Jhinder Bondi

Jhinder Bondi (Bengali: ঝিন্দের বন্দী; English: Prisoner of Jhind) is a 1961 Indian Bengali-language historical drama film directed by Tapan Sinha, starring Uttam Kumar, Soumitra Chatterjee, Arundhati Devi, Tarun Kumar and Radhamohan Bhattacharya in lead roles.

Jhinder Bondi
DVD Cover
Jhinder Bondi
Directed byTapan Sinha
Produced byBhola Nath Roy
Screenplay byTapan Sinha
Based onJhinder Bondi
by Saradindu Bandyopadhyay
The Prisoner of Zenda
by Anthony Hope
StarringUttam Kumar
Arundhati Devi
Soumitra Chatterjee
Music byAli Akbar Khan
CinematographyBimal Mukherjee
Edited bySubodh Roy
Production
company
B. N. Productions
Release date
  • 9 June 1961 (1961-06-09) (India)
CountryIndia
LanguageBengali

The film was based on a novel of same name ঝিন্দের বন্দী written by Saradindu Bandyopadhyay, though the ending has been totally altered from that in the novel, whose base plot was adapted from the 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. The book had already been adapted into English-language films in 1937 and 1952, and later, in 1979. Soumitra Chatterjee is cast, uncharacteristically, in a villainous role in the film. Sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan directs the music.

Plot

A person comes to meet Gauri Shankar Roy (Uttam Kumar), who lives in Kolkata. He introduces himself as a 'fauji Sardar' (Chief of the Armed Forces) of Jhind, Jhind being a small kingdom in Madhya Pradesh. He says that the to-be King of Jhind, Shankar Singh, was found missing from the kingdom right before his coronation; this is apparently a conspiracy by his own brother Udit Singh, who wants the kingdom for himself. Earlier, too, there were two occasions when coronation was arranged, but on both occasions, the King was found missing. Udit is a cruel man, unfit to be a good king. Shankar Singh has his vices too, but is a kind-hearted person who would care for his citizens and is thus worthy to be king. Now, coincidentally, Gauri looks exactly like Shankar Singh (also played by Uttam Kumar). This being the last hope, the fauji Sardar requests him to pretend to be the King for the coronation and until the real King can be found. Gauri agrees. The two set off for Jhind.

Things aren't easy at the Palace in Jhind. Despite the great luxury of kingly life, Gauri is constantly threatened by Udit and his friend, the dashingly handsome but evil Mayurvahan (Soumitra Chatterjee). The coronation however takes place successfully; moreover, the pretend King becomes engaged to Rani Kasturi Bai (Arundhati Devi) on the occasion. In spite of the situation becoming more and more tense, with the life of the King at stake, a romance blooms between Kasturi Bai and Gauri.

A secret agent reveals that the real King is hidden in a fortress owned by Udit, who will murder him as soon as he gets rid of Gauri. The fauji Sardar then reveals to Gauri in secret that Gauri deserves the throne as much as Shankar or Udit because they were all the sons of the then-Dewan of Jhind, Kali Shankar Roy. The then-king being issue less, adopted Shankar and Udit as sons.

After a secret entry to the fortress where the King is being held prisoner, Gauri fights a battle with Mayurvahan, finally killing him as well as surprising and killing Udit. As he approaches his look-alike Shankar Singh, he has a momentary desire to kill the King and gain the kingdom for himself, he being as deserving by blood as Shankar Singh; but his humanity wins over and he approaches the King respectfully, addressing him as "Your Highness". He then bids a last goodbye to Kasturi Bai and mounts a horse to head back to Kolkata.

Cast

  • Uttam Kumar as Gauri Shankar Roy/Shankar Singh
  • Arundhati Devi as Rani Kasturi Bai
  • Soumitra Chatterjee as Mayurvahan
  • Radhamohan Bhattacharya as Fauji Sardar of Jhind
  • Tarun Kumar as Udit Singh, Brother of Shankar Singh
  • Dilip Roy as Rudrarup, a loyal companion of the king
  • Sandhya Roy as Champa
  • Dhiren Mukherjee
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