6 user 1 critic

Mandi (1983)

| Comedy, Drama | 1983 (India)
Forbidden love, fraying loyalties and flagrant hypocrisy emerge when sanctimonious politicians drive a madam's brothel from the heart of Hyderabad.


Shyam Benegal


Shama Zaidi (screenplay), Satyadev Dubey (screenplay) (as Pt. Satyadev Dubey) | 3 more credits »
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Shabana Azmi ... Rukmini Bai
Smita Patil ... Zeenat
Naseeruddin Shah ... Tungrus
Amrish Puri ... Darvish
Kulbhushan Kharbanda ... Mr. Gupta
Saeed Jaffrey ... Mr. Agarwal
Om Puri ... Ram Gopal
Sreela Majumdar Sreela Majumdar ... Phoolmani
Neena Gupta ... Vasanti
Gita Siddharth ... Shantidevi
Sunila Pradhan Sunila Pradhan ... Mrs. Gupta
Soni Razdan ... Bordello girl
Anita Kanwar ... Parveena
Ratna Pathak Shah ... Malti (as Ratna Pathak)
Pankaj Kapur ... Shantidevi's assistant


This classic film is based on a classic Urdu short story 'Aanandi' by Pakistani writer Ghulam Abbas. It deals with a brothel at the heart of a city, in an area that some politicians want for its prime locality. They rally up against the brothel and its inhabitants in the name of morality, and soon everyone in the area jumps on the bandwagon. The politicians offer to put up an alternative residence for the prostitutes, only this place is miles away, isolated from the city. The madam of the house has no choice but to comply, but by the end things take a (logical) turn for the better. After all, men will be men. Written by ajmal hussain <ajmalsaab@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Naseeruddin accepted the film without asking any questions. This was due to his guilt for saying no to Benegal for Kalyug. See more »


Zabaane badalti hain
Sung by Asha Bhosle
See more »

User Reviews

Tale In The Marketplace
6 February 2010 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

Shyam Benegal, one of the finest filmmakers, tells the whimsical story of a group of prostitutes struggling against the 'city' who wants to have them thrown out in order to replace their brothel with development projects. 'Mandi' is a splendid comedy comedy. The humour is subtle and dry which is a refreshing change from the usual slapstick witnessed so often in Indian 'masala' films. Plus, they had me laughing out loud. While the film reflects the hypocrisy of society, it doesn't preach to anyone in particular. All the characters, even those with very limited screen time, are interesting. 'Mandi' mainly centres around Rukmini, the madam of the brothel (played by a spellbinding Shabana Azmi), and her 'apprentice' Zeenat (Smita Patil in another riveting performance). The other colourful characters include Tungrus (Rukmini's royal servant - played by a terrific Naseeruddin Shah), the hypocritical superficial social worker from the women's association and her assistant (a hilarious Pankaj Kapur), a horny photographer (a superb Om Puri), a Darvish (the one and only Amrish Puri), a businessman (a great Kulbhushan Kharbanda), a sympathetic businessman with a secret (the dependable Saeed Jaffrey), a deaf novice (a brilliant Sreela Majumdar), a mentally underdeveloped bride-to-be (Ratna Pathak) and many more. The union of all these characters creates the unique story that is 'Mandi'. The writing and dialogues are cleverly done. Given the long running time, 'Mandi' remains entertaining and thought-provoking from start to finish. There's nothing too complex about it. It's a simplistic story and, like with any Benegal film, a worthy cinematic experience except that this time you'll be laughing more than you'd expect.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

1983 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Market Place See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Blaze Film Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed