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» » Leader (1964)

Short summary

Meet Vijay Khanna, educated law graduate; publisher of "Leader"; mischief monger; trouble-maker; maker of revolutionary and hilarious speeches; contemptuous of politicians; attracted to the princess of Shah Garh, Sunita; masquerades as the son of an industrialist; and who is wanted by the police for the brutal and daring murder of one of India's leading politicians'.

First Indian film to be shot outside of the 1.37:1 ratio (shot in 1.85:1)

"Ek Shaneesh" by Das Racist sampled the song "Ek Shahenshah Ne Banwa Ke Hansee ".

Mujhe Duniya Walon Na Sharabi was sampled by Danish DJ Den Sorte Skole song Formula Dub from the album Lektion 3.

User reviews


  • comment
    • Author: Ƀ⁞₳⁞Ð Ƀ⁞Ǿ⁞Ɏ
    Something grand and almost royal, surfaces in films from the 1950s and 60s. They are a refreshing look back in time. The lack of "oversexed" plots, slower shots, and relaxed pace, are some of the things that make them great IMO.

    This is one of those films...like most Hindi films, there are so many characters and stories going on all at once (Note: probably needs this to fill 3 hours). We see the main character, Vijay Khanna, a wiley, fun-loving law student with idealist aims but a somewhat cowardly heart, become transformed into a man who will become a great politician someday. In Hindi films, character development happens so often through plot and a character's conduct rather than through dialogue...so different than Western films usually.

    We imagine that Khanna learned the courage and bravery he needs to be a "hero" for India as he is enmeshed and then untangles himself from a dark and violent political subplot he gets caught up in unexpectedly. The green young idealist becomes a veteran-hero whose risked his life for love, and justice, albeit not necessarily because he wanted to but circumstances made it so.

    We also see a bit of this development in the heroine, Sunita, a young and innocent princess living a fairytale life, who alongside Vijay becomes involved in the violence and corruption.

    The two undergo trials both as a couple in their commitment towards each other, and in saving their own lifes from the political-criminals who are after them. By the end, their love is forged into something much stronger than superficial beauty and physical attraction, as we hope is Vijay's respect for the work of past leaders of the country, and his commitment to continue their fight against injustice, or in the present times, against corruption.

    The picture we see of the masses in India was complicated. Their vote seems so important to politicians, but we see how uninformed and easily swayed the masses are, and how corrupt politicians are there. It was an uneasy picture. The film also exposes concepts of mob justice or mentality in India, of community justice or vigilantism occurring in India as well.

    Lastly, we see a dedicated father and mother in Vijay's family who on the one hand, curse their son's immaturity early on, but will go to any lengths to save him from the trouble he becomes involved in. Family loyalty has a hand in saving our hero...

    These are things I saw when digging deeper into the film, but the seriousness is balanced against comedic moments, and songs and dance scenes found in Bollywood films. It embraces multiple genres: a political thriller, a romance comedy, and an action film.

    You can expect to see great sets like a grand ballroom (and other beautifully recreated rooms inside and outside a palace), a torture scene in a medieval dungeon, and scenes filmed on-site at memorable locations in India the best one for me being the Taj Mahal love scene. The sets are very creative and wide-ranging, and entertaining.

    So if you're a Westerner like me, be prepared to put aside any expectation of realism in this film, don't hope to watch anything similar to a Western film, let go of any aversion you have to melo-drama, any desire for plausibility, and finally, remember the film is about 50 years old. If you can do that, the film should be entertaining.

    (Be prepared for those tinny sound tracks from old movies as well ;-)
  • comment
    • Author: Frdi
    I was bored , had nothing to do and this was on TV.. well,, I really luved it.. and i've watched it over a few times now... its about a talented young law student and journalist who's kinda ringleader of a band of loafers... the first part ids full of comedy and romance... I was only 15 when i first watched this.. and i turned into a dilip kumar's fan. the second part becomes a sort of thriller... with the assassination of a political leader.. the plot is complicated.. but it slowly and beautifully unravels the performance of dilip is superb, comedy, romance, action and tragedy u name it. the locations are nice too.. watch out for the song on telephone( dilip teases the princess on the phone) and the song in the magnificent taj mahal. to conclude i would say, its a political thriller with ingredients of comedy, romance, lots of suspense...9.75/10
  • comment
    • Author: Kajikus
    The thespian and versatile Dilip Kumar rules the movie with an enticing female lead support by Vijantimala. This cinema scope, Technicolor movie with a beautifully choreographed and classically filmed song with the historical Taj Mahal in the background is a feast for the eyes.

    Although, the movie is not very serious or melodramatic, because the first one hour is just light comedy and adventure but subsequently, as the symbolic dirty politics of subcontinent takes shape, it lends Dilip to display his agonizing and emotionally charged acting prowess which is indeed commendable. Dilip can masterfully act as a light comedian, romantic lover, adventure seeking fellow as well as an honest politic leader ready to defy the machinations of the evil doers.

    On the whole, it is a very interesting film, with good hit songs, nice screenplay and great acting by Dilip Kumar.
  • comment
    • Author: Jerdodov
    A trend had started in Bollywood cinema during the late fifties which continued through the sixties that an entertaining flick was made by weaving the script around some melodious songs and beautiful locales and adding some comic and romantic punches to it. Thus a formula-based product was prepared to satisfy the entertainment appetite of the typical Bollywood viewer without caring two hoots for the story of the movie. And why not ? The typical Hindi cinema spectator has always wanted a formulaic entertainment lasting for around two and a half hours in which a dish is served to him with spices like comedy, romance, action, music and dances being mixed in different proportions. And when the served dish is like that only, why should it not become a box office grosser ? Today I am reviewing a movie which falls in the same league. Made by Sasadhar Mukherjee (Joy Mukherjee's father) and directed by his nephew Ram Mukherjee (Raani Mukherjee's father), this movie is Leader (1964) starring Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala in principle roles.

