The Indian Cinematograph Committee of 1928 used Balidan and to show how 'serious' Indian cinema could match Western standards. Based on Tagore's play of 1887, the film's advertising emphasised the high literary quality of its source. The plot of this quasi-historical is set in the fictional land of
Tippera and features Queen Gunavati (Sulochana), King Govinda, Aparna the beggar girl (Zubeida) and the priest Raghupati who runs a Kali temple. The story addresses the conflict between reformist enlightenment and obsolete, inhuman ritual, questioning the contemporary validity of traditional rituals. The dramatic pivot is the conflict between the king who has banned animal sacrifice, and the priest who calls for the king's own blood.