SYNOPSIS - 1942: A LOVE STORY

  1. Naren Singh (Anil Kapoor) is about to be hanged.  He apologizes to his mother for failing her.  She says he is giving his life for the motherland - what mother could ask for more?  Naren's father tells him if he reveals the names of the traitors, his own life will be spared.  Naren tells him that he is the only traitor Naren knows.  The crowd rallies to the slogan "Victory to India" as Naren mounts the scaffold.  Flashback to: 

  2. The Quit India movement is spreading across India, burgeoning in a direct correlation to the rising number of British atrocities, which are being committed largely under the direction of General Douglas.  He kills freedom fighters who, till the end, chant proudly, "We'll do or we'll die!" 

  3. Indian patriots are appalled to discover that Gen. Douglas is being called home to England for a promotion.  Before his departure, a farewell parade is scheduled in his honor at a hill-town called Kasauni.  Raghuvir Pathak and his band of patriots make plans for one of their own (a man called Shubhankar) to assassinate Douglas there.  Pathak will travel there under the pretense of taking a medical rest in order to prepare for the assassination.

  4. In Kasauni.  A riot ensues when soldiers pull down the flag symbolizing the Independence movement.  Naren Singh (whose father Dewan Hari Singh, a British toadie, gave the orders to pull down the flag) interferes despite his apparent ambivalence to the Independence movement when it becomes clear that a child's life is at stake.  During his struggle, he catches the eye of a beautiful woman (Manisha Koirala). 

  5. Dewan Hari (from now on, DHS) is very upset with his son.  DHS shows no sympathy for his starving tenants because their son is part of the Independence movement.  Naren rides back into town to find the girl, but she's nowhere to be seen, though he does find her earring.  Later he tries to tell his driver and best friend, Munna, how beautiful the girl was, but cannot think of a description to do her justice.  That night, he tosses and turns as he seeks the words to describe her (SONG: EK LADKI TO DEKHA).   

  6. The next day, Naren goes to Munna's house so they can begin the search for his mystery girl.  He spies her, but loses sight of her soon afterward.  Her name is Rajeshwari, and she is the daughter of the patriot Pathak.  He has revealed the plans for assassination to the man he is staying with (whose name is Govind), but she still believes that he has come to Kasauni to seek medical treatment.     

  7. Munna finds out that Rajeshwari has gone to the library, and arranges for Naren to intercept her there.  Rajeshwari is both flattered and alarmed by Naren's admiration (SONG: RUUT NA JAANA).

  8. Pathak meets with a town man named Baig, who gives him a map of the hall where Douglas will be officially welcomed to Kasauni, and materials to make a bomb.  Baig, who is putting on a play in the hall for Douglas as a pretext under which they can lure the General to a pre-arranged site, tells Pathak that in order to allay suspicion they will exchange messages through Rajeshwari.  Later, Rajeshwari tells her dad that she likes Kasauni very much.  Pathak tells her that she must go help Baig tomorrow with the play, and asks her to tell Baig that he's forgotten to give Pathak "the white powder."

  9. The soldiers fortify the hall.  Baig reassures the Major that nothing will happen.  The Major tells him that he underestimates the revolutionaries - one has already infiltrated the theater!  Baig, horrified, asks carefully, "Who?"  The Major points out his own daughter, who has the role of Juliet in the play, and they share a good laugh.

  10. Naren tries to ditch rehearsal to go find Rajeshwari, but his intentions quickly change when Rajeshwari appears at the theater.  Rajeshwari gives Baig the message about the white powder, and he asks her to be on book for the actors.  He then tells his co-conspirator Shankar to take some phosphorous to Pathak.  Meanwhile. Naren is reciting the most romantic lines in "Romeo & Juliet" directly to Rajeshwari. 

  11. Back in her room, Rajeshwari confides to her journal that she knows Naren wasn't acting - he truly loves her.  Naren throws a note inside her room which says much the same thing.  She tries to get him to leave, but he makes her promise to come to the performance hall tomorrow before everyone else.  (SONG: DIL NE KAHA CHUPKE SE)

  12. At the army headquarters.  The army has found out about the plan to kill Douglas.  They are ordered to shoot to kill. 

  13. The police search all the houses.  Meanwhile, at the play rehearsal, Naren accidentally says "Rajjo" instead of "Juliet."  Horribly embarrassed, Rajeshwari storms out.  Naren catches up with her, confesses his love, and asks her to marry him.  (SONG: RIM JHIM RIM JHIM)

  14. Govind, Pathak's host, advises him to leave town ASAP.  Pathak refuses to leave until the mission's completed.  

  15. Next day.  Munna tells Naren he saw Rajeshwari's luggage being loaded onto a bus.  Naren runs to the station, but misses her departure.  Crushed, he returns to the theater to find her there - she was just seeing her aunt onto the bus.  Incredibly relieved, he begs her to promise him that she'll never leave him (SONG: KUCH NA KAHO). Chanda, the Major's daughter and his co-star in the play, overhears their protestations of love and is heartbroken.

