Director: A.R. Kardar; Writer: A.R. Kardar; Cinematographer: Krishna Gopal; Cast: Madhuri, Prithviraj Kapoor, Charlie, Khatun, Sitara Devi, Lala Yakub
Kardar went against the studio's usual brand of family melodrama with this story about a psychotic doctor in an asylum. Tricked into marrying Chhaya (Khatun), believing he is to marry her more beautiful sister Parvati (Madhuri), Dr Vasant (Kapoor) becomes a sexually obsessed maniac who injects Parvati with a drug that renders her insane. He then keeps her in his asylum where he continues to brutalise her. Intended as a critique of resurgent neo-traditionalism among the educated younger generation, the grotesque depiction of masculinity associated with modern medicine severely undercuts the implied critique of the methods used to arrange marriages, while women simply remain victims. In fact, the victimisation of women is portrayed with such gusto that the film ends up raising more disturbing questions about the way grotesque masculine sexuality pervades the very fabric of the film. Kardar's Pooja
(also 1940) offers a more considered treatment of the ravages wrought by feudal sexual codes.