Chandni Bar (2001) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Mumtaz is a village girl whose family is killed in communal riots. She moves to Mumbai with her uncle, the only family member she has left. They are desperately poor and her uncle persuades her to become a bar girl at Chandni Bar. This is merely temporary, he promises, until he gets a job. Mumtaz is a shy girl who loathes the work, but she forces herself to dance and flirt. However, the uncle doesn't keep his promise; he lives on her earnings, drinking them away, and never gets a job. He adds one final, unforgivable crime to the list when he gets drunk and rapes her. By this time she has caught the eye of a gangster called Potiya Sawant. When she tells Potiya what her uncle did to her, Potiya decides to "defend her honor." Potiya shoots the uncle. Mumtaz, bereft of any male protection in the dangerous slums, marries Potiya. She is determined to make the best of things. She leaves the bar and stays home to raise her two children, whom she carefully protects from the world of prostitution and gangs. However, her world unravels again when Potiya is killed. She has to return to the bar to support her children. In the end, she cannot protect them from their sordid surroundings. Her son becomes a killer, her daughter becomes a bar dancer in her turn, and Mumtaz turns to prostitution in a tragic attempt to save her son.

  • After her Sitapur (U.P.) home is burnt in the 1985 communal riots, Mumtaz (Tabu) relocates to Bombay accompanied by her one surviving relative, Irfan Mamu (Suhas Palsikar). Once there, they meet with Iqbal Chamdi (Rajpal Yadav), who arranges their accommodation, and gets her hired at Chandni Bar as a dancer, which she reluctantly accepts after being assured that it is only temporary. But when things don't change, she confronts her now-alcoholic uncle, who sexually molests her. Gangster Potya Sawant (Atul Kulkarni) has him killed, marries her, and they become parents of Abhay and Payal. She wants her children to get an education and adapt different professions than their parents. But things get out of control after Potya is killed in an "encounter", compelling her to return back to dancing. Years pass by, Abhay and Payal are now in their teens and attending school, while she works as a waitress. Then the unexpected happens - Abhay is arrested by the police for extortion and held in a Juvenile home. After her attempts to get him released go in vain, she approaches some power-brokers, who agree to do so for a price, which she must arrange in less than two days. She hustles and sells her body to obtain the money, but is still short. Then Payal takes up dancing at the bar, brings the rest of the money, and Abhay gets discharged. But her son is not the same - he is now cold, ruthless, and has only one purpose - vengeance. With her children's lives shattering - she must now find out what happened to her son - and what could be done to prevent him from becoming another gangster.

  • A displaced woman is forced to become a beer-bar dancer, and sire children of a gangster.


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