Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984)


As “THE END” faded to black onscreen, my sister pointed out that we have really been bottom-feeding for our entertainment recently. Crawling through the gutter looking for pleasure, as it were, although I would say that it hasn’t all been that pleasurable (Kambakkht Ishq, Ram Balram). This movie, though, left me with a guilty and somewhat sick sense of satisfaction—somewhat like the feeling I get after consuming an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, for example: “Ugh, why did I do that? Now I hate myself! But it tasted so good while I was eating it!”

If Ben and Jerry were to take these ingredients: testosterone, child abuse, vengeance, disco, spandex, Michael Jackson rip-offs—and mix them into a tub of karmic convulsion-inducing bad deeds, they would have to call the resulting flavor Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (even if they had no idea what that means).

In a film not much given to understatement, this is an understatement indeed:


Amrish Puri, a man known for his EYEBALLS OF HATE, is so very hatefully evil in this that even the most civilized of people (me and my sister!) are soon panting for his blood. He must pay! we shout at the television. He is Uday Bhan Singh, entrusted with the care and upbringing of young Prince Satish (Master Bobby) after the death of the King. Greedy Uday wants all the wealth for himself, and torments the defenceless boy by beating him mercilessly and messing up his multiplication tables.


The poor little guy does his best to stick up for himself, but he really has no chance.


Satish grows up in cowering fear to become a sweet but terrified young man (Mithun Chakraborty). His Daimaa (Gita Siddharth) gives him the only warmth and love he ever experiences, and it is she also who finds a young woman to marry him. This young woman is Aarti (Smita Patil), whose uncle forces her to marry the sad Prince in order to steal all the royal wedding jewelry. But Aarti is unexpectedly overcome with love for her new husband—whose Daimaa gives him these words of advice on his wedding night:



Uday is not happy with this development; he has gone to great lengths (trust me) to ensure that Satish remain unmarried, leaving his kingdom free for Uday’s son Chander to inherit. In a fit of anger he brutally murders poor Satish in front of Aarti, who is now pregnant with Satish’s child. I feel sad that the last thing Satish sees in his short miserable life is that polka-dotted vest advancing towards him.


Uday orders Bob Christo to throw Satish’s body in a river, which is enough for the police to issue a suicide verdict (the giant stab wounds in his stomach notwithstanding); and Aarti vows to avenge her husband’s death. Some day. She will wait.


We are totally on board by now with bloodthirsty retribution, although given that this is the dedication with which the movie begins:


I fear that poor Satish’s little child won’t have any happier a childhood than Satish himself.

Aarti has the boy she prays for (I wonder what she would have done with a girl? I kind of would like to see that version) and brings him up as a fighter, starting the day the school bully beats him up.



Bees saal baad, Avinash has grown up to be Mithun again, but now he’s the savior of the basti where he lives with his Maa, and he has a penchant for disco and Michael Jackson (I’m relieved to know that Maa lets him have SOME fun) (if it can be called that).


I honestly don’t know which assault is worse: the one on my eyes, or the one on my ears. In any case, it eventually ends and Avinash saves the lead singer Naina (Salma Agha) from a bunch of loathsome drunk men.

They fall in love in about two seconds flat and seal that love with a Bappi Lahiri version of “Billie Jean” that has to be seen to be believed. Salma is forced to wear camel-toe inducing spandex, and Mithun…my God, Mithun. DANCES. Or something. At various times he looks like an elderly man wringing his hands, an epileptic, and as if someone has shoved a broom up his ass. I think perhaps it’s second only to Sam’s dance (“Koi Naache Naache”) in Disco Dancer in its awfulness. Whenever I’ve previously seen Mithun…um…”dance”…he has only been striking a series of indifferent poses; here, he actually tries, and it makes me want to cry.


And also: Salma Agha is creepy. Probably not her fault, but why is she wearing those contact lenses? They don’t even look real; she resembles a vampire or demon from some Harinam Singh or Ramsay Brothers flick.


