Kundan

Kundan, India, 13 May 1955

The film starts with Kundan (Sohrab Modi) stealing a loaf of bread from a kitchen and running home with it to feed his young niece Radha, and ailing mother. He is arrested and in court he says he had tried to find work, begged, and in the end was forced to steal. The judge sentences him to two years in prison. His niece visits him in jail telling him of his mother’s death. Kundan bends the iron rods and escapes but is caught. He is imprisoned for a further five years for trying to escape. The second time he tries to do so he gets an additional seven years. Kundan spends a total of fourteen years in prison doing hard labour. Radha (Nimmi) is married to Gopal (Pran) and have a baby girl Uma. Gopal, who is in bad company and a crook gets her to part with all her jewellery and disappears with it. Radha and her baby find refuge with a tea-stall owner (Om Prakash) and his wife (Manorama)) who employ her to work for them for minimal wages. Kundan on release from jail sets out to find Radha. He has been told by the jail authorities including Inspector Sher Singh (Ulhas), a devout policeman, to keep them informed about his whereabouts and to present himself regularly at the police station. When he returns to his locality he is unable to find Radha and the neighbours drive him away, calling him a dacoit.

Kundan, on being turned away by everyone finally finds a saviour in Gurudev (Murad), a priest, who helps him realise himself and introduces him to making pottery and earning money. Kundan does well for himself and meets up with Radha and Uma. Radha dies from an illness and Kundan brings up Uma. Inspector Sher Singh meanwhile is after him all the time. A grown Uma (Nimmi) meets Amrit (Sunil Dutt), a freedom fighter involved in the Quit India Movement against the British. Amrit and Uma fall in love but Amrit has the police after him. In a fight between the revolutionaries and the police, Sher Singh is imprisoned by them, but subsequently let free by Kundan. Amrit gets injured and Singh tries to arrest him. Kundan knocks the policeman down and escapes through a drainage with Amrit. When the Inspector comes looking for them again there is a confrontation between Kundan and the Inspector while Amrit lies wounded. Kundan tells Sher Singh that he will give himself up to the police if he allows Amrit to get treatment. Sher Singh agrees to let Amrit's wounds be treated and waits as the doctor attends him. When Amrit recovers, Kundan goes down to find a note written by the Inspector, in which he states that he's letting two people wanted by the police to go free, hence his only salvation for not doing his duty is to kill himself. Kundan manages to see the Inspector jumping into the river. Amrit and Uma are reunited with a repentant Gopal asking Kundan's forgiveness.

  • Genre: Action
  • Runtime: 121 Minutes
  • Director: Sohrab Modi
  • Awards: Ulhas was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor

Story

Kundan is a 1955 Hindi social drama film produced and directed by Sohrab Modi for Minerva Movietone. The Screenplay was by Pandit Sudarshan with dialogues by Munshi Abdul Baqui and Pandit Sudarshan. Music was composed by Ghulam Mohammed with lyrics by Shakeel Badayuni. Nimmi's dual role in the film as mother and daughter was acclaimed critically, while Ulhas won a nomination in the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor category. The film co-starred Sohrab Modi, Sunil Dutt, Pran, Murad, Baby Naaz, Kumkum, Om Prakash and Manorama.

Based on Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, the film had Modi playing the role of a poverty-stricken young man who gets into trouble with the police for stealing a loaf of bread. Over the years he avoids a policeman who is on his trail even as he is trying to live an honest life.