Kalyug (1981 film)

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Kalyug 1980 DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Shyam Benegal
Produced by Shashi Kapoor
Written by Shyam Benegal
Satyadev Dubey
Girish Karnad
Starring Shashi Kapoor
Raj Babbar
Music by Vanraj Bhatia
Cinematography Govind Nihalani
Edited by Bhanudas Divakar
Release dates
  • 28 March 1981 (1981-03-28)
Running time
152 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi

Kalyug is a Hindi film made in 1981 and directed by Shyam Benegal. The film is known as a modern-day version of an Indian epic Mahabharat depicted as an archetypal conflict between rival business houses. The film went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Film in 1982.[1]

The screenplay and plot are quite different from Mahabharat. However, the characterization and the critical events had a striking similarity with the epic. Shashi Kapoor, Rekha, Raj Babbar, Supriya Pathak, Anant Nag, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Sushma Seth, Akash Khurana, Victor Bannerjee, Reema Lagoo, A.K. Hangal played major roles, while Urmila Matondkar appeared as a child artist.


The film is tale of intrigue, plots and the inevitable war between the two families. Ramchand and Bhishamchand were two pioneering brothers in business. Bhishamchand, a lifelong bachelor, brought up the two sons of Ramchand upon his demise. He also gave the family business a firm foundation. Khubchand (Vinod Doshi), the elder son of Ramchand begets two sons, Dhanraj (Victor Banerjee) and Sandeepraj (Akash Khurana). Puranchand, Khubchand's younger brother, had died a few years ago. His three sons are Dharamraj (Raj Babbar), Balraj (Kulbhushan Kharbanda) and Bharatraj (Anant Nag). Another player in the game is Karan (Shashi Kapoor), an orphan brought up by Bhishamchand. A series of events take place that bring the long hidden feud between the two families to light. Despite Bhishamchand's efforts to mediate between the two, the situation gets out of hand and events take a tragic turn. Dhanraj's men accidentally kill the young son of Balraj and to take revenge Bharatraj murders Karan. Quite a few skeletons from the family cupboard are brought into the open that only adds to the tensions and hatred, finally culminating in the destruction of the two families, making us ponder on the brittleness of our moral fabric.


Anil Dharker, writing for International Film Guide, wrote a positive review to the film, calling it "ambitious" and noting it as "the most complex of Benegal's films so far", which is "carefully paced" and "expertly put together". Dharker praised the cinematographic work and the acting: "Govind Nihalani, Benegal's regular cameraman, highlights each shifting mood with skilful lighting. The cast, most of it Benegal regulars, is excellent, with virtuoso performances from Victor Banerjee, and Shashi Kapoor..."[2] The film was entered into the 12th Moscow International Film Festival.[3]


  1. ^ Shyam Benegal at filmreference
  2. ^ Dharker, Anil (1981). Peter Cowie, ed. International Film Guide (Tantivy Press): 178. ISBN 0-498-02568-3.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "12th Moscow International Film Festival (1981)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-27. 

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