Intequam (1969)

When Anu listed her favourite Sadhna films, I remarked that another Sadhna film I like—though it’s from later in the actress’s career—is Intequam. Based on Vendetta, a Marie Corelli novel (the only film adaptation of a Corelli work that’s in colour), Intequam is a story of vengeance. Though it features a Sadhna whose gorgeousness had begun to suffer because of her medical problems, she’s still interesting—and the central character in this film.

Sadhna with Sanjay Khan in IntequamIntequam begins at a customs desk, where a man (Ashok Kumar) has just arrived from abroad. The customs officer [the very picture of gullibility] asks if there’s anything to declare, and on being shown a sapphire ring and a pack of Rangoon picture postcards, is happy to let the man through.

A smuggler arrives at customs
Just then, a colleague comes along with the information that the police are on the lookout for a man flaunting a sapphire ring and a pack of Rangoon picture postcards. He’s a smuggler, and must be apprehended.

[Which begs the question: if this ace smuggler was merely asked to declare what he was bringing in, and not actually searched, why did he bother to show something so very distinctive and hard to forget? Ah, the ways of Hindi cinema…]

Anyway, the chase is on, with the cops’ jeep following the smuggler’s car [a hijacked one]. Near a slum, the smuggler gives the cops the slip long enough to get out, find a passing girl, and hand her the postcards, while begging her to keep them safe and not let the police know where he is. [Stupid, stupid. Why shouldn’t the girl send the cops on his trail? And what if she decides it’s a good idea to send the postcards to all her friends across the country?]

The smuggler hands over the postcards to a stranger
But the smuggler probably has a better understanding of human nature than I do, because the girl doesn’t send the police after him. And she keeps his postcards safely in her bag.

The focus now shifts to the girl, Rita (Sadhna), who’s headed home after a long day’s job-hunting. She hasn’t been able to find work anywhere despite being well-educated, and is now at the end of her tether. [She should spend some annas on films like Hum Dono, Usne Kaha Tha, or Waaris; she might get some ideas about where to apply for a job].

Home is in a chawl, where Rita lives with her consumptive, coughing-her-lungs out, but bravely going-on-making-baskets mother [No prizes for guessing who. Leela Chitnis].

Rita with her ailing Mum
Fortunately for Rita and Mum, there’s good news: a call for an interview. Their neighbour Meera (Dulari) brings across the letter, which has been left at her home by mistake, and there’s much excitement. If Rita can get this job, life will be better.

The interview is at the Sona Department Store, where Rita has applied for a job as a stenographer. She is interviewed by the slimy Baanke (Jeevan), who leers at her throughout and swiftly decides that yes, she is certainly the right candidate for the job. [Rita is either too dumb, too naïve, or just plain too desperate to notice Baanke’s undisguised lecherousness].

Rita is interviewed by Baanke
Rita is therefore appointed, and goes to meet the boss, Seth Sohan Lal (Rehman), who gives her a brief pep talk. He, however, curtly turns down Rita’s request for an advance to pay for her mother’s treatment.

Seth Sohan Lal is a very wealthy man, but much of his wealth is being drained away thanks to the irresponsible behaviour of his sole offspring, Rajpal ‘Raj’ (Sanjay Khan). Raj is an inveterate [and, worse, unlucky] gambler, who’s constantly losing money and having to phone Daddy to pay up his debts. Seth Sohan Lal, however, is so devoted to his son that he hardly even protests.

Raj asks his father for money to pay off his debts
Among Seth Sohan Lal’s business associates—and one whose goodwill Sohan Lal is eager to retain—is the buffoonish Seth Murlidhar (Asit Sen). Murlidhar has a taste for liquor and women. To ‘cater’ to him, Baanke sends Rita to Murlidhar’s hotel room, on the pretext of taking dictation.
To her credit, Rita is very uncomfortable about this arrangement, and tries to back out of it. Baanke, however, assures her that Murlidhar is a decent man, and that it’s important for the company that he be kept happy.

When Rita arrives at Murlidhar’s room, however, it’s to discover that—as she had feared—Murlidhar’s idea of being kept happy is rather different from what she would like. When he starts to paw her, she lets fly and slaps Murlidhar.

