7.6/10
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18 user 6 critic

Amal (2007)

When Amal impresses an eccentric millionaire with his humility and humanity, he unknowingly becomes the old man's beneficiary.

Director:

Richie Mehta

Writers:

Shaun Mehta (short story "Amal: The Autorickshaw Wallah"), Richie Mehta | 4 more credits »
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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rupinder Nagra ... Amal Kumar
Naseeruddin Shah ... G.K. Jayaram
Seema Biswas ... Sapna Agarwal
Koel Purie ... Pooja Seth (as Koël Purie)
Vik Sahay ... Vivek Jayaram
Roshan Seth ... Suresh Gupta
Tanisha Chatterjee Tanisha Chatterjee ... Priya
Amardeep Jha ... Radha Kumar
Dr. Shiva Dr. Shiva ... Dr. Shiva
Gurpreet Chana Gurpreet Chana ... Gurpreet Singh Chana the Tabla Guy (as Gurpreet Singh Channa 'The Tabla Guy')
Siddhant Behl Siddhant Behl ... Harish Jayaram
Maya Mankotia Maya Mankotia ... Simran Jayaram
Asif Ali Haider Khan Asif Ali Haider Khan ... Raju
Sanjiv Chopra ... Thakur the Godfather
Jaswant Sethi Jaswant Sethi ... Kussan
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Storyline

Autorickshaw driver Amal is content with the small, but vital, role he serves - driving customers around New Delhi as quickly and safely as possible. But his sense of duty is tested by an eccentric, aging billionaire, who, moved by Amal's humility, bequeaths him his entire estate before passing away. With only one month to discover and claim the inheritance, Amal's struggles with duty and wealth are threatened by all those around him - from a young injured beggar girl and a lovely store merchant, to the danger of the old man's upper-caste friends and siblings, all seeking to claim their share of the riches. Written by Steven N. Bray

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes the poorest of men are the richest...

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

Hindi | English

Release Date:

8 August 2008 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Rikszarz Amal See more »

Filming Locations:

New Delhi, Delhi, India See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$56,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Amal had a budget of 56 Million USD. See more »

Connections

Remake of Amal (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Priya Hospital
Written by Gurpreet Chana (as Gurpreet Singh Chana)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A charming O'Henry-like tale
14 September 2008 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Following the legacy of his deceased father, Amal Kumar (Rupinder Nagra) turned down a higher paying job at the post office to drive an auto-rickshaw on the streets of Dehli, India. Maneuvering daily through crowded streets daily to barely eke out a living, Amal is good natured to a fault, refusing to accept tips and always charging the meter rate. Shot on location in India by a Canadian and Indian crew, Richie Mehta's low-budget feature Amal is a charming O'Henry-like tale about class, wealth, and family in India. It is a very worthy first effort that captures the frenetic street life of the city of Dehli and provides a sense of immediacy in the style of Michael Winterbottom, but without the hand-held camera cliché.

When Amal refuses to accept a tip and offers cough drops to a gruff old man dressed in rags, G.K. Jayaram (Raseeruddin Shah), the man is convinced he has finally found a good man, a man of principle. When the old man dies suddenly, his family discovers that he has done something no one expected. Though we hear G.K. beautifully singing a traditional song in a café, we are still astonished when the eccentric old man turns out to be a man of means who leaves his fortune to Amal, though the rickshaw driver remains totally unaware of these events. The story concerns how the old man's request is handled by his business partner Suresh (Roshan Seth), his lawyer Sapna Agarwal (Seema Biswas), and his scheming sons Harish (Siddhant Beh) and Vivek (Vik Sahay) who simply want what they feel is owed to them.

G.K.'s will contains instructions that his assets will remain locked for thirty days until Amal can be found and the dead man's attorney sets out to locate Amal, not an easy attack in a city with thousands of Amals. Then again, it might be in his attorney's best interests not to find him: if Amal doesn't show up within thirty days, G.K.'s fortune will revert to his sons, with whom Suresh has a secret deal. A few subplots spice up the intrigue over the will but serve only to reinforce the film's underlying message.

Amal's develops a romantic interest in Pooja Seth (Koel Purie), a passenger he picks up every day and becomes devoted to the health of a young girl who is run over and injured by his rickshaw while begging in the streets,. Filmed in English and Hindi, Amal was inspired by a real-life experience and story idea by his brother, Shaun Mehta. Together they turned it into a short and then expanded it into a full-length feature in time for the Toronto Film Festival in 2007. While its theme of happiness trumping wealth has been done many times, Amal feels original and an impressive performance from Toronto actor Nagra holds the film together.


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