Koyla (English: Coal) is an Indian 1997 Hindi-language action thriller film directed, co-written and produced by Rakesh Roshan, which stars Shahrukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit and Amrish Puri, with Johnny Lever, Ashok Saraf, Salim Ghouse, Deepshikha and Himani Shivpuri in supporting roles. Mohnish Bahl makes a special appearance. The film was released worldwide on 18 April 1997 and became a box-office hit, grossing over 28.5 crore worldwide against a budget of 11.90 crore; public and critics praised Khan's action sequences, and it emerged as the 8th most successful film of 1997 in India. Some scenes of the film were shot in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.

DVD Cover
Directed byRakesh Roshan
Produced byRakesh Roshan
Written byAnwar Khan (dialogues)
Screenplay byRavi Kapoor
Sachin Bhowmick
Story byRakesh Roshan
StarringShah Rukh Khan
Madhuri Dixit
Amrish Puri
Music byRajesh Roshan
CinematographySameer Arya
Edited bySanjay Verma
Filmkraft Productions Pvt. Ltd.
Release date
  • April 18, 1997 (1997-04-18) (India)
Running time
167 minutes
Budgetest. ₹11.9 crore[1]
Box officeest. ₹28.5 crore[2]


Shankar (Shahrukh Khan) is a handsome mute man, raised by the powerful Raja (Amrish Puri), to whom he is completely loyal. However, Raja treats him like a slave. He is also tormented and unnecessarily beaten by Raja's younger brother Brijwa, a sadistic and violent psychopath. The elderly Raja is a ruthless and cruel man with a large appetite for young women who kills anyone who dares to defy him, however lately he has proven to be unable to perform in the bedroom and continues to fall asleep as he is bored of his beautiful secretary Bindiya, who lusts after Shankar. His doctor suggests a younger woman, who may be able to satisfy him.

One day Raja sees Gauri (Madhuri Dixit), a happy young innocent village girl, and begins to dream about her and wishes to marry her, however, despite her greedy aunt and uncle want her to marry Raja, Gauri wants to see a picture of her future husband first.

Aware that Gauri would instantly reject the elderly Raja, he sends her a photo of Shankar. Gauri instantly falls in love with him and the wedding proceeds. However, before the ceremony is completed, she discovers that it's not Shankar whom she is marrying and faints; Raja orders the priest to continue with the ceremony, even though the marriage would be invalid while Gauri is unconscious.

When Gauri regains consciousness, she discovers Raja trying to "consummate" with her and learns they're married, which shocks her. She refuses to submit herself to him by attempting suicide, so he imprisons and tortures her. One night Gauri tries to commit suicide, however, Shankar and his friend save her and she finally meets Shankar. She slaps and accuses him of ruining her life. however. Shankar's friend reveals that Shankar was innocent in this whole affair, a shocked Gauri tries to apologize, but Shankar leaves before she can.

One night, Bindya (Deepshika) is frustrated by Raja's inability to perform and goes to Shankar, but instead finds Raja's brother Brijwa waiting for her. He attempts to rape her, but Shankar stops him. Not being able to proceed to thrash his master's brother, he takes a beating and gets framed for attempting to rape Bindya by Brijwa and is badly beaten by Raja. Bindya confesses that she went to Shankar and is then sent to a brothel controlled by Chandi Bai (Himani Shivpuri) as punishment by Raja.

When Gauri's brother Ashok (Mohnish Behl) comes to see her, Raja forces her to lie to him which she does and says that she is happy as Raja threatens to kill him if she refuses, however, Shankar reveals the truth to him and Raja kills him when he comes to rescue her. Moments before he dies, Ashok makes Shankar promise him to save his sister; Shankar and Gauri flee Raja's mansion.

An enraged Raja begins a murderous search to find Gauri and Shankar, however, after a long chase through the mountains and jungle, Shankar uses the survival skills he learned as Raja's servant to kill Raja's men, Raja and his men leave due to being disadvantaged.

During that time, Gauri and Shankar begin to fall in love. But unexpectedly, Raja, who has returned with reinforcements, sees Shankar and Gauri near a waterfall and manage to capture them by shooting Gauri in the arm.

Shankar is brutally beaten by Brijwa and the corrupt DIG (Pradeep Rawat) and Raja slits his throat, then leaves him to die in the mountains; and Gauri is sold to a brothel. There, Bindya saves Gauri from what had been done to her, and in the process, she eventually gets killed by Brijwa. Shankar is found and saved by a village boy who brings him to and his father (a healer) who operates on his throat while he is still unconscious. The healer, who discovers that Shankar is not mute by birth, is able to repair some of the damaged nerves in Shankar's throat, enabling him to speak.

