05 August, 2021

27 Down (Hindi)

Some of the rail platform shots would be worthy of any European master.

27 Down (Hindi)
  • Director: Awtar Krishna Kaul
  • Year: 1974
  • Cast: M.K. Raina, Sudhir Dalvi, Rakhee, Sadhu Meher

Trains  and railway stations were so much a part of Indian life for a previous generation but it never got reflected in Indian cinema. Awtar Krishna Kaul’s debut—and only—1973 feature was an exception (Mala­y­alam film Palangal, 1981, was ano­ther such), showing up the parallels, the railgaadi as metaphor for the desultory, defeated Indian middle-class life of the time. The film follows our hero  Sanjay (M.K. Raina), trapped in a railways TC job as he does the 27 Down Mumbai-Varanasi Express, his meeting Shalini (Rakhee) on the train, their break-up, his cowing down to father Om Shivpuri’s dema­nds, but it’s really more an ode to the railway way of life, lives spent on bunker berths shuttling from one station to another. Lumin­ously shot in B&W by A.K. Bir (it won nat­ional awards for...

In this article:

More from Sasi Nair

Latest Magazine

August 09, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section