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Film Preview - Paheli

Manoj Shinde


The History behind the mystery

Vijaydan Detha is one of the most prolific names in Indian literature also acclaimed with Rajasthan's Sahitya Akademi Award. Decades back one of his legendary stories 'Dohrijoon' (A Double Life) was published in Hindi in the form of two volumes titled 'Uljhan' and 'Duvidha'.

In 1973, filmmaker Mani Kaul known for his offbeat themes made a film Duvidha based on Detha's literary work. And after more than three decades, Amol Palekar has attempted to revive Detha literary gem on the silver screen in the form of his latest offering Paheli. The screenplay and dialogues are adapted and re-written by Amol Palekar's wife Sandhya Gokhale and much to Detha's satisfaction and approval. Keeping the simplicity of the original folk form intact, Paheli has been added with contemporary dimensions that stand monumental in Indian literature.

The Director

Undoubtedly Amol Palekar has been one of Hindi cinema's most accomplished actors well-known for his comical flair in films like Golmaal, Choti Si Baat, Baaton Baaton Main and Rajnigandha to name a few. As a director Palekar has attempted daringly different themes in offbeat films like Bangarwadi, Daayra, Kairee and Anaahat and won much critical acclaim. With Paheli, his biggest directorial ventures so far, Palekar attempts a genre between the art and the commercial. Parallel cinema - not formulaic for sure!


Once upon a time, there was a lovely girl Lachchi (Rani Mukherji) who was married to a man who was only interested in making money. There was a ghost (Shahrukh Khan) who fell madly in love with her. On the wedding night itself, the husband left home for five long years on account of his business. The ghost took on the husband's appearance and entered her life.

A few years later, when the husband returned home, the villagers and relatives were bewildered. How this situation gets resolved is the Paheli.

Paheli is the dilemma of the girl who had to choose between the ghost's eternal love and her husband's insensitive monotone.

Paheli is the dilemma of the husband who had to face rejection from his own people.

Paheli is the dilemma of the ghost who wanted to be human and yet remain sincere and honest to his love.

Paheli is the dilemma of the parents who accepted an adorable son who was not their real son.

Paheli is the dilemma of the villagers who had to decide whether to live with ambiguity or to resolve the riddle.

Supporting Cast and Crew

The film also stars Amitabh Bachchan, Juhi Chawla, Suniel Shetty and Anupam Kher in important roles.

Paheli also boasts of some skilled technicians with cinematography by Ravi K Chandran, art direction by Muneesh Sappal, choreography by Farah Khan, action by Allan Amin, music by M.M.Kreem and lyrics by Gulzar.

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