sense of poetric Urdu and Hindi combination. The story is all about the first ever female Indian ruler of Delhi sultanate time, Razia sultan. Though the movie played a little bit with the history, which though in itself is doubtful and confused, it dealt with the concept very intelligently. Sultan Iltutmish wants to hand over is throne to his daughter Razia, who is most eligiable for the post among all his heirs. However it wasnt that easy in the medieval period of indian history and many chiefs stood against her, whom she successfully suppressed and gained her empire. The story along with all these historical element, also deals with the persnale side of Razia, that is, her love affair with a slave, who later was rewarded with freedom by the Sultan Iltutmish, owing to his bravery and loyality. Now as this love affair which wasn`t approved by any of her chiefs, they revolted against her and she eventually died fighting. Now history says something else, which by the way isnt to be discuss here. The movie by Kamal amrohi (Pakeezha and many more), was a total treat for the eyes with its huge sets of medieval times. The art was the most outstanding part of the movie and a phenomenal amount of money was spent on them ( 15 crores in 1982). These sets almost took us in those times with glittering diamond jewellery, the wepaonry and costumes. Dharmendra and Hema looked perfect in their roles and carried them with a delicacy indeed required according to the time period, movie dealt with. The music (Khayyam) and lyrics were superb and totally matched with the story requirements. Who can ever forget the melodious and shivering voice of Gabban mirja in "ayyi zanjeer ki jhnakar" and "tera hijra mera naseeb" and the sweetness of "Ae dile nadan" by Lata. The writing credits goes to Kamal amrohi who also directed the film. The language was so poetric and complex that it became the main reason of its failure at the box office. And we say that the classics are not rememeberd by their collections but their chrams which still haunts the viewers, Razia sultan will be remembered as a historical classic, which depicted the art of movie making, while dealing with the subjects, centuries old, but which haven`t yet lost their beauty.
'Razia Sultan' stands out as that one gem made too behind of its times!
If Amrohi Sb had made the film just a decade or two before he actually
did, it would have perhaps been a major success! Exquisite in style,
taste and language, the film is a soulful and sensuous, respectful look
at one of history's favourite daughters - one who historians can't
really decide where to place!
Hema Malini in one of her most controlled performances - full of grace and integrity, Dharmendra proving once again, his looks are as much a killer as his talent.
The ensemble of music, sets, costumes and design works amazingly well. Recommended highly for lovers of history, romance and drama, as also those of good music - gems galore - 'Ae dile nadaan' has to be one of Lata's all time greats, and 'Aayi zanjeer ki jhankaar' does not have another song or voice to compare to in Hindi film music. 'Jalta hai badan' and 'Choom kar' as also 'Hariyala banna aaya re' are greats in their own right!
A bollywood classic, which along with another classic mughaleazam, serves as the groundwork and guide for today's movies like Jodha Akbar. The sets are gorgeous and the direction and dialogue is well suited given the era of Delhi's history. Hema is perfect in her role, graceful and royal! The language is complex for those who don't know it, but if you know Urdu like me, then its music to your ears!! Even if you don't dig Urdu, watch it just for the sake of India's glorious history and for the sake of its magical past! The music is lovely, and the sultan's wedding song can even be used today to entertain guests at modern day weddings!. Well done, Amrohi! One star less only because I think the movie's scene editing could have been a little smoother - but no big deal.
Good songs, art direction, Direction by Mr.Kamal Amrohi. He had a flair for rich, powerful storyline movies. Have watched the movie which is totally different from the genre of Hindi movies. Especially, as told by one of the users "Ay Dil e Nadaan" song is a very melodious tune and song and beautifully pictured. Also other songs are rich with music and a treat to hear. Hema Malini has got a good character role along with Dharmendra and they do justice to their role. The sets of the movie are terrific and reminds us of the Sultantate age. It is a good movie for lovers of history and also of the times. Wonder when such powerful directors will appear in Hindi film world.
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?
Kamal Amrohi's Razia Sultan is one of the most interesting historical
films made in India. The story of the love between a 10th century queen
and her slave general, what makes it especially interesting is the
unconventional behavior and values of the primary characters, which
makes the film seem campy at times, but which reflects the presumed
historical context and values of the times.
The highlight of the film is the amazing music by Khayyam and beautiful song visualizations by VK Murthy. The language and lyrics are beautiful Urdu and Persian so requires repeated viewings by the modern viewer to fully understand and absorb the richness of the narrative. The sets and acting are also very high grade, especially by veteran Pradeep Kumar, who steals the first half in what was probably his best performance. Hema Malini and Dharmendra do a great job, as do some veterans like Sohrab Modi and Shahu Modak, in what may be their last roles. Special mention to the late Shandaar Amrohi whose portrayal of the dissolute prince Rukn-ud-din Firoz Shah is spot on for the character.
Khayyam's music, featuring a dazzling array of classical Indian instruments and voices, continues to be considered an all-time classic. The two songs by rarely recorded Kabban Mirza reach deep into the listener's soul. The classical Indian dances by dance maestro Gopi Krishna's troupe are also simply superb. The sets are magnificent and successfully evoke the historical period. Songs are filmed lovingly by the legendary cinematographer VK Murthy and are on par with the work he did for Guru Dutt on his classics - every song is a classic.
Now for the sad and shameful part, as the film took 10+ years to make and release, audience tastes had coarsened during its making and the released film was a huge commercial disappointment. Maybe as result of this failure, the Eros DVD print of the film is a dreadful "camera print" - poor transfer, terrible black transfers in the evening/night scenes, clipped images, unsynchronized sound, missing songs, and shamefully, the ~180 min film has been hacked down to ~140 min, causing huge continuity issues, muddled narrative, unresolved story lines and incomplete character arcs.
In spite of this shameful mutilation by Eros, the narrative is fascinating and demands repeat viewing by any interested viewers. I hope Eros, Hema Malini and/or the Amrohi family reads this review and publishes a complete and accurate remastered DVD print of this classic, so this labor of love is not lost to future viewers. The effort should not cost more than $10,000 if an original 35 mm print can be found.
Shahkaal weeps tears of blood for this lost classic - as a lyric in the movie says "khoon dil ka na chalak jaaye meri aankhon se" :(
I saw this film on DVD and was thankful for the skip features which allowed me to jump to heavenly songs rather that endure cheesy 'acting', pathetic artwork and a real bad mis-en-scene by Kamal Amrohi who had delivered a much better Pakeezah. No wonder that the 'masses' did not take to it. Only positive feature is divine music by ever wonderful Khaiyyam Saab and matching lyrics by Kaifi Saab and others. The movie frankly did not deserve these gems. Actors were just going through motions. The language (Persian in good part) does give it a period look but thats just about it. Who would understand that kind of language in India? A handful. Really avoidable; better stick to its music CD.
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