Rediff Logo Movies Banner ad Find/Feedback/Site Index



Koyla is set against a background of coal mines, like How Green Was My Valley and Kaala Patthar. Unlike both these, Koyla is about revenge, love, rape and other virtues Bollywood badshahs assiduously cultivate.

The locals look upon Raja (Amrish Puri) as a demi-god, but the chappie, along with brother Brijwa (Salim Ghouse) has a secret band to terrorise the populace.

Raja's eyes fall upon village beauty Gauri (Madhuri Dixit) and promptly goes nuts with lust. Schemer that he is, Raja knows Gauri won't go for his white hair, and so sends her the pic of his mentally dumb and physically mute servant, Shankar (Shah Rukh), with his own marriage proposal attached. A marriage was just what Gauri needed, and she, in her turn, promptly goes nuts with love for Shankar and has some lurid fantasies about being his bride. (Being a little coy, we'll leave it to the cinema house to supply you with details)

Anyway, Gauri's dumped into bridal gear and hustled of to the house of her hubby-to-be. In the crowd she glimpses Shankar looking up bemusedly in her general direction. Tricked, she says to herself and, just to satisfy her curiosity, pulls off the sehra off the bridegroom and finds she is facing a fate worse than death -- bad breath. Naturally, she faints, letting Raja complete the ceremony without her interference.

Gauri is locked up in a room because she refuses to ... um... er... whatever. Fed up of the colliery and Lord Halitosis, she tries to string herself up. Shankar, who just happened to be in the vicinity, drops in and saves her neck. One look at him and Gauri breaks down, accusing the bewildered twit of destroying her life. Dumb though he is, Shankar sees opportunity and quickly clears the air. After learning the happy truth, she comes to his hut that night... She lights a flame before the gods. That's about it.

Meanwhile, Gauri's sibling in Dubai learns of her marriage and comes to see her. For him, Gauri keeps up a brave face, grimacing as required. It is left to Shankar to fill in the gaps other than those between Gauri's teeth.

Brother tries to rescue sister and, in true blue Bollywood rakhi-toting-sucker style, is polished by the villains. But before giving up the ghost, he gives Shankar the go-ahead to elope with his sister. Shankar is quick to obey though he had perhaps not quite bargained that the cavalry and the infantry would trail in their wake (oops, wrong word, that).

Finally, Raja outwits the dumb duo. Gauri is shot down and Shankar, brutally beaten, is despatched off the business end of a cliff.

Do Shankar and Gauri die? Naturally, you would say. But, ah, who then is decimating the ranks of the ungodly? Could it be Shankar who has Raja gibbering in fear? Could he have got back his voice which he apparently lost as a child when Raja stuffed a burning coal down his throat? Will Shankar take revenge? Sorry, bad question. At least, can undying love -- or even the dying kind -- move mountains, or a Raja as far as his grave? If you're dying to know what happens to Gauri, Shankar, Raja, Brijwa and the rest of the entourage, the answers lie in Raakesh Roshan's Koyla.