indian cinema heritage foundation

Dulla Bhatti alias Annhi Jawani (1940)

  • Release Date26/04/1940
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguagePunjabi
  • Run Time178 min
  • Length4876.8 meters
  • Number of Reels18
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor Certificate NumberP306-Lahore
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Dulla Bhatti, is a tale of a true warrior of Punjab who fought for love, honour and liberty.

In a romantic old village in Punjab not so far away from Lahore, a boy, later known as Dulla Bhatti, was born to the widow of Farid, an out-law. Haidri, the son of Agha Sikandri, the then Governor of Lahore, and Dulla were both nursed in the village, by Dulla’s mother. The day came when the lads had to part and with many a tear and vows of faithfulness from both, Haidri returned to his father’s palace, to be coached in the affairs of the state, while Dulla went his own way.

Dulla grew up to be handsome and robust, but an utterly carefree and irresponsible youth, who is constantly playing pranks on the village girls, until one day in a fit of rage, Nooran, the village beauty, taunts him to go and avenge the death of his father by the Governor of Lahore, who had hanged him, instead of fooling around with the girls and this awakens him to manhood. Dulla vows to take his revenge.

                        

Dulla’s daring exploits are the talk of the town, how he robs the rich and distributes his loot among the poor is what everyone seems to be talking about. News of Dulla’s lawlessness reaches the court at Lahore, but Haidri, refusing to believe the wild stories told about his friend, sets out to pay Dulla a visit. Arriving at the village, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful girl, who refuses to reveal her name to him. Dulla soon meets Haidri and they are overjoyed to have met after so long. Haidri soon reveals his love for the village girl he just met and Dulla promises him her hand without even knowing that the girl Haidri is talking about is Nooran, the same girl Dulla is in love with.

Haidri persuades Dulla to make peace with his father, and so the pair, accompanied by Posti, set out for Lahore. At the Governor’s place he refuses to bow his head in respect and this enrages Agha Sikandari who openly insults Dulla. Dulla in turn declares his resolve to unleash lawlessness until he avenges the death of his father.  Haidri steps in and after a lot of difficulty secures his friend’s release.

Shortly after, news again reaches the palace in Lahore, of the terror which Dulla is spreading at the countryside hearing which Sikandari sends his General Mirza Khan and his soldiers to attack Dulla’s village and capture the offender.

Meanwhile Haidri pines for the beautiful village maiden, whose portrait he had painted. Birbal, who is attached to the Governor’s young son decides to visit Dulla with the portrait of the girl Haidri painted to remind him of his promise.

The day Mirza Khan attacks their village is the day Dulla and Nooran were to get married. The couple have to unwillingly part ways because Dulla has to go to war and Nooran, frantic about the welfare of the village, leads the men to war. But Nooran is defeated and captured by Mirza Khan. Posti, in a great frenzy, finds Dulla and tells him about the devastating news, whereon, desperate, Dulla attacks Mirza’s camp, rescues Nooran and makes the villainous General his captive.

That same evening, while Dulla’s wedding preparations are once again in full swing, Birbal arrives and claims the fulfillment of Dulla’s promise to his friend, Haidri. On seeing the portrait and discovering that the girl in question is his own Nooran, the young lad’s heart is torn in two pieces; he now has to choose between love and honour. Great is the conflict in his heart, but Dulla rises supreme, and, crushing his own longings, sacrifices his love and offers her hand to his friend. Utterly miserable and broken-hearted, Nooran accompanies Birbal on the path which leads her to a new bridegroom- further and further away from Dulla who is dearer to her than life itself…. Still greater pathos and tragedy unfold as this story reaches its soul-searing, and breath-taking climax.  

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