Shankar recalls that when he was a boy, his father discovered diamonds in the coal mine, however he and his wife were murdered in front of Shankar by two mysterious men; when young Shankar threatened to tell everyone what they did, someone came up from behind him and shoved hot coals into his throat, rendering him mute. Shankar recovers and returns, first, he kills Brijwa and is reunited with Gauri after rescuing her from the same men that killed his parents, and bought Gauri. Shankar, in the process, discovers that Raja was the person who made him mute and who ordered his parents to be killed so he could steal their wealth.

He kills Raja's two henchmen and the DIG, then finally manages to corner Raja, who finally apologizes to Shankar for his wrongdoings to him, but Shankar disregards this and kills him by setting him on fire. At last, Shankar and Gauri embrace each other, finally at peace.




Rakesh Roshan got the idea of making Koyla when he was shooting for his another directorial venture, which was delayed-since 1992 and finally released in 2000, titled Karobaar: The Business of Love. The film tells the story of a simple-hearted village girl who falls in love with her torturing husband's mute servant and how the mute man takes revenge against his boss.


Roshan approached Sunny Deol for the role of Shankar after watching the latter's action scenes in the 1996 films Jeet and Ghatak: Lethal. But due to unknown reasons, Deol rejected the role. Upon his refusal, the role was offered to Shah Rukh Khan, who had worked with Roshan in his films King Uncle (1993) and Karan Arjun (1995).

Sonali Bendre was Roshan's first choice to play the role of Gauri. Later, Roshan replaced her with Madhuri Dixit for unknown reasons. The film marked the second collaboration between Khan and Dixit following Anjaam (1994) after which they also starred in Dil To Pagal Hai (also in 1997), Devdas (2002) and Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam (2002).


Principal photography of Koyla began in June 1996. A song of the film, Tanhai Tanhai, and some of the scenes, were shot in Tawang. Other scenes were also filmed in Hyderabad and south areas of Ooty.

During the shooting of the film's one of popular songs, Ghungte Mein Chanda, Khan fractured his leg. The other song of the film, Dekha Tujhe Toh, was to be therefore exited from the film because of his fracture, but after Khan's leg got fully well, the song was shot. The sound of real pots were used for the background music of Dekha Tujhe Toh. A scene of the film was loosely inspired from the 1994 Hollywood film Forrest Gump.


SL No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1 "Tanhai Tanhai" Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan 05:35
2 "Badan Juda Hote Hain" Kumar Sanu, Preeti Singh, Falguni Pathak 10:30
3 "Dekha Tujhe To" Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik 07:32
4 "Sanson Ki Mala Pe" Kavita Krishnamurthy 06:47
5 "Bhang Ke Nashe Mein" Alka Yagnik, Aditya Narayan 06:07
6 "Ghunghte Mein Chanda Hai" Udit Narayan 06:17

Box office

Koyla grossed 25.91 crore (US$3.7 million) in India and $600,000 (2.14 crore) in other countries, for a worldwide total of 28.05 crore (US$4.1 million), against its 12 crore (US$1.7 million) budget. It had a worldwide opening weekend of 5.39 crore (US$780,000), and grossed 10.60 crore (US$1.5 million) in its first week.[2] It is the 8th-highest-grossing film of 1997 worldwide.[3]


It opened on Friday, April 18, 1997, across 275 screens, and had a record opening of 4.06 crore (US$590,000) nett. The film shared the record for the highest opening day with previous record opener Trimurti which also grossed 1.06 crore (US$150,000) nett on its opening day. It went on to break 3.07 crore (US$440,000) nett opening weekend record set by Trimurti, and recorded highest ever opening weekend of 3.10 crore (US$450,000) nett. It had a first week of 5.52 crore (US$800,000) nett. The film earned a total of 14.88 crore (US$2.2 million) nett, and was declared " Semi Hit " by Box Office India.[2] It is the 8th-highest-grossing film of 1997 in India.[4]


It earned $600,000 (2.14 crore) outside India.[2] Overseas, It is the 6th-highest-grossing film of 1997.[5]

'Koyla' worldwide collections breakdown
Territory Territory wise Collections break-up
India Nett Gross:
14.88 crore (US$2.2 million)
Distributor share:
8.36 crore (US$1.2 million)
Total Gross:
25.91 crore (US$3.7 million)
(Outside India)
$600,000 (2.14 crore)
Worldwide 28.05 crore (US$4.1 million)


Filmfare Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role - Amrish Puri - Nominated


  1. "Koyla Budget". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  2. "Koyla Box office". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  3. "Top Worldwide Grossers 1997". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  4. "Top India Total Nett Gross 1997". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  5. "Top Overseas Gross 1997". Box Office India. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
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