indian cinema heritage foundation
  • GenreAction
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Length3656.07 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor Certificate NumberB-25825
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This J.B.H. Wadia stunt film features Fearless Nadia in a double role in her last film for Wadia Movietone. The film begins in peaceful Himmatpur, where Dinanath and Radha live in blissful harmony with their identical twin daughters, Madhuri and Rani. Shivnath is a former suitor of Radha who was greatly angered by her rejection of his proposal. Jealous, he invades their home one night and shoots both Dinanath and Radha. He attempts to kidnap both the daughters, but the plucky Madhuri manages to elude him. The escaping Madhuri is found by the kindly Raibahadur Biharilal, while Rani is taken away by Shivnath. Unknown to either of them, their father Dinanath survives the attack.

Madhuri grows up in luxury with Biharilal’s daughter Bina. She is much given to athletic activities and eschews any discussion on love. Bina, on the other hand, is a romantic and is in a relationship with Ramesh. One day as she is out with her pet dog Gunboat, Madhuri hears cries of help from a house and goes in to investigate. She finds an unconscious man in a room as well as a picture of herself. But as she turns away the room transforms itself and the body disappears. Shivnath arrives at this moment and soon realises that this is the other daughter. Delighted at this fortunate turn of events he attempts to capture Madhuri. But Madhuri and Gunboat are more than a match for his goons. The sounds of their fight draw the attention of Niranjan and Agha, who arrive to help her out. Niranjan is attracted to Madhuri but she has no patience for his flirtatious advances.

Madhuri is intrigued by what she discovered in the house and is determined to probe further. Unbeknownst to her, the unconscious man was actually her father Dinanath who is now in Shivnath’s clutches. Shivnath shows him that his other daughter Rani has become a dancer in a night club and obeys his every bidding. One day Niranjan spots Rani leaving in a car and follows her to the nightclub, thinking she is actually Madhuri. But Madhuri too has arrived at the nightclub, disguised as a man. Niranjan is disgusted to see the woman he loves dancing in an immoral establishment. The spying Madhuri also spots Bina’s paramour Ramesh in the night club. Shivnath suspects that Niranjan is a CID agent and orders Rani to use her wiles on him. Niranjan, still under the impression that it is Madhuri, rejects her advances and reprimands her for her duplicity. As a hilarious fight breaks out in the night club, Shivnath is left fuming at this disruption of his illicit activities. He has Biharilal kidnapped thinking that this will force Madhuri to walk into his trap. Madhuri decides to use the confusion regarding the identical appearances to her advantage. She incapacitates Rani and takes on her appearance. She presents Rani as Madhuri and offers her as a prisoner to Shivnath. Shivnath, not suspecting this trickery, reveals Rani’s true identity to her.

Everything converges in the night club as Shivnath attempts to kill Madhuri. His plans are exposed to all and the police arrive to arrest him (as Ramesh reveals that he was actually the undercover CID agent). Shivnath knows his game is up, but still manages to fire one shot at Madhuri. Rani dives in front of Madhuri to save her from Shivnath’s bullet. Fatally wounded, she uses her last reserves to shoot and kill Shivnath. Rani dies in her true father’s arms, pleased that her last act was to save her sister. Her sacrifice allows Madhuri to build a happy life with Niranjan, bringing the film to its bittersweet ending.

Muqabla featured Babubhai Mistry’s ingenious use of split screen and back screen projection to create the images of twin sisters on screen. The innovative design of Shivnath’s lair, where a nightclub can transform itself to a living room in the blink of an eye, was also remarkable and influential in later set designs.

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