    The leader of our movie is a youth with multiple talents and multiple facets of his personality - Vijay Khanna (Dilip Kumar) who, on one hand is the ringleader of some loafer boys and a fearless journalist on the other. He is a law graduate and that's why able to defend himself in any lawsuit filed against him in the court. He dislikes the selfish and ethicless politics being played in his country and can sing patriotic songs as well as deliver inspiring speeches at his will. And he is quite jolly as well as highly romantic also who falls in love with Sunita (Vyjayantimala) who is the princess of the erstwhile princely state of Shah Garh. Her brother is said to have been induced by Vijay Khanna as a member of his loafer-gang. However she is smitten by the charm of our allrounder hero who masquerades as an astrologer before her. With comic and romantic moments and classic songs, the story moves ahead and the twist comes when Vijay is charged for the murder of a highly respected politician (Motilaal). Sunita helps him in escaping and now both of them are on the run. All's well that ends well in the expected climax when everything is set right for them.

    I had watched this movie first on Doordarshan decades back in its complete form and watched it again recently on internet. First time, I had watched it in complete form but now the version that I saw (uploaded through Shemaroo VCD) was a moth-eaten one with several scenes missing from that (including that of the murder and the hero's getting reaching the spot). However the thing is that the movie contains a highly entertaining first half but loses its way in the later half. In the first half too, the entertainment is illigical. You just keep your brains under lock and key to enjoy the nonsense comedy, romance and patriotism. Logic, coherence and connectivity is seriously missing here. Still the movie is quite entertaining. How ?

    Because of the comic timing and the romantic gimmicks of the legendary Tragedy King of Bollywood, i.e., Dilip Kumar and his amazing on-screen chemistry with ever-gorgeous Vyjayantimala. Dilip Kumar does comedy quite effortlessly You cannot stop your laugh at his performance in many scenes in the opening hour of the movie. And then, he romances also with equal proficiency. You know that whatever is being presented on the screen defies logic but you don't complain because the hero is entertaining you like anything. He won the Filmfare Best Actor award also for his performance in this movie.

    And then there is Vyjayantimala, the great Bharatnatyam dancer as well as the highly beautiful Bollywood heroine whose on-screen chemistry with Dilip Kumar was always extra-ordinary may it be in Naya Daur (1957) or in Ganga Jamuna (1961) . Leader was the last movie done together by this beautiful pair and they win the heart of the audience in this movie also. Forget the logic and feel the romance which is tender, emotional and striking a chord in any romantic heart.

    Naushad's outstanding music is a very big plus point of this movie which has ably supported the lead pair in taking this weak movie home. With the brilliant lyrics of Shakeel Badayuni and the great voices of Rafi, Lata and Asha; this legendary music director has composed unforgettable gems like Apni Aazaadi Ko Hum Hargiz Mita Sakte Nahin, Daiya Re Daiya Laaj Mohe Laage, Hameen Se Mohabbat Hameen Se Ladaai, Mujhe Duniya Waalon Sharaabi Na Samjho, Ek Shehenshaah Ne Banwa Ke Haseen Taaj Mahal and Aaj Hai Pyar Ka Faisla. My favourite two songs from this mesmerizing music album are - 1. Tere Husn Ki Kya Tareef Karoon, Kuchh Kehte Huye Bhi Darta Hoon and 2. Aajkal Shauq-e-Deedaar Hai, Kya Kahun Aapse Pyar Hai which are in the enchanting voice of Mohammed Rafi which was perfect for Dilip Kumar. Aajkal Shauq-e-Deedaar Hai is picturized as a song being sung over telephone and Dilip Kumar's performance on that is both comic and romantic at the same time.

    This is a colour movie and the cinematographer has left no stone unturned in capturing the beauty of different locales. In the song Ek Shehenshaah Ne Banwa Ke Haseen Taaj Mahal, he has captured the beauty of Taaj at Agra with a great amount of aestheticism. This movie is not only a musical and romantic treat but also a visual treat. Editing is bad but when the script itself was lackluster, what could the poor editor do ?

    All in all, Leader is an entertaining movie and was a box office hit of its time. Please don't look for any logic and enjoy the fun just like the hero of this movie.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Dilip Kumar Dilip Kumar - Vijay Khanna
    Vyjayanthimala Vyjayanthimala - Princess Sunita (as Vyjayantimala)
    Jayant Jayant - Diwan Mahendranath
    Nasir Hussain Nasir Hussain - Mr. Khanna (as Nazir Husain)
    D.K. Sapru D.K. Sapru - King of Shah Garh (as Sapru)
    Hiralal Hiralal - Kharga - killer
    Amar Amar
    Jankidas Jankidas - Mr. Ghatak
    P. Kailash P. Kailash
    Jagdish Sethi Jagdish Sethi
    Leela Mishra Leela Mishra - Mrs. Khanna (as Leela Misra)
    Merlyn Merlyn - (as Merilyn)
    Motilal Motilal - Acharya
    Ram Avtar Ram Avtar - (as Ravavtar)
    Mirza Musharraf Mirza Musharraf
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