Amal (film)

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Amal
Amal hindi.jpg
poster
Directed by Richie Mehta
Produced by Steven Bray
Written by Richie Mehta
Shaun Mehta
Starring Rupinder Nagra
Naseeruddin Shah
Seema Biswas
Koel Purie
Vik Sahay
Roshan Seth
Music by Dr. Shiva
Cinematography Mitchell Ness
Edited by Stuart A. McIntyre
Distributed by Seville Pictures (Canada)
Release dates
Running time 101 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
Hindi

Amal (Hindi: अमल) is a 2007 Canadian drama film directed and written by Richie Mehta. Set in modern-day New Delhi, India, it tells the story of a poor autorickshaw driver, Amal Kumar.

The film was originally released as a short film in 2004, with the same lead actor but a mostly different cast, before it was readapted and expanded into a feature film three years later.[1]

Plot[edit]

Amal Kumar (Rupinder Nagra) is an honest, hardworking sweet-natured autorickshaw driver. who charges the metre rate and is never late to pick up his regular fares: store merchant Pooja (Koel Purie) and a schoolboy, son of exacting lawyer Sapna Agarwal (Seema Biswas).

While riding in Amal's autorickshaw on one occasion, Pooja has her handbag snatched out of her hands by a beggar girl (Tanisha Chatterjee). Amal immediately pursues the girl and the chase ends when the beggar girl is hit by a car. Amal and Pooja take the girl to hospital. From then on, Amal regularly visits the girl, speaks to her doctor and makes sure to remind the nurses to take good care of her.

One day Amal offers his services to an old man who does not reveal his identity, that he is in fact local billionaire G.K. Jayaram (Naseeruddin Shah) and has been wandering the streets of New Delhi searching for an honest man. After asking Amal some questions about his life, making insulting comments about his driving skills, and going back on his words with regard to his destination, G.K. pays the fare, and is surprised that Amal does not accept a three rupee tip.

After a while, G.K. Jayaram dies and leaves his entire estate to the one honest man he believes to have encountered – Amal. His will is not to be read out until Amal reports to Jayarams' lawyer Sapna, who has no idea that Amal is her son's autorickshaw driver. If Amal is not found within a month, G.K.'s estate will be inherited by his family members. Sapna deploys Suresh (Roshan Seth), G.K.'s old companion, to find out Amal's whereabouts but Suresh and G.K.'s son Vivek hatch a plan not to look for Amal so that after a month the Jayarams’ claim inheritance.

In the meantime the condition of Priya, the beggar girl improves but she is in need of a difficult surgery that would cost 50,000 rupees. Amal decides to sell his autorickshaw in order to pay for the girl's surgery. However, Priya dies on the operating table. Amal then takes up a janitor position at a local post office. Touched by Amal's kindness and self-sacrifice, Pooja digs into the money she has been saving for her dowry and buys a carburettor that she knew was needed to fix an abandoned auto-rickshaw lying by Amal’s house. She then brings it to Amal, so he could install it and return to his usual business again.

Meanwhile, Suresh starts questioning his actions later does find Amal and witnesses his true honesty and sweet nature first-hand. He is reluctant to notify Sapna he has found G.K.'s heir but eventually does so the night before the deadline. On the same night he informs Vivek that he is abandoning their original plan and is taking Amal to Sapna's the next day. Vivek attacks Suresh and chokes him to death.

The next morning, Sapna uses some of Suresh's notes and finds out that Amal is her son's autorickshaw driver. She manages to get Amal into the house to sign some papers. Amal, who is still unaware of the inheritance opens G.K.’s letter and takes a long look at it but before Sapna provides any information, she receives a phone call is informed that Suresh has died. Shocked and drawn into the conversation, she does not notice Amal leave with the letter in his hands. On his way out, he is approached by a homeless girl who asks him for a piece of paper to draw on. Amal hands her the letter and drives away.

Meanwhile the homeless girl approaches Sapna's son tells him that the paper Amal has given her to draw on has got writing on it and may be of some importance. To that Sapna's son replies that it would make no difference, as Amal cannot read. The movie ends with Amal picking up Pooja, the two smiling at each other, and a voice over by G.K. saying that he could not imagine what the man who did not want three rupees would do with three-hundred million.

Cast[edit]

Accolades[edit]

Release[edit]

Region Release date Festival or Distributor
Canada September 13, 2007 Toronto Film Festival
Czech Rep. July 5, 2007 Karlovy Vary Film Festival
Canada August 8, 2008 Seville Pictures
U.S.A. September 20, 2008 New Jersey Independent South Asian Cine Fest
U.S.A. November 16, 2008 St. Louis International Film Festival


References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]

External links[edit]