indian cinema heritage foundation

Ankush (1986)

  • Release Date21 July 1986
  • GenreDrama
  • FormatColour
  • Run Time138 min
  • Length4084.95 meters
  • Number of Reels15
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingA
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Ravi and his three friends are unemployed and spend their days loitering around in their neighbourhood. They feel alienated from society and disillusioned about their prospects in life. They have violent tendencies and regularly get into gang fights. Despite this, they try to help those in need. Suddenly they are evicted from the house they had occupied and new tenants, Anita and her grandmother, move in. Initially resentful of their presence, Anita’s helpful and kind nature eventually wins them over. Anita also learns that each of them was forced into their meandering lives by their circumstances. Anita often gets into fights with her employer Saxena at the factory because she picks the workers’ side over the management’s. Saxena is warned by his industrialist friend Gupta that Anita could be dangerous for their interests. When Anita discovers further proof of Saxena’s wrongdoings, she is falsely accused and terminated form her job. Saxena, Gupta and their goons rape her as well. 
A devastated Anita stops Ravi and his friends from resorting to violence in retaliation. Anita chooses to take recourse to law to fight for injustice, only to realise that Saxena and Gupta are well protected because of their wealth and influence. With her faith in the system broken, Anita commits suicide. Ravi and his friends track Saxena and Gupta for six months before murdering them one by one. In court, Ravi declares that their intention was not mere revenge, but to put a stop to the misuse of power by the wealthy. When Saxena’s young child, traumatised by his father’s death, steals a gun and tries to shoot them in court, Ravi realises that their act of violence has bred only fear and loathing. They confess to their crimes and accept that their path was wrong. They are sentenced to death by the court, despite their acts winning over the support of the similarly oppressed. 


The film was inspired by Gulzar’s 1971 film Mere Apne and was a surprise box office success in 1986.