JUNOON (1978)

Shashi Kapoor stars as a man obsessed with a young Anglo-Indian woman in Shyam Benegal's classic drama, set during the Indian Mutiny.

Film details

Alternative titles

  • A FLIGHT OF PIGEONS Alternative
  • POSSESSED Alternative
  • OBSESSION Alternative

Introduction

Junoon is one of cinema’s most intelligent and engaging explorations of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

After witnessing the bloody murder of her father, Anglo-Indian Ruth Labadoor is abducted by Pathan chieftain Javed Khan. Held in the suffocating confines of his home – part-prison, part-sanctuary – Ruth has to negotiate Javed’s increasing obsession with her and the resentment it instils in his wife (Shabana Azmi).

Based on Ruskin Bond’s novella A Flight of Pigeons, it’s the relationships between women that lie at the heart of the story, as unexpected allegiances develop and sympathies shift. Azmi, in particular, is tremendous, prowling the house at night like a jilted tiger ready to pounce.

Shyam Benegal and cinematographer Govind Nihalani brilliantly mix the claustrophobic with the epic, gentle moments of domesticity with fear and horror. An under-seen Indian classic.

Cast & Credits

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