Seth Murlidhar gets fresh
The result is that, the next day, Rita is summoned to Sohan Lal’s office, and he questions her. Didn’t she know how important Seth Murlidhar is to them? How dare she insult him? Rita, instead of being cowed, snaps back: what Seth Murlidhar tried to do was an insult to her. And if Seth Sohan Lal tries to pressurise her, she’ll go to the department store’s trade union. They’ll make sure she gets justice.

Rita snaps back at Seth Sohan Lal
Seth Sohan Lal makes a suave recovery, telling Rita that he was just testing her. And that he is proud of her for standing up like that.
With Rita pacified and out of the way for now, Seth Sohan Lal hurries to Baanke and tells him to make sure Rita doesn’t cause problems. And that she is taught a lesson.

The next day, Rita—coming in to work, and removing the raincoat she’s been wearing—doesn’t realise that Baanke has been watching. When she’s gone off to her desk, he slips a valuable necklace from the store’s jewellery display…

…and shortly after, the alarm in the store is sounded. All the employees line up, a police inspector is summoned, and bags and purses and personal belongings are checked.

The staff at the department store is searched
In the pocket of Rita’s raincoat is found the missing necklace.

The necklace is found in Rita's raincoat
All her pleas and protests of innocence go unheard, and Rita ends up with a year’s imprisonment. [Shoddy job by the cops, I’d say; they don’t seem to have done any investigations re: how Rita was able to filch a necklace from a display she was nowhere near, etc].
Fortunately, we don’t get to see all the nitty-gritty and sordidness of Rita’s prison sentence; the next scene has her being released, 15 days before her sentence is up, because she’s been a good girl.

… yet not in time. Because, as she arrives at the jailor’s desk, she is given some worrying news: her mother is very ill. Rita therefore runs all the way home [Why? Wouldn’t a bus have been faster?]—and finds that poor Mum has coughed her last cough.

Back from prison
Rita is heartbroken, of course, but also bitter and furious as hell. Seth Sohan Lal and Baanke and Murlidhar are to blame for the death of her mother. And come what may, she will make them pay. This, in good Hindi film style, isn’t a quiet little thought or even something muttered under one’s breath, but a loud proclamation made in what Rita believes to be a deserted temple—she tells the resident idol that she has no further use for him.

And, also like in good Hindi film style, when you’re least expecting it, an eavesdropper crops up. And it’s someone you’ve met before. This happens to be Hira Lal, the man who—a year ago—had given Rita that bunch of postcards and told her to keep them safe. He’s come back to thank her for helping him that night, and to ask for the postcards back.

Rita meets Hira Lal
When he accompanies Rita home and she hands over the postcards, he reveals them to be a hiding place for—diamonds! [Yes, well, a man called Hira Lal. What do you expect? What beats me is how people in Hindi films carry around loose diamonds in their palms like so much gravel].

Diamonds!
Another coincidence, now. It seems (though we are not told why, right now) that Hira Lal too hates Sohan Lal, and wants to avenge some long-ago wrong Sohan Lal is guilty of. Hira Lal proposes that he and Rita gang up, and use the diamonds as a means to have their respective revenge on Sohan Lal. Rita agrees.

Switch to two years later. Hira Lal (now in a natty suit) and Rita (now all chic, coiffed and chiffon-sari-clad) are the owners of the hugely popular Casino Egyptiana, where, besides the gambling, drink and blonde waitresses, the big attraction is the dancer Rebecca (Helen). Rebecca, in a departure from the quintessential vamp, is a ‘bad girl’ only on the outside; she’s actually Rita’s good friend, and is helping her carry out one bit of revenge: on Seth Murlidhar…

Rita and Rebecca plot...
…whom Rebecca has managed to ensnare to the extent that ‘Murli’ [as he signs himself in his love letters] confesses his fascination for her in many letters.

Murlidhar's downfall
All of these Rebecca and Rita carefully hoard, until it is time to blackmail Murlidhar and make sure he’s cured forever of his penchant for lusting after pretty ladies. Even his lawyer, who comes to negotiate with/threaten Rita, goes away with his tail between his legs.

