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Bhagwaan Dada (1986)

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Naive village-born Swaroop comes to Bombay city with a only Rs.80/-, which he loses to a thief. A man named Bhagwaan helps Swaroop recover this amount, and asks him to return back to his ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Bhagwaan Dada
Rakesh Roshan ...
Bijli / Geeta
Shambu Dada (as Danny)
Tina Munim ...
Paresh Rawal ...
Inspector Vijay
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brahm Bhardwaj ...
Birbal ...
Deepika ...
Dulari ...
Swaroop's mom
Baby Guddu ...
Ginny (Bijli's sister)
Iftekhar ...
Vijay Kashyap ...
Michael D'Costa
Kanan Kaushal ...
Nirmaladevi (Mrs. Khan)


Naive village-born Swaroop comes to Bombay city with a only Rs.80/-, which he loses to a thief. A man named Bhagwaan helps Swaroop recover this amount, and asks him to return back to his village, as the city is not a good place for a simpleton like himself. Swaroop decides to stay, and Bhagwaan assists him to find a roof over his head, as well as employment. Swaroop meets with an attractive young woman named Bijli, and he is attracted to her. What Swaroop does not know that Bhagwaan is a notorious gangster known in the community as Bhagwaan Dada, and that Bijli is a woman of questionable character and means, who works during the night as a prostitute. Written by rAjOo (

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bombay | village | prostitute | gangster | boy | See more »





Release Date:

25 April 1986 (India)  »

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Did You Know?


Featured in Kishen Kanhaiya (1990) See more »


Tujhse Pehle Bematalab
Written by Rajesh Roshan
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User Reviews

Hard to find ... but 25 years on, still well worth a watch
11 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The 1986 Hindi film "Bhagwaan Dada" remains significant today, for any number of reasons.

The core storyline is compelling: a criminal (the title character, played by Rajnikanth) becomes morally redeemed through his love for a child.

This was an early North India film for Rajnikanth, who was already in 1986 the ultimate film action hero of South India.

The fight sequences are exciting and entertaining throughout, consistent with the acrobatic action style preferred at the time. The climactic battle of Bhagwaan (Rajnikanth) with his former crimelord 'dada' Shambu (Danny Denzongpa) is simply classic.

The story explores how this reformed criminal, ostensibly all alone in the world, gradually builds a 'family' about himself and unites a whole community. A subplot develops a romance between gentle Swaroop (Rakesh Roshan), Bhagwaan's adoptive 'brother', and the brave young woman Bijli (Sridevi) whom Bhagwaan ultimately adopts as his 'sister'.

Several charming dance sequences showcase the versatility of Sridevi, and the music by Rajesh Roshan (Rakesh's brother) also delights.

Altogether, a complete entertainer.

25 years on, however, "Bhagwaan Dada"'s most enduring legacy: future Hindi film superstar – Hrithik Roshan – in his only real role as a child actor.

As young Govinda, Bhagwaan's adopted son, his role was central to the whole storyline and necessarily entrusted with carrying more of the plot than is usual with child parts. For this film to work it was essential that the audience fully accept Govinda, not just as the motivation for Bhagwaan Dada's reformation, but as the cherished heart of the whole larger community around them. Young Mr Roshan's endearingly mischievous but earnest and good-hearted Govinda completely delivered.

Even raw and untutored at 12, the man-who-really-would-be-Emperor – "Jodhaa Akbar", 2008 – showed in this early "Bhagwaan Dada" fascinating glimpses of things-to-come.

There was already a distinctive ease and ... naturalness ... of expression and movement, all the more remarkable in an untrained child. Physically at that time he projected, as preadolescents will, a charmingly 'puppy-ish' quality of waiting to grow into their feet (already, in his case, longer than any of the adults in the film). But there was no awkwardness, somehow. "Bhagwaan Dada" required him to share dialogue with some of the biggest stars of the day, dance with first Rajnikanth and later Sridevi, even sing a short song a capella. No problem! Perhaps even more remarkably, this film required the child in this role to fight adult characters. And make it believable. And ... he does. Just freeze-frame his early training sequence on the beach (initial song with Rajnikanth) and you'll see what I mean: the total focus and almost frightening intensity in that young face, an early harbinger of what would later become a trademark in the man's adult work. Hey, this kid even died well! Sorry for the spoiler but yes, Govinda dies in the film. Govinda's brutal murder at the hands, or rather feet, of the evil Shambu Dada is the catalyst that drives the climax of the film, so it was absolutely critical that Govinda's death scene 'work' for the audience. How did young Mr Roshan respond to the challenge? Only deliver what has to be reckoned the best dramatic performance in the whole film – heartwrenching yet completely natural in delivery, in a way that was not at all the style prevailing in Hindi film at the time. Clear foreshadowing of "things-to-come" later as an adult.

And the face? Even as a preadolescent child with swollen cheeks from cutting teeth, this was so clearly THE face we now know so well as Hrithik Roshan's and Nobody Else that it honestly comes as a shock, when the character opens his mouth to speak for the first time and a little boy's voice comes out.

Perhaps the most telling glimpse of this "things-to-come" element is apparent in the unguarded reactions of the adult actors to young Hrithik during one take which, probably, they all assumed would be cut from the final edit ... but which, no doubt thanks to an adoring Grandpa behind the camera (Director J. Om Prakash is Hrithik Roshan's maternal grandfather) was retained in the final film.

Remember, in 1986 Sridevi and Rajnikanth were already both major superstars. Rakesh Roshan (Hrithik's father, whom he resembles in colouring but thankfully in little else) was himself an established leading man as a Hindi film actor, soon to become an even better director. The fourth adult present was the veteran character actress playing Swaroop's mother. The shot is Govinda dancing across in front of the four adults and singing his little song about his 'uncle' Swaroop's marriage procession and how he, Govinda, will "dance with joy". All of which he does. So far, so good. But then Hrithik keeps going. Still singing his little "dance with joy" song, he moonwalks backward á là Michael Jackson – (which all the kids were doing those days, as witness 1987's "Mr India") – executes a perfect little step turn, and moonwalks back again. He earns, and receives, a gentle swat from Sridevi herself for his efforts. But look at the faces of all four adult actors throughout all this bit: they're absolutely cracking up, every single one of them, Sridevi on down. Real-life daddy Rakesh Roshan gestures to screen daddy Rajnikanth as though to say, "You see what I have to put up with?" Delicious! And since the sheer outrageousness of the moment does work, to underscore the charm and playfulness of the Govinda character, the full take was retained.

The world of film today is hugely fortunate to enjoy the accomplished adult work of 'That Kid' whose early childhood promise clearly impressed those seasoned actors so many years ago.

25 years later, "Bhagwaan Dada" still has much to offer anyone interested in the development of the industry, in the craft of performance and acting ... or simply the enjoyment of an entertaining movie well told.

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