27 Down

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27 Down
27 Down Poster.jpg
Original Movie Poster.
Directed byAwtar Krishna Kaul
Screenplay byAwtar Krishna Kaul
Based onAthara Sooraj Ke Paudhe
by Ramesh Bakshi
Produced byAwtar Krishna Kaul
M.K. Raina
CinematographyApurba Kishore Bir
Edited byRavi Patnaik
Music byHariprasad Chaurasia
Bhubaneswar Mishra
Release date
  • 1974 (1974)
Running time
118 minutes

27 Down is a 1974 Indian drama film directed by Awtar Krishna Kaul, starring Raakhee and M.K. Raina. The film is based on the Hindi novel Athara Sooraj Ke Paudhe, by Ramesh Bakshi, about a railways employee who meets a girl on the train. The film's music was performed by classical musicians Hariprasad Chaurasia and Bhubaneswar Mishra,[1] while the production design was by Bansi Chandragupta.

At the 21st National Film Awards, the film won the Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi as well as Best Cinematography, for Apurba Kishore Bir.[2][3] The film's director Avatar Kaul died in an accident the same week the awards were announced. It was his only film.[4][5]


The film is set on 27 Down, the Bombay-Varanasi Express, Sanjay (M.K. Raina) is on a pilgrimage journey to Varanasi (Banaras), and remembers his life in flashbacks.[6] Sanjay gives up his dreams to become an artist, in order to support his family he takes up his father's profession of railways employee. He spends his days as a railways ticket checker, till he meets a Life Insurance Corporation employee, Shalini (Raakhee), on the suburban train. After a few more meetings, they fall in love, and Sanjay starts seeing life differently, but when his father finds about their relationship, he fixes his marriage with some other girl.[4][5][6]



  1. "Chuk Chuk Chuk" - Ravi Kichlu

Special Mention[edit]

27 Down is featured in Avijit Ghosh's book, 40 Retakes: Bollywood Classics You May have Missed. He wrote the film explores urban alienation just like French writer Albert Camus did in his novels; something no Hindi film had done before. Cinematographer AK Bir's camera travels inside the mind of the protagonist, he also said.


The film was shot on location on Mumbai trains, platforms, and at Mumbai's Victoria Terminus station, the cinematographer of the film, Apurba Kishore Bir was 22 years old when he got the project, he shot 70 percent of the film using a hand-held camera, inspired by The Battle of Algiers, a 1966 war film with an aim to put the camera right in the conflict, he shot with wide lenses rather than zooms. Bir chose to shoot the film in black and white, as he wanted stark contrasts.[4] As it was difficult to control across crowd, most of the film's platform scenes were shot in the night, or at side platforms, and extras made it look like a busy time.[5]


  1. ^ "Pandit Bhubaneshwar Mishra". Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  2. ^ "21st National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013.
  3. ^ "21st National Film Awards (PDF)" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals.
  4. ^ a b c "Apurba Kishore Bir on 27 Down". Time Out Mumbai. 11 December 2009. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Shubhra Gupta (7 July 2012). "Silences of the heart". The Indian Express. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b Clarke Fountain (2008). "27 Down Bombay-Varanasi Express (1974)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 April 2008.

External links[edit]