Murlidhar's lawyer finds himself cornered
Now to the main focus of the revenge—both Rita’s and Hira Lal’s—: Seth Sohan Lal. Hira Lal has come to the conclusion that Sohan Lal’s weak spot is his son, Raj. Rita must entice Raj; when he is completely in her thrall and has married her, Rita will have become the embodiment of Sohan Lal’s honour and dignity. Then they will have their revenge.

Fortunately for them, Raj is in the right place [Kashmir] at the right time [summer]. Rita and Hira Lal, with Rebecca in tow, go off to Kashmir too. While Rebecca finds a cartoonish suitor in Raj’s friend Pyare Lal (Rajinder Nath):

Rebecca is wooed by Pyarelal
Rita is busy luring Raj with a song and mysterious disappearances and appearances in places he hadn’t expected. It doesn’t take long [to be precise, just one song] to have Raj fall head over heels in love with Rita.

Raj is entranced by Rita
Soon, they’re cootchie-cooing all over the Valley, and Hira Lal is orchestrating Rita’s every move, from when she should make Raj wait for her on a date, to how long.

Love is in the air
One evening, when they’re by themselves, Hira Lal confides in Rita. 20 years ago, he and Sohan Lal were best friends and associates. They were sailing past Rangoon harbour when the police got after them (Hira Lal does not say why the police were chasing them, but we can guess. So can Rita).

The two men came to a decision: one of them would lure the cops away and allow himself to be taken, while the other would escape. Hira Lal agreed to be the scapegoat, on the condition that Sohan Lal, on arriving in India, would look after Hira Lal’s wife and child.

Hira Lal recounts the past
20 years later, when Hira Lal—now free—arrived at Sohan Lal’s house, it was to find that Sohan Lal hadn’t even bothered to look up Hira Lal’s wife and child. He had no idea where they were. “I was a bit busy,” Sohan Lal said.

Yes, well. We can understand now why Hira Lal can’t stand Sohan Lal. Especially as Hira Lal, despite his best efforts, hasn’t been able to find his family either.

But, back to Bombay, where Rita and Hira Lal now decamp, in pursuit of Raj. Raj is thrilled about his ‘betrothed’, as he introduces Rita to his father at a party hosted by Sohan Lal. Sohan Lal, though he has an unsettling feeling that he’s seen this girl somewhere before, can’t place her—but is quite enchanted by Rita nonetheless.

Sohan Lal is introduced to Rita
So enchanted, in fact, that he gifts her a diamond necklace. Which, while Raj is putting it on for Rita, is the impetus that Baanke, who’s standing by, needs. The juxtaposition of woman and diamond necklace refreshes his memory, and he immediately tells Sohan Lal who Rita is.

Rita and a diamond necklace
Sohan Lal tries to draw Raj away so that he can talk to him, but Rita—seeing what’s happening—runs away from the party, fully aware that faithful puppy Raj will follow.

And he does, without even listening to what his father has to say. Raj catches up with Rita as she’s driving off, and Rita tells him that it’s best they break up: she isn’t as wealthy as he is, his father will always disapprove of her, and their relationship can go no further. Raj, as she expects [this poor man is so predictable], denies this all, and—to prove his undying love—suggests they get married, at once.

Raj insists on marrying Rita immediately
They do, and Sohan Lal, when faced with his bahu, has no option but to accept her. And Raj’s new bride, now that she is Sohan Lal’s ghar ki laaj—all the honour of his name and household rests on her shoulders—can get around to making sure that his name is mud. And Raj, naïve and puzzled when he asks Rita why she’s behaving thus if she loves him, has the bitter truth flung in his face: She doesn’t love him, never has. She married him as a part of her vendetta.

Raj and Rita: friends? Enemies? More? Less?
Does Rita succeed? Do she and Hira Lal have their revenge? Or do other hiccups—so common in Hindi cinema—crop up?

