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Pakeezah (PG)

Outdoor Cinema 2024

A woman in traditional Indian dress poses in a wonderfully decorated room, whilst men watch on.

Poet and writer Kamal Amrohi’s beautiful epic is quite simply one of the most extraordinary musical melodramas ever made and a classic of Indian cinema.

Meena Kumari gives a bravura performance as Sahibjaan, the daughter of a famed courtesan who falls in love with a man she cannot marry. The tale of the star-crossed lovers is at the centre of this tale of forbidden passion, with stunning locations and exquisite set design.

Many of the musical sequences have become classics, especially Kumari’s performance of “Chalte Chalte”, while an attack on a riverboat by rampaging elephants heightens the drama further. The film at times feels like a beautiful, surreal dream – seen on the big screen, it is an extraordinary viewing experience.

India 1972 dir Kamal Amrohi 147 min

With thanks to Tajdar Amrohi and Nasreen Munni Kabir

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‘Pakeezah is a wild ride full of iconic looks (the clothes, the eyes...), improbable plot lines and one of the bestselling Bollywood soundtracks of all time. This film is a masterpiece of longing, ‘
Nazmia Jamal , 2022 Sight & Sound poll

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