indian cinema heritage foundation

Parwana (1947)

  • Release Date1947
  • GenreSocial
  • FormatB-W
  • LanguageHindi
  • Run Time136 min
  • Length3631.38 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberB-36824
  • Certificate Date03/09/1947
  • Shooting LocationAmar Studios, Bombay
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The kind-hearted Inder shares a friendly relationship with a blind banana-seller in the market. He buys bananas from him every day and distributes them to the poor. He is known for his compassion and empathy for those less fortunate than him. He considers himself an elder brother to Sakina, the daughter of the blind banana-seller. Despite her harsh circumstances Sakina is a talented and jovial girl who makes a living by crafting beautiful toys for children. Inder’s parents are concerned about his aimlessness in life and wish to get him married. They arrange his marriage to Rupa, a daughter of a family friend. A reluctant Inder wishes to know Rupa’s choice but is disallowed from meeting her before the wedding. He is told Rupa has no choice in this matter, as she abides by her father’s words now and will obey her husband after the marriage. Inder is hesitant at first but is soon enchanted by Rupa’s beauty.

Sakina weaves a beautiful shawl as a gift for the newlywed Rupa. But Rupa discovers the shawl and thinks it is another woman’s gift to Inder. Inder’s habit of keeping irregular hours furthers her suspicions. One night Inder gets word that Sakina is seriously ill. He decides to bring her home to take better care of her. A young aunt of Sakina comes to drop her off, whom Rupa mistakes to be Sakina. This causes an argument between her and Sakina and she ends up slapping her. Inder witnesses this act and from then he refuses to speak to Rupa anymore. The resulting unhappiness and anxiety causes him to fall seriously ill. The doctors suggest a visit to the hills for a faster recovery. Inder also learns that Sakina has passed away from her illness.

Inder and Rupa travel to the hills to stay with their relatives. There Inder meets a vivacious young girl Gopi who stays in the neighbouring haveli with her brother Kishan. Kishan is in need of some money and senses an opportunity here. He asks Gopi to convince Inder and Rupa to stay in their haveli instead. Rupa, who by this time has realised her mistake and is truly repentant, senses the budding friendship between Inder and Gopi. She sees that Gopi’s company affects Inder for the better, and encourages her to take him for walks. But this intimacy between them makes the villagers spread salacious rumours about them. When Kishan learns of these he confronts Gopi and Inder. Inder tells him that he does love Gopi but not in the way he imagines. Kishan asks Inder to leave to preserve his family’s dignity.

Back in the city, Inder’s health deteriorates again. A devastated Rupa returns to the hills to fetch Gopi. She convinces Kishan to let her go in order to save her marriage. They forget to take Gopi’s feelings into account in the process. She had felt betrayed by Inder’s departure and is confused about their relationship. In the city she has an outburst in front of Inder which is overheard by his family. Inder’s family misunderstand the situation and insult her. Kishan takes her back to the hills to get her marriage arranged. On the day of her wedding Inder and Rupa arrive to give her blessings. When Gopi goes to meet him, Kishan misjudges and thinks she is trying to run away. A hilltop confrontation between Gopi, Kishan and Inder culminates in a deeply tragic end. Gopi accidentally falls from the cliff’s edge and dies. Despite her innocence she is branded as an infidel by society after her death. 

This was the final film of K.L. Saigal, the major singing star of the 30’s and 40’s.

Cast

Crew