indian cinema heritage foundation

Bhranti Bilas (1963)

  • GenreComedy
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageBengali
  • Run Time100 min
  • Length3096 meters
  • Number of Reels12
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number35667
  • Certificate Date22/05/1963
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Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors lends itself perfectly to Indian cinema’s fondness for the trope of siblings separated at birth. Two pairs of twins, Chiranjib and Chiranjit, and Bhakti and Shakti Kinkar are separated in a boat-wreck. Chiranjit grows up in a small town and lives with his wife and sister-in-law Bilashini, with one of the Kinkars as his servant. Chiranjib lives in Kolkata with his mother and the other Kinkar and is involved in the lumber business. 
One day Chiranjit leaves his house in great anger due to his wife’s demands for a new necklace. Unknown to him, Chiranjib and the other Kinkar arrive at the same time in his town on some business. Hilarity and confusion ensues as the two pairs of twins are constantly mistaken for each other, causing great consternation for Chiranjit’s family. Complicating matters is the growing attraction between Chiranjib and Bilashini (who thinks Chiranjib is her brother-in-law). The necklace also adds to the chaos when it is passed on to the wrong twin by the jeweller. Distressed by the bizarre happenings Chiranjit’s family feels they must be possessed by ghosts and even arrange for an exorcism. After many amusing encounters, the denouement of the film brings the twins face to face with each other. When they visit their mother in Kolkata, their tragic past finally comes to light. Chiranjib and Chiranjit were two twin brothers, while the Kinkars had been adopted by their parents. When travelling on a boat due to terrible floods, the boat carrying their father and one pair of twins capsized. Their mother lived under the impression that they must have perished in the waters. Fortunately they were discovered and raised by Bilashini’s parents. The film reaches a happy resolution as the family is reunited. Chiranjib and Bilashini also find no more cause to hide their feelings for each other. 
The Comedy of Errors has also been adapted into two other films, Do Dooni Char (1968) starring Kishore Kumar and Gulzar’s Angoor (1982).  

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