All-time best Bollywood movies based on reincarnation

 Mahal

Our love has not failed

And never will.....I will come back again....!



The film "Mahal" was released on 19 Oct. 1949 and immediately was a milestone for Hindi cinema. Written and directed by Kamal Amarohi who made his debut as a director with Mahal. This was India's first horror film as well as the first reincarnation film from Bombay talkies after independence. It starred the first true superstar Ashok Kumar and innocent Madhubala who was only 16 at the time and not that well known in the lead roles only to become the iconic actress of Indian cinema. 

On the banks of river Jamuna, there is a bungalow called 'Sangam Bhavan' which is lying desolate and vacant for ages. People are scared of this place and consider it inauspicious. However, in the quarters of this desolate bungalow, still lives an old Gardner. Nevertheless, a strange story narrated by this old Gardner is very famous about this mansion.

40 years ago a man built up this mansion. When this mansion was ready, a beautiful woman came with him and started living here. All-day she would anxiously wait for the nightfall and she would sit at the riverbank waiting for her beloved. Despite a storm or hurricane, that man would come here at midnight and would leave before dawn. One night, it was raining very heavily, there was a storm in the river Jamuna, the boat carrying her lover was rowing towards its destination, unfortunately, it got caught in a whirlpool and drowned, even though while drowning, the last message that heard was....Kamini, do not get disheartened... Do not let our love fail with this blow of fate, I will come back again. And over the period, one night, she was caught in the whirlpool and drowned herself. Sangam Bhavan, this beautiful mansion of their love became desolate! 

After 40 years Hari Shankar the son of a famous Judge is the first man who came to live here again. While going to the bedroom, a portrait on a wall falls down and he is astonished to see that the man in the portrait very much resembles him. He deducts that he is the reincarnation of the lost love. It is said that on the nights of torrential rainfall, a boat appears from nowhere, stops near the bungalow, a woman gets out and goes into the bungalow and sings for her lover to return. Harishankar has also listened to footfalls and the songs, he has seen glimpses of this girl but when he would go near, she would disappear.

Harishankar tells the story to his friend Shivnath and asks him did I build this mansion in my last birth? But Shivnath tells him that it is nothing but a hallucination, the environment of this place has influenced him. It would be better if you go back to Kanpur. On Shivnath's advice, he is ready to go to Kanpur. However, while traveling in the train his eyes are on the bungalow and suddenly he gets down at the next station Naini. Eventually, he returns to the mansion again where he is haunted by her song. "Aayega, aayega, aayega, aayega, aayega aanewala (O, ye, my beloved will come back").




The film Mahal received a lot of love from the audience on the big screen in the year 1949. Many people associated with this film got name and fame because of this film. Madhubala reached such a height after this movie was released and never looked back. In the short time that she ruled the silver screen in India, Madhubala achieved the kind of iconic status that many actors could only dream of.

The music of this film is composed by Khemchand Prakash. In this film, Lata Mangeshkar gave her voice to the song 'Aayega Aanewala'. The song was filmed on actress Madhubala. In those days the song 'Aayega Aanewala' was very popular and made many headlines. Veteran Lata Mangeshkar got real recognition from the film Mahal. One of the best parts of this movie is its cinematography by Joseph Wirsching. Bimal Roy is the editor for the movie, later he has directed and produced Madhumati.

Madhumati

Without you, I cannot live. I say.

If I live, it will be with you and if I die, it will be with you!!



Madhumati was one of the best films of the 60s. The film was released on 12 September 1958. Produced and directed by Bimal Roy. The film has Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in the lead role. 'Madhumati' has inspired Hollywood filmmakers to make the film 'The Reincarnation of Peter Proud' (1975).

Deven (Dilip Kumar) and his Doctor friend (Tarun Bose) are traveling at night to the railway station by car. Due to heavy rain and storm, they are forced to take shelter at an old abandoned mansion. An old servant (caretaker) welcomes them with a lantern in one hand and narrating the story, (this character is inspired by the movie 'Mahal' and further used in many Hindi movies). When they come to the mansion Deven feels as if he is quite familiar with all the things there. He recognizes the portrait and tells his friend that it is of Ugra Narayan and he himself has painted it. This cues him of his previous life. Anand has come as a manager to Ugra Narayan's Shamgarhi timber estate situated in the mountain and forest. Anand is an artist, while enjoying the beauty of nature, he meets a beautiful tribal girl named Madhumati (Vyjayanthimala) and falls in love with her, and their romance blossoms. Madhumati is the daughter of a Panda king, their ancestors were king so the foresters still call him king.

There is some animosity between him and Ugra Narayan (Pran), so people are not allowed to cross over the stream into that area, nor are they allowed to enter this side. 

Ugra Narayan is ruthless and oppressive. He devises a cunning plan to separate the two lovers Anand and Madhumati. The outcome is terrible, Madhumati gives her life by jumping off the terrace to protect her honor. Anand is heartbroken and knows that Ugra Narayan is behind the death of Madhumati but due to lack of evidence, he is not able to anything about it. 

Anand is devasted until he meets a girl named Madhavi (Vyjayanthimala) who resembles Madhumati. He runs behind her, it is hard to believe him that she is not Madhumati. He tells his tragic story to Madhavi and she agrees to help him get revenge on Ugra Narayan. He asks Madhavi to dress up and pose like Madhumati before Ugra Narayan and scare him and, make him confess being responsible for the death of Madhumati. Everything goes according to the plan. He confesses his crime in front of Madhumati and the police. When Ugra Narayan is taken away by the police, the real Madhavi appears and apologies for being late as her car has broken down. Anand realizes that Madhumati's ghost has made Ugra Narayan confess his crime. Ghost of Madhumati calls him to the terrace, Anand runs in the direction of the haunting voice and falls from the terrace to his death.

After telling the story in flashback, Deven receives the message that the train has met with an accident in which his wife was traveling. He rushes to the railway station and found that his wife Radha- Madhumati is reincarnated. (again Vyjayanthimala) is safe with his child.





The direction of Bimal Roy is superb. Bimal Roy and Hrishikesh Mukharjee were on the path to becoming legends from Madhumati. Madhumati was followed by a series of films based on reincarnation like Milan, Mehbooba, Karz, Karan Arjun, and Janam Janam. 

The recent blockbuster of 2007, Om Shanti Om has lifted its climax from this film. Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala played a great role after their success in Devdas. Dilip Kumar has played two roles Deven and Anand and Vyjaynthimala has played three roles as Madhumati, Madhavi, and Radha.

Music by Salil Chowdhury was another strength of the movie. The songs "Suhana Safar" and all others created history. Pran also played his role exceptionally well.

It has won 9 Filmfare awards it was a record for a single film, until the release of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge which won 10 Filmfare awards.








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