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aka Vicious Circle 1980 140’ col Hindi d Rabindra Dharmaraj p Manmohan Shetty, Pradeep Uppoor pc Neo Films st Jaywant Dalvi’s Marathi novel (1963) sc/dial Shama Zaidi, Javed Siddiqui lyr Madhosh Bilgrami c Barun Mukherjee m Hridayanath Mangeshkar lp Smita Patil, Naseeruddin Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Ranjit Choudhury, Anjali Paingankar, Savita Bajaj, Uttam Sirur, Rohini Hattangadi

Predating Salaam Bombay (1988) by several years, Dharmaraj’s only feature (he died in 1981) provides a less idealised look at Bombay’s slum-dwellers. Amma (Patil) and her son Benwa (Choudhury) move to Bombay’s slums when her husband killed a moneylender who tried to rape her. The husband was then shot trying to steal some tin to build a hut. In Bombay, she lives with the vain pimp and petty crook Lukka (Shah), Benwa’s idol. Lukka is banned from Bombay by the police and Benwa marries the young Chenna (Paingankar). Amma acquires another lover, a truck driver (Kharbanda), and becomes pregnant. Lukka reappears, ravaged by syphilis and drugs; he kills a chemist to feed his habit and hides in Amma’s hut. The cops find him and arrest both him and Benwa, beating them up in the process. Amma has a miscarriage in the scuffle. In the end, bulldozers arrive to flatten the entire slum area. Patil gives her best ‘realistic’ performance and some shots of her moving unrecognised among Bombay’s slum-dwellers were taken with a hidden camera (Do Bigha Zameen, 1953, had made the same claims).