Ajay Mehra leaves for Bombay in order to train to become an international boxer. On his return to New Delhi he however found that his brother Ashok Mehra is missing, he decides to make complaints at the police station but this only leads to frustration. He decides to go and search for his brother himself but still does not find him. Later on Ashok's body is found and Ajay is accused of killing him as well as having an illicit relationship with his sister - in - law Indu Mehra. While in jail Ajay makes friends with some other hardcore convicts, who are good at heart. Then one day they escape the jail by overpowering the guards. But Ajay falls in love with Varsha a journalist who helped in showing Ajay the path to justice in killing the main villain Balwant Rai.
A sequel named "Ghayal Returns" is announced. The production of the sequel has faced problems, but Sunny Deol has said that he is determined to make the film.
Sunny Deol got National Film Award-special Jury Award.
It was also the second highest grossing Bollywood film of 1990. "Ghayal" was remade in Tamil as "Bharathan" in 1992 with Vijaykanth and Bhanupriya in lead roles, in Telugu as "Gamyam" in 1998 with Srikanth and in Kannada as "Vishwa" with Shivrajkumar.
"Ghayal" clashed with Aamir Khan's "Dil". "Ghayal" did excellent at the box office, it was rated "Super Hit".
The film won seven Filmfare Awards, including the Best Movie award.
Producer A Subha Rao agreed to make the film only if Sanjay Dutt agreed. But Sanjay Dutt's dates were booked for another film.
At one point Mithun Chakraborthy agreed to do the film , but once again no producer was willing to back the film. This was due to Santoshi being an assistant to Govind Nihalani. The industry thought Santoshi would make a art house type film.
Rajkumar Santoshi wrote the film with Kamal Hassan in mind . But he was unable to find a producer for the film.
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