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Koyla (1997)

A village girl agrees to a marriage to a king she has never met after he sends her a photograph of himself. But the man in the photograph is not the king but his most loyal slave, the handsome but mute Shankar.


Rakesh Roshan


Sachin Bhowmick (screenplay) (as Sachin Bhaumick), Ravi Kapoor (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shah Rukh Khan ... Shanker
Madhuri Dixit ... Gauri
Amrish Puri ... Raja Saab
Ranjeet ... Dilawar
Salim Ghouse ... Brijwa
Deepshika Nagpal ... Bindya (as Deepshikha)
Ashok Saraf ... Vedji
Jack Gaud ... Ranbir
Suresh Chatwal ... Gauri's uncle
Mohnish Bahl ... Ashok - Gauri's brother (as Mohnish Behl)
Ram Mohan ... Oldman
Kunickaa Sadanand ... Raseli (as Kunika)
Himani Shivpuri ... Chandabai
Vikas Anand ... Haria
Pradeep Singh Rawat ... Police Commissioner (as Pradip Singh)


Mute Shankar slogs day and night to satisfy the lust of wealthy businessman Raja Saab who has underworld contact. Raja Saab would like to marry the young and street-wise, Gauri, however Gauri would like to see a picture of her would be husband but is instead shown Shankar's picture, she immediately falls in love with him and agrees to marry but at the wedding altar, Gauri gets a shock when she sees Raja Saab, refuses to continue with the rituals of the marriage and is locked forever in a room. Circumstances forced Shankar and Gauri to elope but both is caught by Raja and his men, who beats Shankar and throw him to his death and Gauri is taken back to Raja Saab mansion and must undergo preparations to get married to him. Written by gavin (gunmasterM@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

7 April 1997 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Coal See more »

Filming Locations:

Arunachal Pradesh, India


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,795, 26 January 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Film Kraft See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Stereo | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The prelude of the song "Frenny O Frenny" in KHATTA MEETHA (1981) later becomes the track "Tanhayee Tanhaaye Tanhaaye" in KOYLA (1997). See more »


Raja Saab: Bloody fool!
See more »


Ghunghte mein chanda
Music written by Rajesh Roshan
Lyrics written by Indivar
Performed by Udit Narayan & chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

YES! Bollywood insanity akin to cheesy U.S. 80's action films, but SUPERIOR!!!
17 April 2003 | by stevek69See all my reviews

"Bloody ape!!!", Rajasaheb (Amrish Puri) mutters.

Folks, Bollywood action films are NEVER merely action films--they are often a fabulously preposterous melding of action, romance, comedy, and musical genres INTO ONE FILM! In fact, many of the Bollywood films I've had the pleasure of seeing simply do NOT conform to any of the narrow genres that U.S. audiences are accustomed to. Sure, we have hybrids such as the "romantic-comedy" and "comedy-horror", and perhaps even "action-thriller-romance"...but we ain't got NOTHIN' equivalent to the glorious Bollywood-type films from south asia (India in particular).

One moment Koyla is a brutal action flick a la Bronson (gratuitous and graphic violence and carnage), the next moment Shah Rukh Khan is lip-syncing cheezy-yet-infectious pop music to the woman he loves (yes, my friends, musicals CAN kick butt), followed by Shah Rukh Khan's comedic thwarting of his persuers, only to be jolted back by the ruthlessness of Rajasaheb (an over-the-top-to-the-point-of-insanity performance by the veteran actor Amrish Puri, who played Mola Ram in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom").

Amrish Puri can certainly play a villain: but whereas the character of Mola Ram is a generic, arbitrary villain, the character of Rajasaheb is truly despicable because the audience witnesses the injustices he perpetrates. ("Give me a compelling reason to hate the bad guy and root for Indiana", I demanded. Spielberg fails to do so, and so i have always rooted for Mola Ram in "Temple of Doom". Similarly, I rallied behind the Decepticons and C.O.B.R.A. in my youth as a T.V. casualty. But honestly, what did you expect from a crapmaster like Spielberg?).

Ahh, Rajasaheb is a bad-guy you love to hate! Actually, "bad guy" is an understatement--he's a "loveable elderly sadist"--and I guarantee that you, too, will love to hate Rajasaheb! A convincing antagonist is a crucial ingredient for any action film because it drives the whole drama of the film. Unfortunately, few films successfully succeed in delivering a villain you love to hate. Koyla delivers.

Shah Rukh Khan is great as well and really hams up his performance playing Shanker. (I must, however, admit that i am a sucker for any film starring Shah Rukh Khan. I encourage you to see all his films--even the countless bollywood "romantic-comedies" that he is in--you will rarely be disappointed).

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN for one of the most ludicrous, ridiculous, & insanely POOR special effects occurring at the CLIMAX of this film. Without spoiling this cinematic delight, let me simply say that it involves an axe, slow-motion, etc... Even if we ignore the poorly executed FX, the heavy-handed use of slo-mo harkens back to the glory days of prime-cheeze-USA-action films circa 1980's.

SEE THIS FILM NOW. Even if you hate the film, you'll dig the musical sequences with the bangra-hindi-pop music. Yes, the actors are lip-syncing to other artists' songs--but you won't care.

Bonus trivia: "Koyla" means "coal", by the way. Now do you see the significance of the this film's title?

IF YOU LIKE KOYLA, but want more blood and less comedy, then I recommend Shakti: The Power (2002). Shah Rukh Khan has a minor part in it, providing the only levity in an otherwise brutal film (the spirit of Cannon's action films of the 80's lives on!!!)

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