  16. The Major stumbles onto his daughter crying.  She lies, saying she's upset because she can't remember her lines.  He comforts her and says the trick to life is to persevere despite adversity - as he did after her mother's death.  "Besides, I can bear to see everything - except tears in your eyes."

  17. The army learns of two revolutionaries coming tonight - they track them down.  One man manages to escape to Pathak's house.  Rajeshwari sees him die and realizes the truth.  Her father asks her if she's with him.  Meanwhile, the police have surrounded the house.  They search it, but find nothing inside - Rajeshwari and Pathak have dragged the body into the woods.

  18. Rajeshwari tells Naren everything, and ends their relationship, saying, "Forget you ever loved the daughter of a revolutionary."  Later, her father is outraged that she told Naren the truth - he fears Naren will go to the police.  Naren shows up to tell him that he'll never repeat anything Rajeshwari told him.  Pathak says it's very difficult to trust those who have sold their souls to the British.  Naren replies that he has come, and his soul is there with him.  Pathak says he sees that.  Naren says, "No, sir, you don't."  Pathak turns to look at him and says, "Now I see.  So tell me what you have to say."  Naren: "I respect your ideals and patriotism..."  Pathak threatens him: "Never see Rajeshwari again or..."  Naren: "Or you'll kill me.  Go ahead.  But I'll say unto my death that I love Rajeshwari and want to marry her."  Naren: "You fool!  When all of India's in an uproar, you're bothering with romance?"  Naren: "Love isn't a sin."  Pathak: "It is!  A man who doesn't love his country can't love anybody!"  Naren:  "That's unfair!  Your love for your country is immensely great - I can understand that - so try to understand my love!  I'm my father's son - Rajeshwari can't join our world - but I can join hers!  I'll leave everything behind - wealth, family, everything!  But you cannot separate us!  I'll come tomorrow.  Once I've sought my mother's blessings, I'll come to seek yours."  He leaves.

  19. Naren tells his mother that he's leaving.  She tells him to bring Rajeshwari here - that she'll convince his dad - but he tells her truth about why he can't bring her.  Meanwhile, Pathak suffers ana ttack of conscience - realizes it wasn't the English who killd his son - he did, by instilling his own ideals in his son - and he killed his wife too, by making her wait and worry.  He then tells Rajeshwari that it's her right to live her life as she pleases.  She says her life is with him, and that had he told her of all this scheming before, she never would have looked at Naren, much less loved him.  She offers to forget Naren.  But Pathak says no - Naren is a good boy, willing to sacrifice everything for her, and it won't make Pathak happy to see his daughter sacrifice such a good man.  

  20. The next day.  Naren's mother gives Naren vermilion for Rajeshwari's hair (a husband applies vermilion to his wife's hair parting) and sends him off with her blessings.  Naren shows up at Rajeshwari's - she is decked out in style to greet him - and they are ambushed by soldiers.  Rajeshwari thinks Naren has betrayed them - her father begs her to flee - he sacrifices himself.  Shubhankar shows up to drag Rajeshwari away.

  21. In the mountains.  Shubhankar tells Rajeshwari he understands what she's going through.  He saw his own father die, but the death of a coward, and as he stood there and watched, it was Pathak who gave him strength.  Today, Shubhankar says, he is proud because Pathak is a martyr - and one doesn't cry for martyrs.  Flashback to when Douglas hanged Rajeshwari's brother.  Pathak tells his son's corpse: "I'm not saddened by your death - you died for your country."  And then he tells Rajeshwari, "Don't cry - one doesn't cry for martyrs; it's an insult to them.  Promise me you'll never cry."  Back to present.  Rajeshwari, stirring from her memories, says, "I promise, I'll never cry again...  Dad said as long as he and I were alive, you weren't alone, Shubhankar.  So together we'll make Dad's dream come true."  (SONG: YEH SAFAR BAHUT HAI)

  22. Naren's dad is made a lord for his actions in reporting the traitors.  He plans a huge celebration.  Naren decides to leave home to search for Rajeshwari.  He makes Munna stay behind so his mother won't be lonely.  Later, Naren finds Baig digging up the bomb from the ruins of Rajeshwari's home.

  23. Govind is tortured, but refuses to say anything.  His wife begs DHS for his life.  DHS is unmoved.  Meanwhile, Naren has followed Baig home.  He defends himself against Baig's accusations of treachery, and asks where Rajeshwari is so he can go to her and defend himself to her as well.  Shankar comes to tell Baig that Govind is being tortured and his wife is unconscious in the road.  Baig, overwhelmed, tells Naren that Rajeshwari is dead.

