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In Custody (1994) - Plot Summary Poster

(1994)

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  • An editor asks Deven, a teacher who loves Urdu poetry, to interview poet Nur Shahjehanabadi, an aging whale of a man. Deven goes to Bhopal from Mirpur to meet Nur, of whom he is in awe. He finds him living with feuding wives, visited by sycophants who drink his whisky and eat his food. Deven wants to record Nur for posterity and seeks funds to buy an aged tape recorder, to bribe Safiya, the elder wife, to get Nur into a room at a brothel for a week for the recording, and to feed Nur's pals who show up. Nur's beautiful second wife, Imtiaz, wants to be taken seriously as a poetess. Dever dismisses her and ignores his own wife and child much as Nur does. In the end, what is preserved?

  • One of India's renowned poets, Nur, now leads a comfortable life, surrounded by well-wishers, fellow-poets, several wives, and relatives. This is what struggling writer, Deven, expected to write about Nur when he was assigned to write about him. What he found was a grossly overweight male, surrounded by greedy friends and relatives, and three wives - one a bitter older woman, Safiya; second a neglected but talented one named Imtiaz, and the third, Sarla, a shrewd and calculating woman, who was selling Nur's poems as her own. Will Deven's presence initiate some change in Nur's lifestyle, or will Deven himself become one of Nur's lazy followers.


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