What I liked about this film:

Intequam is pretty representative of the somewhat better class of 60s masala film: stylish, with an interesting (if occasionally melodramatic) plot, a slim secondary romance (the characters of Rajinder Nath and Helen), a second woman (Anju Mahendru in a short role as Indu, who loves Raj) and a satisfying hotchpotch of angst, anger, romance—and revenge. Sadhna, while not as gorgeous as she was in Waqt or Mere Mehboob, is still beautiful. Sanjay Khan is boyishly good-looking, and actually quite convincing as the amiable young man who falls in love with a woman whose agenda is quite different.

The character development of the principal characters—Rita and Raj in particular—is interesting. Raj is caught between his love for his father and his love for the wife who’s out to avenge herself. Rita is too dear to give up for the sake of family honour; he cannot bring himself to hate her, even if she lives in her own home and refuses to have anything to do with him.

On the other hand, his love for his father means that Raj is ashamed and embarrassed to see Sohan Lal being demeaned by Rita. It makes him try to reason with Rita, even to get coldly angry with her. … and yet, Raj sees the injustice in how Rita was treated by Sohan Lal. He cannot undo what Sohan Lal did, and he cannot see Sohan Lal pay.

Caught between love on two sides
And there is Rita, who is embittered and angry and refuses to give up on her quest to destroy all that Sohan Lal holds dear: his prestige and name. Yet, because she has no enmity with Raj—he has only been a pawn in her plot—she is fair: she does not target him. An incongruity that is a little unusual for Hindi cinema, where a ‘destroy-the-entire-family’ vengeance is rather more common.

All in all, a pair of good character studies and enough shades of grey to make them intriguing.

Some of the songs (music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal). Especially Geet tere saaz ka; the two daaru songs (Kaise rahoon chup ke maine pee hee kya hai and Jo unki tamanna hai barbaad ho jaa) and the two club songs: Aa jaan-e-jaan and Mehfil soyi, aisa koi, both fine examples of how well Lata could match Asha when it came to sultry night club songs.

What I didn’t like about this film:

[Besides some very imaginative, convenient and totally OTT use of white mice in one crucial scene]

Spoiler ahead:

While it builds up the motive for revenge—and even takes the revenge plot quite far along—Intequam doesn’t have the guts to go the whole hog. It was, of course, unusual to have a female protagonist hell-bent on revenge back in those days, but Intequam succumbs to the pressure of the more usual tropes and standards that ruled the silver screen.

Spoiler ends.

Barring that, however, this was a film I enjoyed. It’s entertaining, and it has a somewhat offbeat premise that makes it worth watching.

Note:

Intequam is available for viewing on Youtube, here. This, however, is a badly edited version. Not bad enough to leave you wondering what happened, but it does have odd skips and jumps which can be jarring.

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47 thoughts on “Intequam (1969)

  1. I saw this movie 2-3 years back. I didn’t have high expectations, but still I thought, this would be a decent one, but was terribly disappointed by it. The songs were also not really up to my taste except for “aa jaan-e-jaan”. For a long time I had a neutral attitude towards “kaise rahu chhup”. then a few years back, I was in an Indian restaurant in Vienna, where they played this song at least 100 times over, making me hate it. And to top it all the food was awful.
    So, not really my cup of tea. I think, they had a good plot, which could have developed into something nice, but bad direction and co. just made a mess of it. But nice to see that you liked it, somehow. Thank God, tastes differ!

    “Shoddy job by the cops, I’d say; they don’t seem to have done any investigations re: how Rita was able to filch a necklace from a display she was nowhere near, etc”
    Don’t tell me you expect them to be any better than this in real life. They all want to go back to their ‘real’ job. Most important thing is that they have a culprit.

    • Well, of all the songs I have mentioned, I’ll admit that Kaise rahoon chup is probably my least favourite. And I would certainly begin to hate it with a vengeance if it was played in a loop that often! (and bad food? Worse).

      Somehow, from the time I first saw Intequam – when I was a teenager – I’ve always liked this film. Perhaps because it was a little offbeat, not the usual type, even though it does go downhill in the last half-hour. Still. :-)

      Yes, I do expect the police – and the judiciary – to be better than that in real life. (Actually, I’d expect them to be better in cinema, which does tend to show things in a more rosy light than is real). If we don’t expect people to do their job well, how can anybody ever improve?

