indian cinema heritage foundation

Kalankini Kankabati (1981)

  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageBengali
  • Run Time105 minutes
  • Length3337.56 meters
  • Number of Reels12
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate Number94601
  • Certificate Date22/04/1981
  • Shooting LocationNew Theatres Studio

A courtesan Aparna arrives at the palace of king Raj Shekhar Rai. The king starts to develop feelings for Aparna who in turn loved Raghubir, the king's guard. The queen is aware of a family curse that has been passed down for generations. Relationship with a courtesan had always brought doom to the Rai kings. Hence, the queen sends her son Shekhar to Kolkata for higher education. She asks the king to remove Aparna from the palace but he is adamant. Meanwhile, the king comes to know about Aparna's affair with Raghubir and exiles him from his kingdom. Aparna is kept forcibly at his palace. Raghubir tries to rescue Aparna but the king chases them and kills Raghubir. Aparna is able to escape and is given shelter by a priest. There Aparna gives birth to Raghubir's daughter. Being informed about Aparna's hideout by a spy, the king forcibly snatches her child away. Years pass by and Shekhar returns from Kolkata. He chances to catch a glimpse of Kankabati, the grown-up daughter of Aparna and falls in love with her. He wants to marry Kankabati but cannot because he has already been married in his childhood. Shekhar's wife arrives at the palace but receives no love from Shekhar. Meanwhile, Kankabati meets Suryakanta, the son of the priest who had sheltered her mother for years. He tells her that her mother is alive and that their marriage has been promised by her mother as a token of gratitude. Kankabati agrees to go with Suryakanta. Meanwhile, Shekhar was listening to both of them and as they are about to escape, he shoots them both with his gun in the heat of the moment. Overwhelmed with guilt, Shekhar admits his crime and surrenders to the police. The king comes to know about this and tries to save his son. At that time Aparna arrives and pleads to the king to return her daughter. For the first time the king becomes aware of his sins. He is apologetic of his past actions and takes the blame of the murders on himself to protect his son from the law. The film ends with the king being taken away by the police. 

The film was co-directed by Uttam Kumar with his long time collaborator Pijush Bose. It was released posthumously after both of them had passed away. It is also the only film in which Uttam Kumar and Mithun Chakraborty starred together.