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Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986)

Not Rated | | Drama | 28 August 1986 (India)
Rani gets into trouble after the death of her husband, Trilok. Her mother in law all the time curses her. Her family's crises worsens with the arrest of her brother in law, Mangal. Now she ... See full summary »


Sukhwant Dhadda


Rajinder Singh Bedi (novel) (as Rajindersingh Bedi), Rajinder Singh Bedi (story) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hema Malini ... Ranno
Rishi Kapoor ... Mangal
Poonam Dhillon ... Raaji
Kulbhushan Kharbanda ... Trilok
Dina Pathak ... Jindhi
A.K. Hangal ... Trilok's dad (as A. K. Hangal)
Adarsh Gautam Adarsh Gautam ... Trilok's killer
Sourabh Shailee Sourabh Shailee
Soni Soni ... Guddi (as Sohni)
Gita Siddharth Gita Siddharth ... Channo (as Geeta Siddharth)
Tarla Mehta Tarla Mehta
Shammi ... Jelmi
Gopi Bhalla Gopi Bhalla ... Guy eating melons with Mangal
Neena Cheema Neena Cheema ... Guddi (Rani's daughter)
Hemraj Sharma Hemraj Sharma ... Village Panch at Trilok's Rasam Pagdi


Rani gets into trouble after the death of her husband, Trilok. Her mother in law all the time curses her. Her family's crises worsens with the arrest of her brother in law, Mangal. Now she has to feed her family from nothing. Moreover she also has a social insecurity due to her husband's death. How will her family recover? Written by Mohsin Ali Khan

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Not Rated






Release Date:

28 August 1986 (India) See more »

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Did You Know?


Hema malini is the only heroine with the track record of playing the romantic interest of all 5 Kapoor clan members of the time. Raj Kapoor in Sapnon ka Saudagar, Shammi Kapoor in Andaz, Randhir Kapoor in Haath ki Safai, Rishi Kapoor in this movie and Shashi Kapoor in 10 movies of which Trishul and Abhinetri were the most well known. See more »

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User Reviews

Keeping the soul of the literary work intact

Making a movie by adapting some novel or story or play is a delicate job with enormous responsibility attached to it because no filmmaker has a right to play with the spirit of the written work. That's why very few films have come in which the soul of the piece of literature which is its foundation, has been kept intact. Fortunately, Ek Chaadar Maili Si is one such movie.

Ek Chaadar Maili Si (a seemingly grimy sheathing) is the story of a poor Punjabi family in rural Punjab. The breadwinner of the family is Trilok (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) who earns on day-to-day basis by carrying passengers in his horse-cart. His parents are very old. While the ailing father (A.K. Hangal) is sober, the mother (Deena Paathak) is foul-mouthed and ill-mannered especially towards her daughter-in-law Raano (Hema Maalini). Trilok himself is a drunkard and ill-fated but internally very strong Raano has to suffer from domestic violence regularly in addition to the curses of her mother-in-law. She has two children. The son is a small child whereas the daughter Guddi (Neena Cheema) is growing up fast.

Amidst her non-stop sufferings and tears, Raano is able to steal moments of joy by interacting with neighbouring women and attending functions in the families of acquaintances. Her brother-in-law, i.e., Trilok's younger brother - Mangal (Rishi Kapoor) is another source of solace and smile in her sorry state of affairs. Mangal has a good nature and share a very jovial relationship with his Bhaabhi (sister-in-law), i.e., Raano. He is in love with a nomadic girl Raaji (Poonam Dhillon) but has not got matured enough to shoulder any responsibility. Now comes the adversity which falls on this already poor household like lightning.

Trilok gets murdered in the hands of a youth whose sister was raped by two licentious persons whom Trilok used to keep an association with. The youth who is from a well-off family is sentenced to imprisonment but Trilok's family is totally destroyed. Raano's mother-in-law's taunts and ill-treatment to her increase whereas Mangal now realizes his responsibility and starts running the horse-cart. However when he also has to face the lock-up due to a spat, life becomes just unbearable for Raano in the home with no money to make both ends meet.

When Mangal returns home, things start getting normal again but now the members of the village council (known as Punch) pressurize the family that Raano is married to Mangal so that the family remains united and intact and Raano may not have to endure widowhood for a lifetime. However these outside people are not able to understand that it's not possible for Raano and Mangal to look upon each other as man and wife. Anyway the decision is forced on them and Mangal loses the love of Raaji in turn.

It takes long for Mangal and Raano to accept each other as husband and wife. Similarly it takes long for Guddi, the grown-up daughter of Raano and Trilok to accept this relationship of her mother and her uncle. After a log of suffering for these characters, especially Raano, the movie finally ends on a happy note when the matrimonial alliance of Guddi is fixed.

Script-writers Phani Majoomdaar and Maakhan Singh have written the screenplay with utmost sincerity and director Sukhwant Dhaddha has done his job with even higher proficiency. Since I saw the movie first and read the novel later, I can safely say that the movie did complete justice to the literary work of Rajinder Singh Bedi. The soul of the novel speaks from every shot of the movie.

Hema Maalini despite her advancing years looks much more beautiful than the other female actresses many years junior to her. However this is a showcase of the dream-girl's acting talent. Every inch she appears the author's Raano and nothing else. The movie starts with her and ends with her only. She is the backbone of the whole story and her stellar performance is something to be cherished forever. All others including the charming Rishi Kapoor have also done very well.

The movie is an ocean of emotion and feelings. A highly sensitive movie in which every scene, every character and every dialog appear to be real. All the characters except those of Raaji and the killer of Trilok are real flesh and blood human-beings which we can see (or could see in that period of the sixties) in the real life.

The movie shakes the viewer deep within. The trauma of Raano is heart-piercing and her inner strength to sustain everything and still do her duty is exemplary. The complete milieu is realistic. Nothing appears to be unreal throughout the duration of the movie. The rural Punjab has come alive on the screen courtesy the locations chosen and the brilliant job done by the cinematographer. Anu Mali's music also brings Punjabi flavour with it.

However the climax is unconvincing and appears to be forced to make a happy ending to the sorrow-filled profound movie. Besides, the character of Mangal's sweetheart Raaji appears to have been given too much footage to insert song, dance and romance in the narrative because it's in undertone in the novel. It has nothing to do with the main track running with the family members also.

But then who is perfect ? The director deserves a big applause for making this movie which is nothing short of a masterpiece. It did not get its due though the novel had won the Saahitya Academy Award in 1965. It flopped on the box office and the critics also ignored it.

This movie is not meant for everybody also. Regular entertainment-seekers may find it heavy for their heart. This classic movie is mainly for those who like sensitive and meaningful cinema.

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