  2. Ah, nice. Sounds right up my street, and would have been even more so if only they had let the heroine be totally without conscience in her pursuit of revenge. I’m guessing it didn’t go that far. But it is nice to see people actually be people – neither all good or all bad. Grey is always a better colour. :)

    p.s. I’m glad you posted this now; I was beginning to go through withdrawal symptoms!

    • “I was beginning to go through withdrawal symptoms!

      Aw. That’s sweet of you. :-) Thanks!

      By the way: I posted a link to this post on Facebook, and someone on my Facebook friends list commented: “thanks for posting this…can’t seem to get enough of Anu Warrier’s blogs or her writing! So relatable.”

      Take a bow, Anu!

      Also, to add to what I’ve written about the film – this is to do with your comment about grey being a better colour – another thing that appealed to me was that the hero, for a change, is not infallible and always in control of things. In fact, he’s pretty much a victim of circumstances. Not the typical Hindi film hero.

      • *Blush!* Thank you.

        I should get my hands on this, Madhu. I like Sanjay Khan and I like Sadhana, and the sort of really human characters you describe make it sound very intriguing. Only the thought of another cut-up film on YouTube doesn’t appeal to me.

        • Yes, Anu. I wouldn’t recommend watching this on Youtube. I began watching it there, since I was under the impression my VCD had got scratched and was out of commission. But, while the Youtube version isn’t completely mangled, it has bits and pieces of scenes missing. Not to the point to which Hum Sab Chor Hain seems to have been massacred, but enough to make it seem disjointed. I ended up taking out my VCD after all – and, hallelujah – it worked! Not perfect quality, but at least the movie’s all there.

          It’s on Induna, should you want to buy:

          http://www.induna.com/1000006150-productdetails/

  3. Inteqam brings back memories of my childhood. Usually my parents saw these films, after all such films were not meant for us kids, we would get bored anyway. As I grew up a bit, my mum began filling me in with the stories of these films. I remember I found the story quite nice and the songs- I always loved them. Then the film was screened on Doordarshan and at last I saw the film , I found it quite entertaining, oh, yes there were the usual Hindi film irritants as you have already pointed but good entertainment nevertheless. You see I loved to see Helen’s dance numbers, besides I also loved the song aa jaane ja, so you can imagine my disappointment when the song was edited out, those were the days when Doordarshan had its own censorship, they routinely snipped off Helen’s songs. Anyway thankfully those days are behind us now.

    • Oh, to have Aa jaan-e-jaan cut out was totally not done! When I watched Intequam on Doordarshan (this must have been in the late 80s), they had made progress by then, and the song was retained in its entirety. So I did get to see it. It’s quite an entertaining film, much better than the other Sadhna-Sanjay Khan starrer I’ve seen, Ek Phool Do Maali. That was terrible.

      • Guess what? I read somewhere that Sanjay and Sadhana were not on speaking terms for most of Ek Phool Do Mali somewhere during the making of the film they had a tiff and they stopped talking to each other, in fact I had read there was a film with Mumtaz and Sanjay, I do not remember the name, during the making of this film too the lead pair stopped communicating with each other, thankfully though they did not let it affect the films, both the films were complete without a hitch.

        • That’s interesting. I didn’t know that. I did remember reading, though, of a similar instance in the case of the Dharmendra-Vyjyantimala film, Pyaar hi Pyaar: Vyjyantimala was, by then, on the verge of getting married and retiring, so she didn’t seem to have much interest in anything except getting the film done. She didn’t fraternise with her colleagues, and didn’t even speak to Dharmendra throughout the shooting.

