Sangharsh (1999 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byTanuja Chandra
Written byMahesh Bhatt
Girish Dhamija
Produced byMukesh Bhatt
Edited byAmit Saxena
Music byJatin–Lalit
Distributed byVishesh Films
Sony Pictures
Release date
  • 3 September 1999 (1999-09-03)
Running time
127 minutes
Budget 40 million[1]
Box office 105 million[1]

Sangharsh (transl. Struggle) is a 1999 Indian Hindi-language psychological horror thriller film directed by Tanuja Chandra. It stars Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta, and Ashutosh Rana. Alia Bhatt, who would later be an established Bollywood actress in the 2010s, made a cameo in this film, playing the younger version of Zinta's character. The film was said to be based on the 1991 film The Silence of The Lambs, but Chandra rejected this, claiming the film was based on a similar lost police case in India.[2][3] The film opened to positive reviews, with critical acclaim for the performances by Kumar and Zinta, as well as Rana's villainous turn.[4][5]


A series of child abductions and murders have left the Mumbai Police perplexed and unable to solve the case. Hence the case is handed over to the CBI, who designate trainee Reet Oberoi to solve the case. After some investigation the evidence points towards Lajja Shankar Pandey, a religious fanatic who believes in the sacrifice of children to gain immortality. Pandey's erratic behaviour and Reet's traumas (as a child she witnesses her older brother Jassi, a terrorist, being gunned down by the police in their home) forces Reet to seek help from a prisoner, an unjustly implicated genius by the name Professor Aman Verma.

At first Aman is rude towards Reet and refuses to help her, but with some help she manages to sway him into helping her. The case gets even more tough as she finds out that the Home Minister's only child has been kidnapped by Pandey. Reet cannot handle the pressure alone due to her traumatic childhood and her phobias, she also faces opposition from the local police partly because of Verma's methods. As they begin to spend more time together, he helps her overcome her fears and both fall in love.

They eventually track down Pandey, who is about to begin the last sacrifice on the day of a solar eclipse (Soorya Grahan), which he believes will finally help him attain immortality. Aman and Reet eventually save the child, killing Pandey in the process. However Aman is fatally injured. Reet and Aman share a kiss before he dies in her arms. Reet is given a hero's welcome and she finds a new sense of life in herself.



The soundtrack was composed by Jatin–Lalit with lyrics authored by Sameer:[6]

Title Singer(s) Length
"Mujhe Raat Din" Sonu Nigam 05:11
"Dil Ka Qaraar" Sonu Nigam & Shraddha Pandit 05:27
"Naaraz Savera Hai" Kumar Sanu 05:07
"Nazdeek Savera Hai" Kumar Sanu 02:16
"Manzil Na Ho" Remo Fernandes & Jaspinder Narula 05:26
"Manzil Na Ho" (Male) Remo Fernandes 05:24
"Manzil Na Ho" (Female) Jaspinder Narula 05:25
"Hum Badi Door" (Not in the film) Shraddha Pandit & Sonu Nigam 04:35


Bella Jaisinghani of The Indian Express wrote, "This crime thriller is value for money," noting the performances: "Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta have done an impressive job as a criminal and a CBI officer".[4] R. Vasudevan of Hindustan Times noted the performances, believing it could be Kumar's turning point and mentioning Zinta for playing a role "different from the typical Bollywood heroine who is just an appendage of the hero."[5]'s reviewer Sharmila Taliculam gave the film a positive review, but concluded, "Sangharsh may or may not do well at the turnstiles. If you are a Mahesh Bhatt fan, you may find it watchable. If you are not, give it a miss."[7] India Today critic Madhu Jain highly praised the film's performance, noting Kumar for delivering "quite a performance", Zinta for bringing "intelligence to her role", and Rana for a performance that "remains searingly etched on the mind".[8] An article published by The Tribune at the time of release hailed Zinta's performance as "an amazing act", calling Sangharsh "an intense film".[9] Mukhtar Anjoom of Deccan Herald wrote a positive review, noting that in spite of its possible lack of originality, "the treatment of the characters is first-rate" and "the build-up to the impending scare is brilliant". He further described Rana's performance as "outstanding" and praised Chandra for "bringing out the best" out of Kumar and Zinta.[10]

In 2013, Subhash K. Jha described it as one of the "rare ones in which top actors … agreed to play secondary roles" to the leading lady.[11]



  1. ^ a b "Sangharsh". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ Viswamohan, Aysha Iqbal (2020). Stardom in Contemporary Hindi Cinema: Celebrity and Fame in Globalized Times. Springer Nature. p. 198. ISBN 9789811501913.
  3. ^ Ravi, P.R. (26 September 1999). "I want to tell my story from the woman's point of view". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 31 August 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b Jaisinghani, Bella (5 September 1999). "Slick crime thriller". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 10 March 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  5. ^ a b Vasudevan, R. (1999). "Sagharsh". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 23 January 2000. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  6. ^ Arunachalam, Param (2019). BollySwar: 1991 - 2000. Mavrix Infotech Private Limited. p. 1026. ISBN 978-81-938482-1-0.
  7. ^ Taliculam, Sharmila (4 September 1999). "Blood and gore!". Archived from the original on 10 March 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  8. ^ Jain, Madhu (13 September 1999). "Terror in the Soul". India Today. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  9. ^ Mittal, Madhur (5 September 1999). "Preity act". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  10. ^ Anjoom, Mukhtar (5 September 1999). "Sangharsh (Hindi)". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 14 June 2000. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  11. ^ K. Jha, Subhash (8 March 2013). "A look at the change in womens' [sic] roles in Bollywood over the years". mid-day. Retrieved 26 August 2020.

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