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Movie poster
Directed byGirish Karnad
Written bySharad Joshi (Dialogue)
Screenplay byKrishna Basrur
Girish Karnad
Based onMrichakatika
by Śūdraka
Produced byShashi Kapoor
StarringShankar Nag
Anuradha Patel
Amjad Khan
Shashi Kapoor
Shekhar Suman
Narrated byAmjad Khan
CinematographyAshok Mehta
Edited byBhaudas Divakar
Music byLaxmikant-Pyarelal
Vasant Dev (lyrics)
Release date
  • 21 December 1984 (1984-12-21)
Running time
145 minutes
Languages [1]

Utsav (Hindi: उत्सव; English: Festival) is a 1984 Hindi erotic drama film, produced by Shashi Kapoor and directed by Girish Karnad. The film is based on play Mrichakatika (The Little Clay Cart) by Śūdraka.[2] It was filmed in Hindi and English simultaneously, the post-production work of latter version was done in London.[1]

The film stars Shankar Nag, Shashi Kapoor, Rekha, Amjad Khan, Anuradha Patel, Shekhar Suman, Anupam Kher, Neena Gupta, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Annu Kapoor, Sanjana Kapoor and Kunal Kapoor.

The role of Samsthanak is played by Shashi Kapoor, who is also the producer of the movie. It was originally supposed to be played by Amitabh Bachchan. However, in July 1982, Bachchan met with a major accident in Bangalore. So the producer himself decided to step in.[3] The film's music is by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and is noted for its songs like, 'Man Kyun Behka Re Behka Aadhi Raat Ko', a famous duet song by sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Anuradha Paudwal's 'Mere Man Baja Mridang' for which she won the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award in 1985. Suresh Wadkar also has a song, 'Sanjh Dhale Gagan Tale'. The Central Board of Film Certification of India gave the film an "A" certificate on 23 August 1984.[4]


The film is an adaptation of Mṛcchakatika (The Little Clay Cart), a ten-act Sanskrit drama attributed to Śūdraka, an ancient playwright generally thought to have lived sometime between the second century BC and the fifth century AD whom the prologue identifies as a Kshatriya king and a devotee of Siva who lived for 100 years.[5] The play is set in the ancient city of Ujjayini during the reign of the King Pālaka, near the end of the Pradyota dynasty that made up the first quarter of the fifth century BC.[6]


The story is about a courtesan, Vasantasena (Rekha), and her chance meeting with a poor Brahmin man, Charudatta (Shekhar Suman), in Ujjain.



The film was shot in Kolkebail, Karnataka in 1982–83. Producer Shashi Kapoor incurred a loss of Rs 1.5 crore after the film's release in 1984.[3]


The film's soundtrack[7] was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and the lyrics were penned by Vasant Dev.

Song Singer
"Man Kyun Behka" Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle
"Neelam Pe" Lata Mangeshkar
"Mera Man Baja Mridang" Suresh Wadkar, Anuradha Paudwal, Aarti Mukherjee
"Sanjh Dhale" Suresh Wadkar


Award Category Recipient Result Ref
32nd National Film Awards Best Art Direction Nachiket Patwardhan
Jayoo Patwardhan
Won [8]
33rd Filmfare Awards Best Lyricist Vasant Dev ("Mann Kyun Behka") Won [9]
Best Female Playback Singer Anuradha Paudwal ("Mere Man Baje Mridang") Won
Best actor in Comic Role Amjad Khan Nominated
Annu Kapoor Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Shahi Kapoor interview". YouTube.
  2. ^ @NFAIOfficial (8 November 2019). "A lobby card for Girish Karnad's #Utsav (1984), featuring #FaceOfTheWeek #ShankarNag. The film was based on popular…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b "Of Jennifer and MTR (Shashi Kapoor interview)". The Hindu. 31 January 2005. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Utsav (1984)". Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). 23 August 1984. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  5. ^ Richmond, Farley P. (1990). "Characteristics of Sanskrit Theatre and Drama". In Farley P. Richmond; Darius L. Swann; Phillip B. Zarrilli (eds.). Indian Theatre: Traditions of Performance. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. pp. 55–62. ISBN 0824811909.
  6. ^ Oliver, Revilo Pendelton (1938). "Introduction to 'The Little Clay Cart.'". In Rozelle Parker Johnson; Ernst Krenn (eds.). Illinois Studies in Language and Literature. Vol. 23. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. pp. 9–44.
  7. ^ "Utsav : Lyrics and video of Songs from the Movie Utsav (1985)".
  8. ^ "32nd National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 October 2019. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Best Lyricist (Popular)". Filmfare Awards Official wlistings, Indiatimes. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Filmfare Awards 1986". awardsandshows.com. Retrieved 1 July 2021.

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