Deewaar (1975 film)

For the 2004 Milan Luthria film, see Deewaar (2004 film).

Release poster
Directed by Yash Chopra
Produced by Gulshan Rai
Written by Salim-Javed
Starring Amitabh Bachchan
Shashi Kapoor
Parveen Babi
Neetu Singh
Nirupa Roy
Satyendra Kapoor
Madan Puri
Music by Rahul Dev Burman
Cinematography Kay Gee
Edited by T.R. Mangeshkar
Pran Mehra
Distributed by Trimurti Films Pvt. Ltd
Release dates
24 January 1975
Running time
176 mins
Country India
Language Hindi
Box office 75.0 million (US$1.1 million)[1]

Deewaar (The Wall) is a 1975 Indian crime-drama film directed by Yash Chopra, written by Salim-Javed, and starring Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor. Reflecting "the tumultuous politics of the early 70s" in India, Deewaar tells the story of a pair of impoverished brothers who, after their family is betrayed by the misplaced idealism of their father, struggle to survive on the streets of Mumbai.[2]

Deewaar was a ground-breaking work. It was one of a slew of films establishing Bachchan as the "angry young man" of Bollywood cinema[3][4] and Parveen Babi as the "new Bollywood woman"[5] whose character Anita is "a liberated working girl, smoking, drinking and making love to her partner, defying every Hindi film heroine rule."[6][7] The movie cemented the success of the writing duo Salim-Javed, who went on to write many more blockbuster films. It is said that after the success of this film, the value of film writers skyrocketed thanks to Salim-Javed, and they soon were being paid as highly as some actors at the time.[8]

The Deewaar in question refers to the wall that has sprung up between the two brothers, drawn apart by fate and circumstance in a time of socio-political turmoil.

Deewaar received the Filmfare Best Movie Award of 1975 in addition to six other Filmfare Awards and was a "superhit" at the box office, ranking as the 4th highest grossing Bollywood film of 1975.[9] Indiatimes ranks Deewaar amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.[10]


The film opens with a depiction of the strong leadership of trade unionist Anand Verma (Satyen Kappu), who works hard to enhance the lives of struggling laborers. He lives in a modest home with his wife, Sumitra Devi (Nirupa Roy), and their two young sons, Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) loosely based on Haji Mastan, and Ravi (Shashi Kapoor). Anand, however, is blackmailed by a corrupt businessman who threatens to kill his family if Anand does not cease his protest activities. Forced into compliance, Anand is thus attacked by the very same laborers who then jeer him for his betrayal, unaware that he was blackmailed. His family is also persecuted by the angry workers. Out of shame, Anand leaves town, leaving Sumitra to care for their sons alone in poverty. Several of the angry workers kidnap Vijay and tattoo his arm with the Hindi words "मेरा बाप चोर है" (translated into "My Father Is A Thief"). Not knowing what else to do, Sumitra brings her children to Mumbai and struggles as a day laborer to care for her now homeless sons.

Vijay, the older brother, grows up with an acute awareness of his father's failure and is victimized for his father's supposed misdeeds. In the process of fighting for his rights, Vijay, who starts out as a boot polisher, was a dockyard worker in his youth, now becomes a smuggler for the underworld. Vijay beats up several thugs working for their ruthless leader Samant (Madan Puri), which then influences one of Samant's rivals to bring Vijay to his inner circle, leaving Vijay to become a new leading figure of the underworld. He also sacrifices his own education so his brother Ravi can study.

Ravi is an excellent student. He is dating Veera (Neetu Singh), the daughter of a senior police officer. On the Commissioner's suggestion, Ravi applies for employment with the police, and is sent for training. Several months later, he is accepted by the police, and has a rank of Sub-Inspector. When Ravi returns home, he finds that Vijay has become a businessman overnight, has accumulated wealth, and a palatial home. One of his first assignments is to apprehend and arrest some of Bombay's hardcore criminals and smugglers which includes his brother, Vijay – much to his shock, as he had never associated his own brother with criminal activities. Ravi must now decide between apprehending Vijay and quitting the police force. When Ravi finds out that Vijay has acquired wealth by crime, he decides to move out along with his mother. Shouldering past the loss of his mother and sibling, Vijay enters a sexual relationship with Anita (Parveen Babi), a woman whom he meets at a bar. When Anita falls pregnant, Vijay decides to abandon his life in the underworld, marry her, and confess his sins. He also hopes to seek forgiveness from his mother and brother. However, when Anita is brutally murdered by Samant, Vijay loses all sense and brutally murders Samant in revenge for Anita's death, leading him to be branded a criminal forever. Their mother, who had sided with Ravi despite the fact that Vijay was her favourite, is tormented by Vijay's decisions and rejects him. When the two brothers meet for a final clash, Ravi, pleading Vijay to stop running, shoots Vijay in his arm and Vijay dies (after crashing his car into a wall while trying to escape) in his mother's arms in a temple, which he has visited for the first time in his life, seeking forgiveness. Ravi is felicitated for pursuing justice.




