Watch Khandhar

"The Ruins"
  • 1983
  • 7.3  (293)

Khandhar is a 1984 Indian drama film directed by Mrinal Sen. The movie stars Shabana Azmi, Annu Kapoor, and Pankaj Kapur in the lead roles. The film is known for its poignant story, powerful performances, and beautiful cinematography. The story revolves around a photographer named Chhayla (Shabana Azmi) who goes to a small village to attend a friend's wedding. She is accompanied by her friend, Vikas (Annu Kapoor), and her driver, Bishan (Pankaj Kapur). When they reach the village, they find that the wedding has been called off due to the groom's sudden death. The trio decides to stay in the village for a few days until the next train arrives.

During their stay, they come across a decaying mansion. They are intrigued by the beauty of the mansion and its surroundings. As they explore the mansion, they meet the lonely and mysterious woman, Jamini (Gita Sen), who lives there. It is gradually revealed that Jamini was once a famous actress who left her career and moved to the village to live a reclusive life.

As Chhayla and her companions spend more time with Jamini, they begin to unravel the tragedies that have befallen her. Khandhar explores themes of isolation, loneliness, and unfulfilled desires. The film also highlights the urban-rural divide in India and the contrast between the fast-paced city life and the slow-paced rural life.

Khandhar is a visual masterpiece, with Mrinal Sen's direction and the stunning cinematography by K.K. Mahajan, capturing the beauty and serenity of the village. The film's haunting music by Vanraj Bhatia adds to the overall melancholic tone of the movie.

The performances of the lead actors are exceptional, with Shabana Azmi delivering a nuanced portrayal of Chhayla. She perfectly captures the character's vulnerability and her unspoken desires. Annu Kapoor's performance as Vikas, the sarcastic and witty friend, provides much-needed relief from the film's otherwise eerie atmosphere. Pankaj Kapur's portrayal of Bishan, the driver, is understated yet impactful.

Khandhar was widely acclaimed upon its release and won several awards including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. It was also screened at several international film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival.

To conclude, Khandhar is a must-watch for lovers of arthouse cinema. It's a slow-burning, introspective film that explores the complexities of the human condition. The film's haunting visuals, powerful performances, and melancholic music create a memorable cinematic experience.

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    7.3  (293)