  4. Great! Intequam is a favorite of mine,particularly because of two S’s-(Sadhana and Sanjay);they make a cute pair onscreen.And Helen too,she is always been my favorite.Intequam puts the focus on the female protagonist;a welcome change from other movies,where the sole responsibility to revenge is on the hero’s shoulder.The temple scene reminds me of a scene from Deewar-“Aaj khush to bahut hoge tum”.A precursor to the “angry young man” (an angry young woman!).Loved Sanjay Khan in this;his dilemma, a poor chap torn between his father and his love.He plays the part quite convincingly.It has lovely songs such as “Geet Tere Saaz Ka” and “Jo Unki Tammana”and “Kaise Rahu Chuup*.But the end could had been better IMO,but the it is indeed worth a watch!

    • We are completely on the same page when it comes to Intequam, coolone160! :-) I agree: Sadhna and Sanjay Khan make a great pair, and I really did think Sanjay Khan’s character was very well etched, not at all the typical hero. Sadhna was quite obviously the focus of the film.

      I like your observation about the ‘angry young woman’ – I have seen this in other, earlier films too. Black and white ones, though offhand I can’t recall exact ones. But this thing of going to a temple (after a tragedy has struck) and scorning the idol there, saying you have no further use for them, seems to have been a popular filmi expression of anger and disenchantment.

  5. I have not seen the movie. But, even without your spoiler hint, my guess is:

    1. Sadhna genuinely starts loving Sanjay Khan.
    2. Therefore, there is some ambivalence in what kind of revenge she finally wants to take on Rahman. There is the matter of Ashok Kumar’s revenge on him, whose moral case is not so strong because both were on the wrong sides of the law. The vilest villain is Jeevan.
    3. Therefore, Rahman shows remorse to the Bahu, who forgives him. He compensates Ashok Kumar financially, and is able to locate his family and restore to him. That settles the matter between them. The lecher, Asit Sen is more comic, and he couldn’t really do real damage; therefore, he is forgotten in the endgame. The case is reopened, Sadhna is honorably acquitted of all charges. Jeevan is charged with making false accusation (Section 211 IPC and other related sections) and is sent to jail.

    Now, please tell me how close I am, and how do you rate my ending?

    AK

    • AK, I like your ‘educated guesses’. But what do you want to bet that Sadhana will turn out to be Ashok Kumar’s long lost daughter? :)

      I have only one quibble with your scenario – I don’t think Sadhana’s case can be reopened at this point – she has already served time; Even if she is vindicated, the stigma of having been in jail is never going to go away. So, that part will be conveniently forgotten.

      • Anu,
        In my wildest imagination I could not have thought of Ashok Kumar-Sadhana connection. If this is the case then my head is reeling. I give up.

        I saw she had served her sentence. I meant it in the sense of exoneration, and removal of conviction from her record. And Jeevan, the real villain, has to be dealt with.

        AK

      • Brilliant, Anu! Correct on both counts. :-)

        While on the topic, Hindi cinema rarely makes amends for miscarriages of justice, no? People spend years in jail for killings done in self-defence or whatever, and even if it turns out later that they weren’t to blame, few ever get any sort of compensation…

        • Madhu, compensation for lost years rarely happens here, either, where justice is meted out relatively swiftly. There are many men languishing in prision because of faulty judgements; there are many men exonerated because of new DNA evidence who have spent more than half their lives in jail, and are now tainted by their prison sentence. The rest of their lives aren’t going to be fun either. :(

          • So true. And if I were at the receiving end of being “baizzat bari-ed”, and even being given some sort of compensation – in kind or cash – I don’t think I could ever get over something like that. :-(

    • Haha. I’ve only just seen this thread of guesses, and I have one thing to say: AK, you have a lot to learn from Anu, who could probably give a lecture on scriptwriting for old Hindi cinema! :-D

      You do have it right, though, on two counts:

      Spoilers ahead:

      (a) Rita does fall in love with Raj (though, since she doesn’t express it – in word or deed – till almost the end of the film, it alters the direction the film takes)
      (b) Baanke is the vilest villain

      (What actually happens is that Baanke hires another goon – played by Siddhu – to disfigure Rita with acid. This happens at a party at the casino, and in the skirmish which ensues, Hira Lal kills the Siddhu character while trying to protect Rita. Rita, who now knows that Hira Lal is her father – yes, Anu guessed right – immediately picks up Hira Lal’s pistol so that she can get her fingerprints on it. And Raj, because he loves her, does the same. So Raj ends up in the dock for Siddhu’s murder…)

      Actually, a little more convoluted than I’d have imagined. And how and why Rita forgives Sohan Lal happens after all of this.

