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This is another one of those films by Director Kama Amrohi that took its own time in the making, if his earlier film 'Pakeezah' took 14 long years to be completed and released, this was no less. It took 7 years to finally reach the audience.
The story of Razia Sultan
The film is based on history.Kamal Amrohi is supposed to have taken a long time to put together the facts and come up with a story for this film.
Razia Sultan(Hema Malini) was the daughter of Iltutmush who belonged to the Turkish Seljuks ancestry. She had all the qualities of an efficient ruler and was more competent than her brothers who were more interested in womanising and booze.
Sultan Iltutmush(Pradeep Kumar) selected Razia Sultan, as his successor.This decision of the King made the Queen(Veena) who was Razia Sultan's stepmother and her stepbrothers very unhappy and angry.They plot to take revenge against her and her Ethiopian slave named Jalal-ud-din Yaqut( Dharmendra), who she trusted completely.She and Yaqut were lovers according to legend, and the rest of the story of this film deals with the intricate plotting of the brothers and the stepmother to oust her from the throne...
My views on this film
This film, on the First and only female Sultan of Delhi (1236-1240) and her speculated love affair with the Abyssinian slave Jamal-ud-Din Yakut, was earlier made into a film in 1961, with lesser known actors like Jairaj and Nirupa Roy and it was a flop.It had some melodious songs,and that is probably the only reason why people still remember the film.Apparently,Kamal Amrohi was discouraged by many people from the film Industry not to make this film, but he went ahead and made it..
Kamaal Amrohi planned this film on a grand scale with a lot of fan fare, like all his earlier film.But Kamal Amrohi is known for his extreme slow pace of work, he had earlier taken 14 years to complete the Magnificent 'Pakeezah'.Once the film got delayed the stars began to loos e interest in the film, with hema Malini openly criticsing him while making the film and later...Razia Sultan was finally released in 1983 to a luke warm response, unlike Pakeezah it never recovered..
I personally rate this film as one of the better made films of the eighties or for that matter one can easily say that it is a classic in its own right.It is as magnificent and spectacular as his earlier film Pakeezah .
The film had stars like Dharmendra and Hema Malini in the lead role .It also had other stars like Pradeep Kumar,Parveen Babi,Veena and Bindiya Goswamy.
This film will be remembered more as a Kamal Amrohi film.Lets face it, Hema Malini, though a Superstar comes nowhere close to the leading ladies of his earlier films- Madhubala and Meena Kumari were Great actresses with ethereal beauty and awesome talent.
The same goes for Dharmendra who is not of the same calibre as the older stars like Ashok kumar or Raj Kumar
The major attraction of the film was its music by the Great composer Khayyam.In fact a couple of tunes that were composed by Ghulam mohammad for pakeezah were used here in this film..
Kamaal Amrohi again took his own time in finding the right music director in khayyam.It was well worth the effort as the music was simply superb, very melodious with superlative lyrics and fabulous picturisation.The best song of the film was 'Yeh dil-e-naadan' sung by Lata mangeshkar ,picturised on hema Malini, which is easily one of the best picturised songs ever on hindi films.
This film had everything that was right in my opinion,the Stars, songs excellent direction and fantastic picturisation.But the delay made it loose out on being a hit with the audience ,because by then the audience taste had changed ..it was an era of gaudy films with loud sets and cheap lyrics and racy plots.
There was an advent of newcomers who were signing films left right and centre and ready to go to any length to be noticed.It was definitely not the right time for an Elegant and Regal film like Razia Sultan.
Razia Sultan gave a lot of clout to Actors Hema Malini and Dharmendra , to be associated with a film of this calibre..It was also released at the height of their romance and marriage .
I am sure it has been appreciated by a different class of audience and rated very highly by the critics.It is now gone to become the last Classic film that came from Kamal Amrohi.He died soon after the release of the film which wiped out all his resources, and his sons who were co producers had to take over the burden as well. ..
I hear that after its release on DVD it has been doing rather well, especially now, when there is a lot of interest for older films..
I personally rate this as a class film.It is a long film at 176 mins and slow moving as most historic films tend to do, with a lot of chaste Urdu and Hindi dialogue, but again , that is what makes it so special and lifts it several notches above the ordinary films.Every scene has been treated with Amrohi's special touch.
This is a must see film for all those who appreciate good quality cinema.
List of songs
Aye Dil E Nadan - Lata Mangeshkar
Jalta Hai Badan - Lata Mangeshkar
Aye Khuda Shukr Tera - Kabban Mirza
Aaee Zanjeer Ki Jhankaar -Kabban Mirza
Khwab Bankar Koi Aayega - Lata mangeshkar
== DVD details==
Starring: Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Praveen Babi,Pradeep kumar,Veena.
Producer: A.K. Mishra
Movie Director: Kamal Amrohi
Year Released: 1983