A person comes to meet with Gauri Shankar Roy (Uttam Kumar) living in Kolkata. He introduces himself as a 'fauji Sardar' of Jhind, Jhind being a small kingdom in Madhya Pradesh. He says ... See full summary »

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(novel) (as Sharadindu Bandopadhyay), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Raja of Jhind
...
(as Arundhati Mukhopadhyay)
...
Mayur-vahan (as Soumitra Chattopadhyay)
Radhamohan Bhattacharya
Tarun Kumar ...
Prince of Jhind
Dilip Roy
Dhiren Mukherjee
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Murari Bagchi
Sanjukta Banerjee
Mihir Bhattacharya
Rasuraj Chakraborthy
Purna Chowdhury
Rathin Ghosh
P. McFarlen
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Storyline

A person comes to meet with Gauri Shankar Roy (Uttam Kumar) living in Kolkata. He introduces himself as a 'fauji Sardar' of Jhind, Jhind being a small kingdom in Madhya Pradesh. He says that the to-be king of Jhind, Shankar Singh, is found missing from the kingdom right before his 'abhishek'(oath taking of a king) and this is apparently a conspiracy by his own brother Udit Singh, who wants the kingdom for himself. Earlier too there were two occasions when abhishek was arranged but both the times the king was found missing. Udit is a cruel hearted man, unfit to be a good king. Shankar Singh has his vices too but is a kind hearted person who would care for his citizens and is thus worthy to be the king. Now, coincidentally, Gauri has exactly the same appearance as Shankar Singh(also played by Uttam Kumar). This being the last hope, Sardar requests him to enact the role of the King for the abhishek until he finds the real king. Gauri agrees.The two set off for Jhind. Things aren't easy ... Written by Sourav Bagchi

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8 June 1961 (India)  »

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User Reviews

 
Another Classic from Tapan Sinha
30 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

Jhinder Bandi is a classic remake of the memorable tale of "The Prisoner Of Zenda" by Anthony Hope. It features a heavyweight star cast including the godfather of Bengali movies, Uttam Kumar, the suave Soumitra Chatterjee, Tarun Kumar, Sandhya Roy, and others.

The story has underwent certain location changes to incorporate the Indian feel about the movie. The princely state of Zenda in Germany becomes Jhind in Rajasthan. And the capital city of Strelsau becomes the City of Joy, Kolkata. But apart from that more or less everything is kept in theme. Uttam Kumar plays the unfortunate king/vagabond who is lured into portraying as the king. Although according to the book and the original Prisoner of Zenda(1937), John Cromwell's classic depicts the king to be lazy, ruthless and harsh Tapan Sinha's version portrayals an innocent naive king who probably happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Soumitra Chatterjee plays the swashbuckling commander-in-chief. Tapan Kumar plays the evil scheming younger prince.

The acting is nonetheless superb. With such high profile actors the movie is bound to be good, and it was. This was probably the first time that Soumitra Chatterjee was in a negative role and he plays it to inch perfection. Given his good looks on screen the sword fighting sequence towards the end makes it a remarkable visual display. Uttam Kumar in comparison although given a far larger screen time appears quite mellowed down. He has his moments but surprisingly it didn't affect me that much as did Soumitra Chatterjee's part. If Uttam Kumar is the grand old man of Bong movies then Sandhya Roy, is most definitely the grand old lady. She plays the love interest of the king of Jhind and even though this is not a movie about romance there is some reel time given to show their blossoming love. It was probably due to social pressure that he had to include those unnecessary bits, thereby cutting back on some precious reel time which could have featured some more dialogs between the two princes.

The soft soothing background music by Ali Akbar Khan is melodious to the ear. The camera work is superb. There are exquisite scenes of Rajasthan be it the rugged hills or the sandy desert or the brilliant lakes. It's a tragedy that no production house has offered to bring out a DVD (or even so a color version) of this movie. A movie of such giant proportion is fast fading out with old reels getting partially damaged/destroyed. Initiatives must be taken to protect such treasures.

A true classic from a gem of a director. 8/10 !!!


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