d Manilaljoshi pc Ashoka Pies sc Sirur based on K.M. Munshi's novel c VB. Joshi
lp P.Y. Altekar, Wagle Sandow, Fatma Begum, Zubeida, Sultana, Miss Jaina, Bhalji Pendharkar<br><br>
Seminal silent historical and the first film adaptation of Gujarati novelist K.M. Munshi. just before the film was made, the story was serialised in the journal Vismi Sadi and its allusions to current events became controversial. Gandhi criticised it for departing from the principles of non-violence and abstinence. The story features King Munja, ruler of Aranti, famed warrior and patron of the arts who Munshi saw as 'the gay, amoral man radiating power and love · extracting joy from every moment · tme to himself, under all conditions, in conquest, defeat, in prison, in love, when betrayed and sentenced to death. Critics fell on me like voracious tigers - Munja was so immoral! The tmth was that in him the readers saw the man who lived as most people wanted to Jive but dared not.· (Munshi in a speech, 1947). Munja (Sandow) falls into the hands of his arch enemy Tailap, who received assistance from Bhillam (Altekar), king of Dharavati. Tailap orders that Munja be put to death but is held back by Tailap's powerful sister Minalvati (Fatma Begum), a widow who first wants to break Munja's spirit. Instead, she and Munja fall in love. Learning of Munja's plan to escape with Minalvati, Tailap has Munja trampled to death by his elephants. Manila! Joshi's film was also an ambitious launch for the new Ashoka Pies set up as an independent production company. The big production shot mainly around the Makkarpur:t palace in Baroda with sets designed by R.S. Choudhury, had climactic scenes featuring the elephant stampede and created a sensation. It was also noted for its costume design. Joshi defended the film's technical defects and implausibilities in a note published when it was released, claiming all this would be excused when India one clay 'finds its place in the pantheon of world cinema'. It was remade by Sohrab Modi as a spectacular in 1943.
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