With King Ranjit visiting him, King Sohat sees an opportunity to kill his young cousin and take over his kingdom. One of Sohat's henchmen fells Ranjit with a poisoned arrow, making it look like a simple hunting accident. Ranjit is taken to the home a healer who has withdrawn from society and lives in a simple hut with his beautiful daughter Sunita. Ranjit survives and love blossoms between between him and Sunita and they are soon engaged. Sohat now sees an opportunity not only to get control of Ranjit's kingdom but also Sunita as his own bride. On eve of Ranjit wedding, Sohat challenges him to a game of dice. Ranjit heartily agrees not realizing Sohat is using crooked dice.Written by
Re-titled a "Throw of the Dice" (and appropriately subtitled "A Romance of India") for American consumption, this late-term silent film was doomed to failure as it did not feature Greta Garbo or Charlie Chaplin in the non-speaking roles. But, its dreamy production values and international flavor played well in theaters not equipped for sound, and audiences in India were understandably receptive. The story begins in the Indian jungle, where pretty Seta Devi (as Sunita) has been secreted by a hermitic father.
You will immediately see that hiding the fetchingly-attired Ms. Devi from society isn't going to last because the area also serves as tiger hunting grounds for two ruling cousins - "Good King" Charu Roy (as Ranjit) and "Bad King" Himansu Rai (as Sohat).
In the opening hunt, the latter shoots the former "accidentally on purpose" with an arrow. The former unexpectedly recovers, due to the tender loving care provided by Devi. So, if he is to steal nubile young woman from Mr. Roy, Mr. Rai must take more drastic measures, which he does. The cousins' mutual affection for gambling advances the plot to predictable results.
Irony exists in the line, "I know from your horoscope that gambling will bring you unhappiness." The film's main strengths are its beautiful locations, sets, and costumes. All of this will probably bore you, if you're not familiar with silent films.
***** Prapancha Pash (8/16/29) Franz Osten ~ Seta Devi, Charu Roy, Himansu Rai, Modhu Bose
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