|Cast||Mohnish Bahl, Puneet Issar, Aarti Gupta, Pradeep Kumar, Aniruddha Agarwal, Satish Shah, Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Dheeraj Kumar|
|Director||Tulsi and Shyam Ramsay|
|Story, Screenplay||JK Ahuja, Kumar Ramsay|
Purana Mandir is a Bollywood horror movie that hit theaters in 1984. Critics and audiences consider this a landmark movie and its frequently listed in the top horror movies of all time. Purana Mandir is indeed a shining addition to the Ramsay filmography, which somehow started going sans-drama post the nineties.
But in the eighties, The Ramsays were parading to a tune of their own, and that’s when we got such gems like Purana Mandir, Purani Haveli, Tahkhana and of course, Veerana. Here’s the synopsis of Purana Mandir
Purana Mandir Synopsis:
Sanjay and Suman are in love with each other. They are not very confident that they will ever be allowed to marry, because Suman is the daughter of a rich Thakur and Sanjay is a poor man. Even so, love drives them along, until one day the Thakur sees Sanjay and Suman together.
He has his men beat up Sanjay and separate the couple. However, the Thakur has a change of heart when he sees how much Suman loves Sanjay. He invites Sanjay to his mansion, and tells him and Suman the secret curse that’s on the Thakurs.
The Thakur tells them that all the women related to his Mansion die after the death of their first born. He confesses that he wasn’t allowing them to marry because of this reason and not because he had issues with Sanjay’s financial situation.
Now that they know the problem, Sanjay and Suman decide to visit the mansion to know the truth behind the curse. Sanjay’s friend, Anand and his wife also join in, with Anand promising Sanjay that he will help him in whatever way he can.
The quartet make their way to Bijapur, the area where the mansion is situation. On their way to the place their car breaks down and they take refuge in a nearby temple. Suman thinks that someone is following her in the night. Sanjay laughs it off and they finally reach the mansion the next day.
On the way, they meet a strange man, who turns out to be the woodcutter, Sangha. The mansion is looked after a deaf and dumb woman and her son. They think that the owners of the mansion have come to look for treasure.
Watch Purana Mandir:
When Suman has more of those haunted experiences, Sanjay and Anand think that someone from the mansion is responsible for it. When he asks the caretaker about it, he tells Sanjay to ask the villagers.
Sanjay tries to talk to the villagers but to no avail. Later on, Sanjay and Anand find a secret entrance in the mansion and follow it. There, they find a big chest that has a decapitated head with a trishul. Sangha, the caretaker and his mother follow them and see them breaking the chest.
They think that the two have found the treasure and wait for them to leave. After they leave, Sangha steals the treasure chest and the evil power overcomes him. He kills the caretaker’s mother and proceeds with the treasure chest.
The caretaker goes to Sanjay and Anand and tells them the the origin of the treasure chest. He tells them that the treasure chest had the decapitated head of Saamri, a vicious demon who was captured by Suman’s ancestors.
They had decapitated him and stored his head in the mansion and his body in the temple. Sanjay and Anand follow Sangha, but by the time they reach him, Saamri has already revived and is comign towards the mansion.
How Sanjay and Anand defeat Saamri is what Purana Mandir is all about.
The Bollywood horror movie Purana Mandir is the big daddy of the Ramsay movies. All their famous movies followed Purana Mandir. So, my guess would be that the Purana Mandir screenplay and script played as a template for the Ramsays.
Purana Mandir has the Ramsays add some desi masala to a horror movie and for the first time, there’s an innovative story coming out. These were the enthusiastic eighties, so the concept of the urban poor falling in love with the regal rural hit the spot.
For an eighties Bollywood horror movie, Purana Mandir has a lot of skin show. Aarti Gupta has some flamboyant costumes and there are at least three to four swimsuit scenes that targetted the front seat crowd. Puneet Issar also has a good chance to flex his muscles and Mohnish Bahl is as flamboyant as a chocolate boy hero can be in an early eighties movies.
Purana Mandir is a breezy watch, considering the story arcs that the Ramsays added to the movie. There’s the poor-rich love arc, the treasure arc, and there’s the horror arc.
In fact, the Ramsays got so extra time in the screenplay that the added a comedy track as well. Like many others, this comedy track had nothing to do with the actual storyline.
The horror scenes were also innovative and so was the backstory. Its 1984, so the Ramsay’s attempt at creating the haunting scenes with superimposed cameras should be overlooked as them trying to do the best with the resources that they had.
Purana Mandir is one of the several Aniruddha Agarwal and Ramsay endeavors. However. this is not his most iconic look. That look comes in Bandh Darwaza, possibly the last big budget Ramsay movie.
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