Director: K. Narayan Kale; Writer: K. Narayan Kale, Narottam Vyas; Cinematographer: V. Avadhoot; Cast: Shanta Apte, Leela Chitnis, Prahlad, Karuna Devi, Chandramohan, Ulhas, Master Chhotu, Vasant Desai, Gajendra
Kale’s debut direction mixes Prabhat’s baroque period movie style (cf. Amritmanthan, 1934
) with the primitivist iconography of Hollywood’s biblical epics. The setting vaguely evokes an ancient Aryan society ruled by Kodandavarma (Chandramohan), a dictator committed to the ideals of Aryan justice. A stone statue of Justice collapses, threatening to crush many slaves. The situation is saved by the youthful Jeevan (Prahlad), the king of an aboriginal tribe. Jeevan then falls in love with Princess Jayanti (Chitnis). Although mainly a romance, the film also addresses ideals of justice and morality. Its key characters include the villainous vice boss Madhuvrat (Chhotu) who plots against Kodandavarma and entraps Uttam (Ulhas), the designated heir to the throne, and the dancing girl Lata (Apte) who is forced to seduce Uttam so as to alleviate the slaves’ suffering. The film was known even at the time of its release for Kale’s innovative screenplay and esp. for the nonsense rhymes of the drinkers at Madhuvrat’s bar.