Dhund (1973 film)
|Directed by||B. R. Chopra|
|Produced by||B. R. Chopra|
|Edited by||Pran Mehra|
Dhund (translation: Fog) is a 1973 Hindi movie produced and directed by B. R. Chopra. The film is based on Agatha Christie's play, The Unexpected Guest, and stars Sanjay Khan, his then flame Zeenat Aman, Danny Denzongpa, Deven Verma, Madan Puri, Navin Nischol and Ashok Kumar. The music is by Ravi.
Dhund is the story of a young woman Rani Ranjit Singh (Zeenat Aman), whose invalid husband Thakur Ranjit Singh (Danny Denzongpa) is murdered. The finger of suspicion points at the young widow and her lover Suresh Saxena (Sanjay Khan), but the killer is someone else. It is a taut thriller with a fantastic performance by Denzongpa. Two of the songs, "Sansar ki har sheh ka" and "Uljhan suljhe na" were hits.
On a foggy night, Chandrashekhar (Navin Nischol), who is driving his car at high speed, meets with an accident. He walks to a nearby house to ask for assistance. When nobody answers the door, he enters the house and finds the dead body of a wheelchair-bound man. Standing nearby is a beautiful, young woman, Rani (Zeenat Aman), with a gun. She tells him that the dead man is her husband and she has murdered him. She asks Chandrashekhar to call the police. Intrigued, Chandrashekhar asks Rani to tell her what happened. She tells him that her husband, Thakur Ranjit Singh (Danny Denzongpa), was a cruel man who used to mistreat his family and used to shoot cats and dogs with his gun for amusement (which is why nobody in the house woke up upon hearing the gunshot). On this night, before Chandrashekhar arrived, they had an argument and when her husband threatened to shoot her, she tried to take the gun away from him. In the ensuing struggle, Ranjit got shot.
Since the murder is an accidental death and was done in self-defense, Chandrashekhar decides to help Rani. Together, they fake a robbery so that Ranjit’s death appears to be case of a theft gone wrong and more importantly, to suggest that the murder happened at a different time and give Rani an alibi. When the police arrive, Chandrashekhar tells them that he had bumped into a man who had just come out of the house. The man had dropped a gun, which Chandrashekhar hands over to the police. Because it was a foggy night, he says he cannot identify the man.
The police start investigating the murder and become convinced that it was committed by an insider as the “thief” seems to know his way around the house. Some of the important evidence they find at the crime scene is the dead man’s pocket watch, an empty cigar container, and a tea tray which has fingerprints of an unknown person. Police soon find out that the cigar container and fingerprints belong to Suresh Saxena (Sanjay Khan), a prominent lawyer and a friend of the family. Investigation reveals that Suresh was having an affair with Rani. Suresh denies being at the house on the night of the murder and claims to have been at a party that he had thrown. But upon enquiring, the police find out that Suresh had received a phone call from a woman and had subsequently left the party for about an hour. The police inspector shows Suresh’s photograph to Chandrashekhar and ask him if Suresh was the man he had run into that night. But Chandrashekhar sticks to his story and says that he cannot positively identify the person.
Chandrashekhar tells Rani that the police think that Suresh committed the murder. Rani tells him how she first met Suresh when he stopped her from throwing herself off a cliff. Suresh had befriended Ranjit and had become a regular visitor to their house. Rani and Suresh had fallen in love but their romance was discovered by Ranjit. On the night of the murder, Ranjit got into a furious argument with Rani and threatened to destroy Suresh’s budding political career by exposing his affair with a married woman. Rani calls Suresh at his party to warn him. Later that night, when she was taking a shower, she heard Suresh and her husband arguing with each other. By the time, Rani came out of the shower, the argument had ended. But a few minutes later, she again heard her husband shout at someone. But the noise of an airplane flying overhead drowned out all voices. By the time, she reached downstairs, Suresh had left. She confronted her husband and in the ensuring struggle, shot him. It is at this point that Chandrashekhar had walked in.
The police arrest Suresh and charge him with the murder. At the trial, the public prosecutor explains that the love affair between Suresh and Rani was the motive for the murder. The prosecutor tells the court that Suresh was present in the house at the time of the murder (the phone call and his disappearance from the party for an hour, during which the crime was committed). The prosecutor also establishes that the murder was committed long before Chandrashekhar walked into the house. He presents the dead man’s pocket watch as evidence; the watch had stopped working when the fatal bullet hit it and therefore, reveals the actual time of murder. A second bullet was fired to mislead the rest of the household about the time of the murder. As the evidence mounts against Suresh, Rani panics and confesses to the murder. She asks the court to bring back Chandrashekhar to the stand so that he can tell the true story. The court is adjourned till next day. That night Chandrashekhar is visited by a nun.
The next day, Chandrashekhar, to Rani’s surprise, tells the court that neither she nor Suresh have committed the murder. He tells the court that long ago Ranjit had falsely implicated his business partner and sent him away to prison for 5 years so that he could have the business partner’s lover for himself. When the partner was released from prison, he found out that his lover had committed suicide. The partner decided to track down Ranjit and kill him. On the night of the murder, the partner had entered the house with intention to murder but when he saw that Ranjit was now bound to a wheelchair, he decided to spare his life as he felt that Ranjit has already got his just comeuppance. But a violent Ranjit pulled out his gun and tried to kill the partner and in the ensuring struggle got shot himself. The shot was not heard because an airplane drowned out the gunshot. Chandrashekhar reveals that his real name is Prakash and that he was Ranjit's business partner.
He explains that although he was able to leave the house unnoticed, things began to go wrong almost immediately. As he was driving away, he realized that he had dropped his wallet in the house during the struggle. In order to go back to the house, he would have to come up with a plausible excuse. So he decided to deliberately drive his car into a tree and then go to the house to ask for assistance and quietly retrieve his wallet. But at the house, he was surprised to find Rani claiming to be the murderer in order to protect Suresh, who she thinks committed the murder. Chandrashekhar decided to help Rani because he does not want an innocent Rani to pay for his crime. But in trying to save her, he ended up implicating an equally innocent Suresh. Chandrashekhar tells the court that he has suffered the pain of being separated from a loved one and doesn’t want Rani and Suresh to go through the same. His lover, who he though was dead, was saved and has now become a nun.
The court declares Suresh innocent and no murder charges are brought against Chandrashekhar as the court believes that justice has already been served.
- Navin Nischol as Chandrashekhar/Prakash
- Zeenat Aman as Rani Ranjit Singh
- Sanjay Khanas Advocate Suresh Saxena
- Danny Denzongpa as Thakur Ranjit Singh
- Madan Puri as Inspector Joshi
- Nana Palsikar as The Judge
- Deven Verma as Banke Lal
- Jagdish Raj as Inspector Bakshi
- Ashok Kumar as Public Prosecutor Mehta
|1||"Jo Yahan Tha"||Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar|
|2||"Jubna Se Chunariya Khisak Gai Re"||Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle|
|3||"Uljhan Suljhe Na Rasta Sujhe Na"||Asha Bhosle|
|4||"Sansar Ki Har Shae"||Mahendra Kapoor|