  24. Shubhankar plans to kill Douglas as he enters the town.  Rajeshwari assures him that he's not alone in this.  He thinks to himself that she'll always be with him - but he must wait until Independence is gained - and then they will settle down as husband and wife.  He tells her that she must get the bomb from Baig and bring it to him at the bus station. 

  25. When Baig leaves to deliver the bomb to Rajeshwari, Naren follows him and sees her.  He gives chase

  26. Shubhankar stops Naren from following, and the police go after Rajeshwari and Shubhankar.  They forcibly deboard the bus they've taken shelter in, and Naren steps forward and offers to identify the terrorists.  When Shubhankar is brought before him, he lies and says he's never seen the man before.  The bus driver refuses to open his tool box for the police - runs away and is shot.  The Major asks Naren if the driver was the terrorist.  Naren says yes, that was him.

  27. Baig is despondent - they have no weapons left.  Naren shows up - Shubhankar and Rajeshwari hide.  They overhear Naren defending himself again.  Rajeshwari realizes he is innocent.

  28. Douglas arrives.  He calls for the suspect they have in custody (Govind) and demands to know everything.  Govind says if he had his way, he'd kill Douglas.  Douglas retaliates to this verbal attack by killing Govind.  Munna, seeing this, loses his cool and rushes Douglas.  Douglas shoots him.  Munna spits on Douglas (as he had vowed to in beat 4) and dies in Naren's arms, proclaiming with satisfaction that "I am not a coward."  

  29. Chanda confronts her father about the day's events.  He says he's an army officer and must do his duty.  She replies that if his duty is to shoot unarmed men, then she must do her duty - her duty as an Indian - and stand with the townspeople tomorrow when they cremate Govind and Munna.  Alarmed and angered, the Major tells her she'll do nothing of the sort - that the play rehearsals were just a front for assassination - and his own friend Baig was behind it.

  30. Shankar breaks under torture and tells the army everything.  The Major sends his men after Baig.  Meanwhile, Shubhankar has fashioned a knife for a last, desperate attempt on Douglas's life.  The soliders come to arrest Baig, and Shubhankar kills them.  They flee across town.  Shubhankar refuses to leave Kasauni until Douglas has.  In the town square, they are spotted by the Major.  Baig tells Rajeshwari and Shubhankar to keep walking, and assures them that since he and the Major are old friends, he'll be all right.  The Major tells them to stop - begs them to stop, warns them that he'll be forced to shoot otherwise - and just as his daughter and Naren shows up, shoots Baig.  As Baig dies, Naren promises him that he, Naren, will get a pistol for Shubhankar.

  31. At Naren's house.  He tries to pick the lock to the cabinet in which his father stores his gun, but his mother interrupts him and gives him a key.  She tells him that she and her husband live the bent-headed life of slaves, whereas he stands upright and honorable.  He takes the gun in hand and tells her Rajeshwari is alive, and if she were to meet Rajeshwari, please tell her that he's not a traitor to his country.  Meanwhile, his father has woken up, and tells Naren that he'll leave this house over his father's corpse.  Naren says, "As you wish... I kept quiet when Pathak was blown to bits... when I lost the love of my life because I was your son... But now it is a question of Douglas - of our independence - our nation - and I won't be stopped... decide whose side you are on... ours or the English... if it's the English, I will leave over your corpse."  His father, shaken, stammers, "I'm with you, son."  "So say it," Naren demands.  "Say 'victory to India.'"  He says it, and Naren leaves.

  32. Douglas's procession.  Shubhankar prepares to kill him.  Rajeshwari promises that she won't cry.  Naren shows up about the same time that his dad does.  DHS tells the Major that his pistol was stolen last night by his son.  The soldiers move out to find Naren, and attack him just as he's about to give the gun to Shubhankar.  Douglas demands that Naren tell him who is with him in this conspiracy.  Naren replies, "The entire country." 

  33. SONG: KUCH NA KAHO.  Back to the beginning of the movie.  Naren is brought to the scaffold.  On the way, he apologizes to his mother and calls his father a traitor.  The town turns out in force for the funerals of their dead.  Douglas orders the blood cleaned off the stairs. 

  34. Shubhankar has an idea.  He fills the water skin with the petrol that is being used to light the funeral pyres.  He then sends the water carrier up to "clean" the stairs with the petrol.  Shubhankar then lights it on fire, charging inside the building to spread the gas.  Down below, all is chaos as Douglas orders the soldiers to fire into the square.  Chanda begs her father to stop the shooting - and then is shot herself.  The Major runs down and begs his daughter's forgiveness.  She says he did nothing - he was only doing his duty.  He remembers her words of last night - that she would do her duty, the duty of an Indian.  He changes allegiance and rallies the crowd to him.  Between his actions and those of Rajeshwari, Naren, and Shubhankar, the patriotic Indians take over the building and save the day.  Douglas is hanged.  The end.

 

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