      • Madhu,
        Yes, if Anu has not seen the film, she is a genius!

        How Sadhna forgives Rahman:

        Rahman: “Beti, main to tumse maafi bhi mangne ke qaabil nahi hun!”

        Sadhna: “Pitaji!”, and falls at his feet. She is lifted up and embraced by Rahman, who touches her head and blesses her: “Aaj mujhe ek beti mil gayi”. Ashok Kumar watches the reunion with teary eyes.

        AK

        • No, not really, AK. ;-) The way Rehman asks for her forgiveness – and the circumstances in which he does so – are rather different. And she doesn’t fall at his feet. Modern girl; she hugs him. :-) And Ashok Kumar isn’t present in this scene.

  6. Madhu, Anu
    My final shot about Jeevan. Since the case is not reopened, and the vilest villain has to be punished, this is how it goes:

    He has become greedy, eating into Rahman’s business. Rahman is too gullible to notice. But the Bahu is good at numbers. She takes charge of the accounts, detects massive defalcation. A shocked Rahman sacks Jeevan, who pulls out a gun. Ashok Kumar comes in and gets the bullet. Jeevan is overpowered and goes to jail. In the hospital in OT, Rahman lying by the side of Ashok Kumar, because only his blood matches. His blood flows into Ashok Kumar. Sanjay Khan is released because the judge realises he was not guilty. Everyone cries tears of happiness. Sanjay Khan and Sadhna ride off, singing the happy duet they had sung earlier in the film (if they had sung one).

    AK

    • LOL! AK, you should be writing a script. :-D Brilliant. Not at all the way it plays out in the actual Intequam, but a superb effort nevertheless.

      Incidentally, Jeevan’s character is punished, but not by the law. Divine retribution steps in!

  7. Jo unki tamanna hai barbaad ho jaaye is from this film?! I must see it, then. :D I remember seeing bits of this movie on TV while channel-surfing, long ago. Not sure why I didn’t see it then. But I will try to catch it on youtube now.

    By the way, are you certain this is based on Vendetta? From what I remember of the book (and goodreads confirms it), the only thing this film and the novel have in common is that a main character wants revenge. Vendetta has a hero who is mistaken for dead and buried alive. Fortunately, he is buried in a coffin placed in a family tomb, not in a grave. He fights his way out of the coffin, finds a buried treasure in the tomb, and escapes the tomb. On his way back home, he finds that his wife and his best friend are having an affair and are very happy that he is ‘dead’. That’s where the revenge comes in – naturally the adulterous wife and duplicitous friend must pay! Thankfully for him, the trauma of being buried alive has completely altered his appearance, and he is now a fabulously wealthy man, thanks to the buried treasure. So he can easily approach his wife and former friend in the guise of a wealthy stranger, in order to extract his convoluted revenge. B. R. Chopra’s Afsana (starring Ashok Kumar and Veena) comes closer to the Vendetta plot line, than Intequam does, I think.

    • Ah, okay. I’ve never read Vendetta, so I didn’t know what the story was about. The plot certainly sounds nothing like Intequam – in fact, the revenge theme could easily fit dozens of Hindi films. I’d first come across a mention of Intequam; being an adaptation of Vendetta on a webpage devoted to Marie Corelli’s work. Also, IMDB – on the Intequam page – lists her among the credits (though I’ve just rewatched the credits on my copy of the film, and while the credits seem complete, there’s no Marie Corelli there). It just may be a case of someone having made a mistake at some point, and it’s been perpetrated over the years.

      By the way, the story of Vendetta sounds rather a lot like The Count of Monte Cristo, doesn’t it? :-)

      • You’re right. Vendetta does sound like The Count of Monte Cristo! Maybe Corelli copied Dumas? Her book is a very soap opera-ish melodrama, though. Not a patch on Dumas’s writing.