Maa doesn’t care for her either, mostly because romance will interfere with her plans for Avinash. She finally fills him in on why she’s brought him up to be an angry fist-fighting machine (and in the telling we are subjected to the first half-hour of the film all over again). Avinash is suitably enraged.


My sister and I CANNOT wait. We’ve been holding our breath for twenty years! (Honestly, it feels that way.)

Aarti and Avinash now seem to feel the need to telegraph their every move to Uday Bhan Singh. Aarti even writes a letter so Uday will know that Avinash is coming to get him, and on which train he’s due to arrive.


Despite Uday’s precautions, Avinash appears at Chander Bhan Singh’s (Karan Razdan—Sam Oberoi! heh) birthday party in another senses-damaging spectacle, complete with backup male dancers in fringed harlequin manpris and chubby girls in shiny metallic bikinis.


Uday Bhan Singh doesn’t recognize Avinash until he takes off his sunglasses even though he’s been warned in advance and Mithun looks exactly like himself his father. (Bob Christo reappears eventually too, and hasn’t aged a bit although everyone else has. It’s just that kind of movie.)

As Avinash, with his Maa and Naina’s help—the women get to participate in the vendetta too—begins to wreak his vengeance I feel a little bad. They are really not very good at the whole revenge thing. They have some good ideas: Naina gets the whole story of Satish’s murder from Chander on tape; gets him to fall for her and then rejects him, to his everlasting distress; and they manage to drive him (and me) mad with a frame-by-frame remake of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.



Amrish Puri Nahiiiiin! Face:


But Avinash never quite grasps this basic concept: When you have the upper hand, don’t leave your Maa and your girlfriend lying around where Uday Bhan Singh can find them! Sigh. For every step taken forward, he falls two or three back when Uday retaliates.

Of course in the end, despite these issues, Avinash and his Maa manage to extract gory retribution from Uday Bhan Singh and his son for the ill treatment of poor Satish (and Aarti) decades before.


Sated with blood, explosions and disco, we sisters heave a sigh of relief that it’s over, and wonder how it is that something so terrible could keep us positively riveted for so long. Mithun-da has strange and compelling powers indeed.

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63 Comments to “Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984)”

  1. I’d totally forgotten until your screenshot: that 2 x 2 = 5 business really reminded me of Orwell’s 1984. I’m sure that was intentional.

    • I haven’t read 1984 since I was in high school…don’t remember the reference, although I’m sure you are right. Denying Satish any intellectual satisfaction seemed to be the main point. Amrish was so really completely EVIL.

  2. O-M-I-G-O-D…you have the gift Greta..I’m telling you..lol

    You should compile all of these into a book. Runaway bestseller!!!

    Poor poor Smita Patil…wonder how she always picked these Mithun starrers when she tried mainstream cinema.

    And Mithun..and Salma Agha…Your description of their courtship dance is priceless.

    And finally – “When she says no, she means yes” – Indian movies – a feminist’s nightmare ;)

    • Awww. When a movie is this bad the review really writes itself. Although I admit I did enjoy it thoroughly. Smita actually kind of looked like she was having fun too, although I don’t know how she felt about the finished product :)

  3. Following the arc of natural progression, next up: Shaitaani Dracula.

    The goose with PTSD will not be denied.

    • I watched Shaitani Dracula, but there is NO WAY I could ever improve on Keith’s very thorough analysis and description of it. So it won’t make its way to these pages. It is seared into my brain though.

  4. Funny. This movie too has a thriller rip off? Ystday night, saw bits of a horror movie saamri, which caught my attention

  5. Greta, Greta, Greta…
    Even by your phenomenally high levels of funny reviews, you excel yourself here.

    This is soooooooooooo funny, it had me in splits with practically every sentence !!!
    Normally I pick a couple of fun things to illustrate my point but I refuse to do that here.

    The WHOLE review is just one big funathon – from first sentence to last !!!

    As for this movie, I have heard of it before but not seen it.

    For the first time, I am actually thankful that such movies had been made in Hindi cinema.
    They provide tremendous review material for you – and we finally get to enjoy such material transformed into an all-time legendary review by you.

    I think I have read all your reviews till now – and most of them have been top-notch.
    This one belongs right up there.
    Thank you so much !!!

