indian cinema heritage foundation

Rangin Raten (1956)

  • GenreRomance, Drama
  • FormatBlack and White
  • LanguageHindi
  • Shooting LocationShree Sound Studios, Bombay, Ranikhet

Rangeen Raaten refers to the nights of glamour and entertainment that the Moti Bai Touring Talkies promised to villages in the Kumaon region. They stage shows where the girls dance and sing to entertain, while men in the troupe indulge in criminal activities of kidnapping innocent village girls to sell them off in faraway cities. 

The plot of the film revolves around simple village folk Mala, her brother Gulu, their cranky old aunt and Kamla. The story begins with their ill mannered aunt leaving for pilgrimage ordering Mala and Gulu to look after the house, while making hurtful remarks at poor blind Kamla for being a burden to them. 

Mala and Gulu are extremely affectionate towards Kamla and happen to ask her about the past. In a series of flashback sequences we get to know about the time Kamla lived with her uncle who was a Hakim. The Hakim’s assistant Gulab would often flirt with Kamla and eventually wins over the shy and demure girl. Gulab was not without his vices, he was both a gambler and drunkard. Soon after their marriage Kamla is tortured by her mother in law and thrown out of the house, Gulab leaves her for better prospects in the city. Hopeless and in despair Kamla tries to poison herself but her uncle saves her life, however she loses her already poor eyesight completely. 

The siblings, Mala and Gulu are affected by the woeful story and try to track down Gulab for Kamla’s sake and discover he now works with Moti Bai Touring Talkies. As the touring talkies set up a show in Mala’s village, we are introduced to what they actually do and their ace kidnapper, a hard-hearted man named Moti Singh who is seen abducting a poor single mother from the village. The members of the troupe are arrested shortly by the local police, only to be bailed out by Gulu so that Kamla and Gulab can finally reunite. The members of the troupe along with Gulab are brought home by Gulu. Moti Singh and Mala meet and their chemistry sparks off instantly. 

But Moti Singh is not a hero, he is a criminal who lures innocent women and sells them for money. So where will this tale of romance lead to? Will Moti Singh be worthy of Mala’s trust and mend his nefarious ways? Will Gulab and Kamla find happiness? These questions make up for the tragic tale of Rangeen Raten, directed by Kidar Sharma under the banner of Ambitious Pictures with soulful music by Roshan.