wiki:Mahal

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Mahal

1949 162’ b&w Hindi-Urdu d/s Kamal Amrohi pc Bombay Talkies lyr Nakshab c Josef Wirsching m Khemchand Prakash lp Ashok Kumar, Madhubala, Kumar, Vijayalakshmi, Kanu Roy

Amrohi’s debut is now considered a Hindi classic. It is a complicated ghost story psychodrama choreographed by Lachhu Maharaj and featuring hero Shankar (A. Kumar), who moves into an abandoned mansion that has a tragic history. He notices his resemblance to a portrait of the mansion’s former owner and sees the ghost of the man’s mistress Kamini (Madhubala) who tells him he must either die if they are to be united or that he must marry her reincarnation, the gardener’s daughter, Asha. His friend Shrinath (Roy) tries to break the obsession by arranging Shankar’s marriage to Ranjana (Vijayalakshmi). However, Shankar’s obsession continues to the distress of his new bride who is expected, among other things, to live in a snake- and bat-infested hut. Ranjana commits suicide, accusing Shankar of the deed, but the truth comes out in the courtroom drama when the gardener’s daughter admits to having masqueraded as the ghost. Shankar is nevertheless condemned to death for Ranjana’s murder but in a strange reversal of fortunes, transfers his obsession to Asha: instead of being fascinated by a dead woman, he is now the near-ghost fascinated by the living Asha. The deep-focus photography is perhaps German cameraman Wirsching’s best work in his career at Bombay Talkies. It is complemented by a remarkably advanced soundtrack. The film includes the song hit, Ayega aanewala (sung by Lata Mangeshkar and regarded as a turning-point in her career), used as a leitmotif for the ghost.

Film