Soundtrack album to Deewaar by R.D. Burman
Released 1975
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Language Hindi
Label Universal
Producer R.D. Burman

The Soundtrack of the movie was composed by Rahul Dev Burman, and the lyrics were penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. The soundtrack did well, and the track "Kehdoon Tumhe" was a chartbuster.

Song Singer(s)
"Kehdoon Tumhe" Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle
"Maine Tujhe Manga" Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle
"Koi Mar Jaye" Asha Bhosle and Usha Mangeshkar
"Deewaron Ka Jungle" Manna Dey
"Idhar Ka Mal Udhar" Bhupinder Singh
"I Am Falling In Love With A Stranger" Ursula Vaz

DVD & Blu-ray release

Numerous DVD editions entered the market by companies like "Eros Entertainment", "Shemaroo Entertainment" and "Eagle Home Video". These were released as non-restored, non re-mastered editions and bare bones, void of supplementary features.

Eagle Home Video came out with a restored edition of this movie, preserving the original aspect ratio in 4:3 pillar box and a DTS Master Audio (HD) in 2.0. The restoration took place in Shemaroo studios.



Deewaar swept most of the major categories at the 1976 Filmfare Awards.[11]


Indiatimes ranks Deewaar amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.[10] It was one of the three Hindi films featured in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, the others being Mother India (1957) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995).[13]


Rajesh Khanna and Navin Nischol were the first choice for Vijay and Ravi's roles but Salim-Javed insisted that Amitabh Bachchan would suit Vijay's character better. Similarly Nirupa Roy's role was first offered to Vyjayanthimala but she turned it down.[14] In 2014, Bachchan revealed that his iconic look in the film - a "denim blue shirt worn with khakee pants and a rope dangling over the shoulder" - was the result of a mistake by the tailor. He said, "The knotted shirt and rope on shoulder in [Deewaar] was an adjustment for an error in stitching, shirt too long so knotted it".[15]

Influence on other films

The film was later remade in Telugu as Magaadu (1976) starring NTR with Rama Krishna, Manjula Vijayakumar and Latha Sethupathi and in Tamil as Thee (1981) starring Rajinikanth, Suman, Manorama and Sripriya. Naam was also influenced by Deewaar and was written by one of Deewaar's cowriters. British director Danny Boyle, who described Deewaar as being “absolutely key to Indian cinema”, cited the film as an influence on his Academy Award winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008).[16] Actor Anil Kapoor noted that some scenes of Slumdog Millionaire "are like Deewaar, the story of two brothers of whom one is completely after money while the younger one is honest and not interested in money."[17]

Further reading


  1. Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "Deewar: the fiction of film and the fact of politics". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  3. "Film legend promotes Bollywood". BBC News. 23 April 2002. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  4. Bombay Cinema. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  5. Amitabh Bachchan; Parveen Babi in Deewar (23 January 2005). "As in life, so in death: lonely and lovelorn". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  6. "'We'll never know her full story'". 24 January 2005. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  7. "'Cool' Babi broke Deewar of stereotypes". 22 January 2005. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  8. "BoxOffice". BoxOffice Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  9. 1 2 "25 Must See Bollywood Movies – Special Features-Indiatimes – Movies". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  10. "When Kishore sang non-stop for Filmfare". 28 February 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  11. "1st Filmfare Awards 1953" (PDF). Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  12. "1001 Series". Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  13. "Indian cinema@100: 12 fun facts about Deewar - NDTV". 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  15. Amitava Kumar (23 December 2008). "Slumdog Millionaire's Bollywood Ancestors". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 4 January 2008.
  16. Runna Ashish Bhutda; Ashwini Deshmukh; Kunal M Shah; Vickey Lalwani; Parag Maniar; Subhash K Jha (13 January 2009). "The Slumdog Millionaire File". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
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