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Darwaza is not just a movie, it's beauty lies in the way it has carved a perfect niche for itself in the world of Bollywood Horror shockers. The movie is a breath of fresh air for its plot, performances, background chore, and spookiness. I spent several sleepless nights after watching this movie in 1991 (I happened to see it quite late). Before I would say something about it, lets have a look at the plot.
Thakur Pratap Singh has lost his beloved ones due to a curse put on him and his family by a widow, whose son Dharma (Rakesh Pandey) was unintentionally killed by Pratap Singh long back. Now Pratap Singh is on death bed tended by his extremely loyal servant Shankar. Pratap Singh calls his friend Professor to his Haveli (manor) and asks him to take his son Suraj to one of his friends (Krishan Dhawan) in Mumbai. Moments later we see that Thakur dies and the Professor and his charioteer Shambhu Kaka (Kumud Tripathi) are attacked by a gruesome, ghastly, vengeful deformed ghoul. With much valor Shambhu Kaka saves Suraj and scrams, but Professor, not so lucky, dies a macabre death.
Time goes by and now Suraj (Anil Dhawan) has grown up and is in love with his uncle's (Krishna Dhawan) daughter Rachna (Shamlee). After few romantic sequences they get married. However, not everything goes on suavely as Suraj is tormented by the haunting memories of past. He decides to take matter in his hands and heads to the Haveli with Rachna. On the way they encounter an old woman, who scorns Suraj's decision of going to the Haveli. She tells him that her son Ganga (Satyen Kappu), once a popular village lad, lost his life in the caves behind the Haveli. Suraj dismisses her story and takes his way to the Haveli. Ahead they meet some hoodlums who try to take advantage of Rachna's solitariness, while Suraj is out to bring water for the fuming car radiator. Suraj arrives just in time and saves Rachna. They are then aided by a local village girl Sahila (Sheetal), who is the jovial daughter of the village headman or Sardar (D.K. Sapru). That night, during their halt, Rachna is attacked by the monster, who topples their car and disappears in dark. Suraj goes looking for it when he lands up at the Haveli and finds Shankar cleaning bloodstains dotted on the floor. Rachna somehow manages to save her life and soon joins Suraj at the Haveli.
Upon arrival, Suraj is given a warm welcome by the villagers. Sardar tells Suraj that Pratap Singh was his old buddy and laments his death.
The village extremists Shakal, younger brother of Dharma, and Goga (Shakti Kapoor) dislike the friendly attitude of Sardar towards Suraj and arouse Suraj for a fight. A violent duel ensues between Shakal and Suraj with Suraj's decisive victory. Meanwhile Rachna happens to discover Shambhu Kaka's corpse and takes to her heels to tell Suraj. However, when they return the dead body is nowhere to be seen. Shakal wants to settle scores with Suraj (for Pratap Singh's atrocities) for the untimely death of his brother Dharma and his mother. His wife Reshma (Anju Mahendru) tries to persuade Shakal to leave the dog-eat-dog attitude but Shakal is blinded by revenge and believes that killing Suraj would do justice to the souls of his deceased mother and brother. At night Reshma goes to the Haveli to make Suraj understand about the impending peril he and Racha could face. At the Haveli she finds Shankar sneaking out of a hidden door. With much curiosity Reshma opens the door (unbeknownst to anyone else) and finds that the door opens to a dungeon. Several minutes later, we see Reshma dead and Shankar digging a grave for her.
Meanwhile Goga and his men raid the Haveli and torment Rachna. Rachna somehow escapes but ends up at the dungeon. Goga and his men are killed by the monster and Rachna witnesses their horrendous deaths. Suraj and the village men reach dungeon and find a scared Rachna and the dead bodies of Goga and his henchmen. They also see a cloaked figure who is revealed to be none other than Pratap Singh. Suraj takes Pratap Singh to the Haveli and it looks like Pratap Singh is living a vegetable life after having lost his memory, eyesight and hearing ability. Meanwhile Sahila is killed and Shakal shows her corpse to Sardar and informs him that she was killed by Suraj and his father. Sardar orders Shakal to kill the culprits and Shakal thus gets a chance to quench his blood thirst. With several villagers, Shakal goes to the Haveli and demands an eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a-tooth justice. Finally Shakal breaks into the Haveli and ends up in Pratap Singh's room.
What follows ahead is something outstanding, infamous and something you'll not forget. There are still certain questions that may torture the readers.
1. Who was the monster? What was his intention? 2. Could Shakal take his revenge? 3. Was Shankar a loyal servant? Whose blood was he cleaning? 4. Who killed Reshma? 5. Did Shambhu Kaka really die or was Rachna hallucinating? 6. Who kept Pratap Singh locked in the dungeon? 7. Who killed Sahila?
So there are many mysteries that add a lot of suspicion and agitation in the plot. The ghoul in the movie is a piece of pure evil, the recollection of which can give you goosebumps for weeks together. One of the best Ramsays' efforts. Despite the low budget, the movie is full of eeriness and creepiness. I give it 9/10.
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