    • I am glad that my angst over guilty pleasures is giving you a good laugh :) Really though it makes me wonder what is wrong with me…I think I’ll be returning to the cinema of the 40s and 50s (or Shammi) now for a while.


  6. ROTFL!!!!

    Love this review and wish you’d see more of these films, just so I can have more of your reviews-of-bad-films to read. :-)

    Poor Smita, is she trying (and failing) to compete with Amrish Puri in the eye-popping stakes in the “I will sire the baby” caps? And I wonder how she will “sire” a baby – assuming her husband hasnt already sired him!

    • Yes, the baby was already sired when she was glaring at Amrish…I can only assume it was a bad subtitle for “give birth.” There were quite a few bad subtitles (not funny, just bad). I probably will see more Mithun films, but need some respite for a while first :)

  7. Hilarious, Memsaab. Your review is far more entertaining, I suspect, than actually sitting through this movie. (I can only hope I never have the chance to find out!)

  8. At some point the world should have taken a restraining order out against Mithun, B. Subhash, and Bappi Lahiri to make sure that they never got within one hundred feet of each other again. But then again, we wouldn’t have had this movie and your fine review.

    My immediate reaction to KPKWK was to make it my personal guide to child rearing, which makes it a good thing that I never intend to have children. Of course, sometimes it saddens me that I will never have a baby of my own to pump full of hatred, but I guess that’s why people own pit bulls.

    • I don’t even particularly like children (with some few exceptions) (certainly I will never have them) and I felt v.v. sorry for them in this. Poor pit bulls! People who can’t bring up children should probably not have pets (just ask Gemma).

  9. 80’s movies eh? they could make anyone look bad.
    i dont know why they went into such a misogynistic & sub-standard-fare-producing frenzy just when I was growing up. scarred me for life it did

  10. “…but why is she wearing those contact lenses?”

    After seeing more recent pictures of her, I have a feeling that those are Salma Agha’s natural eye colour.

  11. Memsaab, this is the limit. I hereby sentence you to awfulfilmiworld detox. Closed-door rehab, 30 days, nothing but quality films. ;-) Just kidding–if you did that what would we read???

    • You are so nice to care about me!! :-D I am actually sentencing myself to better movies, at least two or three, before I attempt to enter the world of 1980s HIndi cinema again. But I will be back.

  12. Hahaha ! Now you need to see Tadipaar to complete a hat trick !

  13. Memsaab, Memsaab, Memsaab…. you outdid yourself on many levels… including surpassing PG-13…. “camel-toe inducing spandex”… lol… i had to look that one up… I mean Google it… ha ha..

  14. No hidden gems in the 80s….stick to the 50s and 60s for that please!

  15. Let me guess, Shammi’s making you do penance before he lets you be his memsaab girlfriend, right?


  16. This has been on my “to watch” pile for a long, long time–because it is the film that Vivek’s character is obsessed with in “Home Delivery,” and I just love tracking down film references inside other films. But, your review and incredible (as always) screen caps made me change my plans today, and I spent my afternoon with Mithun. If one must have revenge, it MUST be Disco Badla.

    The avenging goddess-Durgama movies are fascinating, I can only hope that the destruction that Smita hath wrought does result in the creation of a happy family. No PTSD? Hope not. Mithun is awkward, but has an everyman charm that is quite adorable. He’s not the greatest at anything, but you root for his success, and just one more dance number, please.

    • Does that mean we get a review on your site soon, Movie Diva? :) I do root for his success, but I cannot bring myself to ever root for another dance number. I really find them unbearable. I’m torn between pity, derision and just plain horror, and usually just end up feeling sorry and ashamed that I watched whatever dreadful thing it was.

  17. With your thirst for the So Bad Its Good, I mourn the fact that you can’t include Mithun in your canon. I understand, of course! You have covered KPKWK in great detail, (could not help but think of the horror of the looming polka dot vest every time we saw the dreadful murder) so no need for elaboration on my part.

