Amal (film)

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Amal hindi.jpg
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 date
Running time
101 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
Budget $5 million

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]


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: the store merchant Pooja (Koel Purie) and a schoolboy who is the 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. Amal visits the girl regularly, 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 has been wandering the streets of New Delhi searching for an honest man. His identity is only revealed later in the film as local billionaire G.K. Jayaram (Naseeruddin Shah). 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.

G.K. Jayaram subsequently dies and leaves his entire estate to the one honest man he believes to have encountered – Amal. His will is not to be read until Amal reports to Jayaram's 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 longtime companion, to find Amal, but Suresh and G.K.'s son Vivek hatch a plan to render the search for Amal ineffective so that after a month the Jayarams' can claim inheritance.

In the meantime, although Priya's condition improves, the beggar girl 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. 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 carburetor she knows is needed to fix an abandoned auto-rickshaw lying by Amal's house. She takes it to Amal so he can install it and return to his usual business.

Meanwhile, Suresh starts questioning his actions after finding Amal and witnessing his 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. He then 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 and asks Amal to wait in the living room. Sapna is told that Suresh has died. Amal wants to be on time to meet Pooja and simply keeps on walking, leaving Sapna's residence. Out on the sidewalk, Amal 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.

The homeless girl approaches Sapna's son and tells him that the paper Amal has given her to draw on has writing on it and may be of some importance. 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 voiceover by G.K. saying that he could not imagine what the man who did not want three rupees would do with three hundred million rupees.




Region Release date Festival or Distributor
Canada September 13, 2007 Toronto International 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


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