indian cinema heritage foundation

Milap (1955)

  • Release Date1955
  • GenreDrama
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time130 min

The calm life in a small village is suddenly shattered by the arrival of unexpected good news when a member of the community inherits a large fortune. The fortunate villager Raju is compelled to leave immediately for Bombay. Bewildered by the prospect of so much wealth and reluctant to face the city alone, he decides to take with him his irrepressible friend Kalu. 
On their arrival in Bombay, they are met by Karamcand, a suave lawyer who has been trusted with the property transfer. Quickly noticing his client’s naiveté, Karamchand decides to divert Raju’s wealth into his own pockets. Confusing and shocking the artless villager with riotous parties, intricate business matters, and involving him in the fast-paced life of the city, he carries out his plan. 
When Raju appeals to Karamchand to teach him the ways of life, he induces the villager to employ Asha, a lovely intelligent young woman as his secretary, in order to grant himself a veneer of urbanity. Raju is unaware that Asha has been employed by Karamchand to ensnare the villager with her charm and thus leave the way open for Karamchand to embezzle his wealth. 
Within a few months, Asha transforms the simple Raju into a sophisticated young man. Despite her best efforts, she is unable to change his outlook on life or destroy his innate honesty. As time goes by, she realizes that Raju’s affection means a great deal more to her than Karamchand’s tainted money. She finds herself in the unhappy situation of being in love with the man she is betraying. Seeing only one way out, she defies Karamchand, refusing to help him further in his attempts to rob Raju of his inheritance. 
Her change of heart prompts Karamchand to retaliate with blackmail. He threatens to reveal her duplicity unless she obtains a blank cheque from Raju. Asha adamantly refuses to comply, and Karamchand attacks her in a rage. Asha’s brother appears on the scene, and to save himself, Karamchand rushes to Raju. Careful to conceal his own guilt, he tells Raju of Asha’s treachery and the motive behind her pretense of love. Disgusted, Raju loses faith in the woman he loved. Broken by her deceitful behavior, he loses interest in life and faith in himself. 
To draw Raju out of his apathy, Karamchand desperately provides all kinds of amusement to divert him. But a disillusioned Raju refuses to indulge in the orgies Karamchand takes him to. Sickened by the evil his wealth has engendered, he begins to distribute enormous sums of money to the poor. Unable to bear this, Karamchand makes a last-ditch attempt to corner Raju and accuses him of being insane. Before the court of law, a world-weary Raju proves himself sane. He also discovers the extent of Karamchand’s crimes and Asha’s true nature. He learns at last that wealth can have but little relation to happiness.