        • The only Marie Corelli I’ve read – long ago, when I was a kid – was Thelma, which was also very soap operaish and melodramatic. It certainly put me off wanting to read any of her other books!

  8. At first I thought I’ll comment after watching the film, but realised I wouldn’t be able to for some time. So read the complete review including the ‘spoiler’ :-/
    But is hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm and will definitely watch it because of the heroine having a mission other than the usual one, even though…..
    In addition to that I am absolutely thrilled that there is yet another Kashmir- holiday film. In fact that excites me more than the ‘inteqam’ thing.
    Thanks DO. As usual enjoyed reading the review especially those lines which make us wonder at ‘hindi films’. :-)

    • Yes, this heroine certainly has a mission other than the usual one. I liked her a lot – she was far more spunky (at least after she emerged from jail to find her mother dead) than the run-of-the-mill Hindi film heroine. Yet not outright nasty and irritating, as I’ve seen some other ‘spoiled brats’ onscreen.

      “In addition to that I am absolutely thrilled that there is yet another Kashmir- holiday film.

      Let me warn you, pacifist: only in part, only in part. Two songs are filmed there, and a couple of scenes, but that’s about it. The rest is all set in Bombay. :-)

      Glad you enjoyed the review!

  9. I watched the movie only for Helen . Her dance superbly matched Lata ‘s song “Aa jaane jaa”
    Only Helen can dance with such a grace and energy.
    Thank you for the beautiful review

    • Helen was a class apart, really. And even though Aa jaan-e-jaan had some odd bits (I don’t care for all that blackface or the man in the cage, and some of those nonsense words boomed out by the male chorus in the song could’ve been skipped)… well, despite that, it’s still worth a watch. All for Helen!

      Glad you liked the review, Epstein.

  10. I have no love for Sanjay Khan or the music of “Intequam” (they’re both the definition of bland to me) but I throughly enjoyed the movie. I think it’s because the plot is delightfully over-the-top but Ashok Kumar and Sadhana are such restrained (generally) performers that it’s such fun to watch them chew the scenery in their understated way. :-D

    • I have a sneaking suspicion that Sadhana probably enjoyed doing some OTT stuff alongside more ‘relevant’ cinema like Parakh or Prem Patra. Look at stuff like Anita or Woh Kaun Thi? or Mera Saaya: all thoroughly hard to believe. But also all fairly enjoyable, warts and all.

  11. I never saw this movie. I have liked the songs a lot, esp. aa jane jaan. I am d/l’ing it right now.

    Loved your review.

    It is sad how fast Sadhna lost her lovely looks. All because of her thyroid problems. Even so, she had clout enough to star in central roles such as in Geeta Mera Naam and Inteqam.

    • “It is sad how fast Sadhna lost her lovely looks.

      Yes, she had a very short career – Love in Simla was released in 1960, and within 9 years, Sadhana was working in some of the last films of her career. Really sad, especially as she was both a great actress as well as very lovely.

      I hope you enjoy the film, Ava!

      • I DID download and see the film on the same day. My head is still swimming with the wonder of the ‘mother-making-tokri’ scene.

        Someone should do a post on the Things Single Mothers Did to raise their children.

        Kapde see see is common, Papad Making (Sajan) was a diversion, Tokri making is again an innovation. I wonder what else the mothers did.

        • I also think I’ve seen bartan maanjhna in some films. But tokri-making is quite an unusual one. And papad belna is pure idiotic for someone who is supposed to be ill. Couldn’t she have found less strenous work to do?!

  12. Intequam is actually a film adaptation of the play “Within the Law,” and it’s been filmed several times before, the most famous being “Paid” (1930) starring Joan Crawford. Crawford is a department store employee who is sent to prison for a crime she did not commit. She plots vengeance on the wealthy store owner, who testified mistakenly against her. After her release from prison, she meets the store owner’s son, and gets him to fall for her. They get married without the owner’s knowledge. Then she actually does fall in love with the son.

  13. When “Filmfare” reviewed this movie the writer said , “Sadhana goes to jail for a year & comes out looking as though she’d been to a beauty salon!”

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