    • Actually I don’t think I have that much of a thirst for “So Bad It’s Good”…my penchant for B-movie fantasies notwithstanding (but I think they are just GOOD, not SBIG!)…

      I like Mithun too (so far), I just can’t bear Bappi Lahiri’s disco “tunes” and Mithun’s “dancing.”

  18. what a title – kasam paida karne wale ki (or it should be wali ki)…in fact i have seen some ‘brilliant’ mithun starrers like ilaka, ladai, aandhi-toofan, pyar ka devta etc etc. but wondering how I missed out on this gem?

  19. and ne more point madam memsaab – your reviews and blog should be made compulsory in any film training institute – what not to do to avoid making ham-movies….
    looking forward to your review on Manoj Kumar’s gems -clerk, painter babu, kalyug aur ramayan

  20. Memsaab thank you for yet another great review.

    And I also read your Dewaar review and it was fantastic.

    Nobody writes reviews like you do Memsaab :)

  21. Not a comment on this film, just a thank you for the links to favorites you’ve provided. How did I ever miss Teleport City, and Beth Loves Bollywood?

  22. I have to confess, this movie is one of my fav secret indulgences – its so utterly fabulously horrible. i heart it gud.

  23. BWAHAHHAHAHAHA I’m only through the second paragraph but could not resist breaking off to tell you how much I already love this post and how badly I want SOMEBODY to come up with Bollywood ice cream flavors, including Carla’s Shashi Kapoor Crunch, which I believe we have already described, recipe-wise, but lack the technology to produce.

    A truckload of VAH VAHs to you, my friend!

    • Masala Ice Cream…yummmmm. I confess, I tried to think of some ice cream flavor names for this confection, but nothing really goes with “disco”, “ridiculous”, “eye-searing” or any other description I could come up with. Definitely there would be a lot of sprinkles. Probably some marshmallows. Hmmm. I have already put way more thought into this than I should.

  24. Salma Agha is not wearing contact lens. She has natural light colored eyes. Her grandfather Rafique Ghaznavi (music director/actor) was from Ghazni. One of Salma’s half Aunt’s Shahina had natural blue colored eyes (also mentioned in Saadat Hasan Manto’s article Rafique Ghaznavi – The Ladies man).

    • Okay I’m outnumbered! And plus, with Chandramohan’s eyes staring out at me for the last few days I have to admit that eyes that light even when natural really do look spooky onscreen :-)

      I had no idea that Salma Agha was Rafiq Ghaznavi’s granddaughter! And would love to find that Manto article about Ghaznavi :-) Manto was such a gossip!

      Thanks for your post and interesting info. I am always happy to learn new things here.

  25. No gossip here. lol! Salma Agha mom’s Nasreen worked in 2 pre-partition movies Ek Roz and Shah Jehan (with Saigal). Her half Aunt (Rafique’s daughter from some other woman) Shahina worked in few early Pakistani movies and in her pics, her very light eyes are clearly visible.

    • Maybe you can clear up some confusion on my Shah Jehan post—I’ve never been quite clear on which of the female roles Nasreen played (Mumtaz or Ruhi)—I have screen shots of both, if you would recognize which one is Nasreen that would be great! :-)

  26. I remember when this movie came out, I loved it. I was young and mithun seemed like a everyone. It could be you up there in the screen.
    Years later, I saw the movie again, and I was horrified. It was … I couldn’t imagine what I liked about this movie. Made me realize I was a bigger dunce than I had realized when I was young. How does that song go again. “I wish I knew what I know now, When I was younger.”

  27. Mithun, so gorgeous.

    Checkout a new blog on South Indian films for reviews and fun and pure stargazing. Comment and share readers. Thanks.


  28. Well if you believe it or not I watched this movie in theaters in 1980’s and that too I was just 4-5 yrs old. I still remember the scenes from the movie so well. I remember SP lifting her infant son up in rain, the swimming pool torture of young satish (I myself felt suffocated watching that drama and I bit my all nails off before my mom caught me) and the death of the villain at the end that pumped relief. Over all the movie was a hit in my place (South of India).
    Now if I go back its all silly and immaturely funny LOL

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