Kapoor’s most sexploitative movie features Roopa (Aman) as the emphatically sexual woman unfortunately burdened with guilt (her mother died giving birth to her) and with half her face scarred by fire. However, she has an angelic voice which bewitches the engineer Rajiv (Kapoor) who marries her. Refusing to believe that this scarred woman is the figure of his dreams, he rejects the pregnant Roopa who curses her husband. The curse materialises in the form of a dam bursting, causing floods. Eventually, Rajiv accepts the ‘real’ Roopa and his conflict between sacred (ideal) and profane (earthy and imperfect) love is resolved. Aman, a former pin-up girl and advertising model, is presented as a sex object embodying the ‘modernity’ contemporary India has to come to terms with (resulting in censorship problems). In the process, the representation of what has been lost, ‘tradition’, also becomes corrupted, as can be seen from the glitzy temple architecture in the opening bhajan (devotional story) featuring Roopa as a child (Kolhapure) and in which ejaculatory symbols are inflated to gigantic dimensions.
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The first kiss to be shown on a Hindi cinema screen for several years. Read More