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aka The Machine Age 1980 152’ col Hindi d/co-s Shyam Benegal p Shashi Kapoor pc Film Valas co-s Girish Karnad c Govind Nihalani m Vanraj Bhatia lp Shashi Kapoor, Rekha, Anant Nag, Raj Babbar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Victor Bannerjee, Vinod Doshi, Vijaya Mehta, Supriya Pathak, Sushma Seth

Following on from the work of Ghatak and Shahani, Benegal essayed an ‘epic’ movie by transferring famous episodes from the Mahabharata to contemporary industrial society in order to explore, in his words, ‘human values as they exist today in the modern world’. The result is a crime movie about a feud between two industrial families, the Puranchands and the Khubchands, which escalates into violence and murder by contract. Karan Singh (Kapoor) is killed while changing a car tyre, referring to Karna, the tragic son of Kunti and the Sun god in the original epic, who was killed when his chariot wheel got stuck; other mythological characters become income tax inspectors raiding the Rekha’s character’s house, rummaging in her cupboard and fingering her underwear.