Aaina (1993)

Did you ever get a movie with the same title, expecting another?   I once thought I was ordering Kalyug (1981), but instead got Kalyug (2005).  Such was the case for me with Aaina.  I think I intended to get the 1977 Aaina:

aaina%20old%20dvdAaina is a 1977 Indian Bollywood film starring Rajesh Khanna , Mumtaz in the lead roles and A. K. Hangal, Nirupa Roy, Lalita Pawar, Kamal Hassan and Madan Puri in support roles. The music is given by Naushad. The film is directed by famous director K. Balachander. He had filmed the same story before: the Tamil film Arangetram(1973) with Kamal Hassan. It’s about a Brahmin girl becoming a sex worker to support her mother and siblings. (source)

Aaina%20CoverThat sounds pretty great, but instead I got the 1993 version of Aaina.  For a full synopsis of the film go HERE, but I can tell you it’s basically a story of two sisters, one evil (Amrita Singh), one sweet (Juhi Chawla).  The sisters fight over a fancy businessman, or as they frequently say in Bollywood, a rich industrialist, played by Jackie Shroff. It turns out that Reema (Juhi) has long been a fan of Ravi Saxena (Jackie) who is not only a fancy business man, but has also published some things she’s read.  She runs into him in a book store.  Can you find the pictures of Madonna and Michael Jackson in this photo?


Alas, Ravi falls for the evil self absorbed sister, Roma, instead of the sister who has long pined for him.  The evil head case sister, Roma (Amrita Singh), eventually looses Ravi’s love since she’s more focused on being a top fashion model and ignores the realationship. Ravi marries the nice sister instead, but then Roma decides she wants him back and tries to manipulate him with various crazy antics, like pretending to kill herself.  Pagli!


Singh does a great job acting like a psycho and won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her efforts.   Eventually her many manipulations pay off and she wins back Ravi, but Reema is on to her sister’s evil plotting and finally grows a spine and confronts her.

aaina.juhiThe sisters have a dance off at a lavish party over Ravi!aaina.amrita.juhi.jackieThere’s even a tight slap to the face!aaina.tightslapThe song Aaina Hai Mera Chehra with real life sisters and playback singers, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle picturized on Amrita Singh and Juhi Chawla, pretending to sing, and pretending to be sisters.  If you don’t want to spend time watching the entire film, this item number sort of summarizes it: behen vs. behen for the pyar of a man.

And real life sisters out there, please don’t fight over a man!  Have you seen either of the Aaina films? Which one did you like more?

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29 thoughts on “Aaina (1993)

  1. Good advice for real-life sisters, Sita-ji. There are worthier causes to fight over! ;-)

    I’ve only seen the newer Aaina and remember being quite taken aback at Juhi playing the “plain” sister while Amrita got to be the glamor doll! I thought that was soooooo wrong. lol

    • bollyviewer-ji,
      Good point about the glam role being attributed to the unlikely actress between the two. Yes, let’s not fight over the men please, it lowers our stock. :)

  2. Lots of tight slaps going around??

    I’ve seen the Amrita Singh wala ‘Aaina’. It’s such a cheezy film, but it still had me glued. Though I usually hate the stand-off between Miss Goody-goody and Miss Selfish.

    But Amrita Singh brought it off. One of my favourite actresses.

    • Banno-ji,
      Yes, I am always on high alerts gathering evidence of slaps in the films. It’s part of my world wide human right’s watch. :) Amrita did definitely bring the crazy, and in style. Thanks for your visit.

  3. I have seen both, and remember the 1977 one as being “meh”. The Amrita Singh one I saw a long time ago and remembered liking it (riveted in the way one is to Melrose Place and its kind)…but I watched it again recently and hated it; on second viewing it was just so…misogynistic! I hated the way Jackie Shroff stood by so smugly while the two women screamed like banshees at each other. I have no idea what I was thinking the first time I saw it.

    • memsaab-ji,
      Maybe I’ll end up skipping the ’77, though the plot of having the brahmin girl turning tricks to save her the family is enticing…then what about family honor? I was wondering how they’d handle that little problem. Certainly some films are only worth a single viewing. I think on first viewing the misogynistic parts could hide behind their shock value, but not on a second viewing. Yes, he did enjoy them fighting over him while looking smug. Idiot! And remember that special little pad he decorated in some goth-“high style”- emo fashion for Roma? It did have that typical end, where he justified his poor treatment of Reema, since he knew Roma was crazy and was just playing along to make a point, but still! I’ve always hoped for some real life twist to bad relationships in my real life, for instance a break up could be, “Hey, I was just pretending, psych! Now let’s get back together!” ;)

  4. I’ve seen the 1977 Aaina and HATED it, it seemed so regressive and unkind. And Rajesh just had a special appearance in it, he was not the main hero (there wasn’t one) though they’ve always billed it that way. It was Mumtaz’s film really and she was very good. The recent Lagaa Chunari Mein Daag was based on it though I’ve heard them deny and say something about being inspired by a Marathi play, etc. IMO Mumtaz did a much better job than Rani and Rajesh’s character was very like Abhishek’s–all noble and all :-)

    If I remember correctly, there’s a song with Dharmendra and Neetu Singh in there somewhere too!

  5. I’ve seen the newer Aaina – years after having been told most of the story by a friend who has the (dubious) ability to remember films `scene to scene’, as they say! Cheesy, as Banno so rightly calls it, but still enjoyable. What awful hairstyles and clothing ruled in the 90’s. Somehow every time Jackie Shroff (whom I otherwise like) appeared on screen with his hair curling over the back of his collar, I winced.

    • dustedoff-ji,
      Wow, I love that you have a friend that can recall movies scene by scene. I can imagine a Bollywood play by play would get quite long, “and then…and then…and then…and then…and then…” :) Your wincing at that unfortunate hair “style” is understandable. Thanks for you comment.

  6. Saw this ages ago before i started blogging, otherwise i would have raved and ranted about how much i love it on my blog. i watched it on a lovely saturday in one straight go, i loved every single melodramatic cheesy moment of it. I haven’t seen the old one but i utterly adore this one the songs are gorgeous and i love Juhi’s dance in Goriya hai + Jackie and Amrita’s romance in ‘mera sasoon main tum’ i can watch all the songs back to back. I pyar this film a lot Bahut shukriya for an awesome review

    Lots of pyar (your review seems to have raised a lot of happy emotions in me ;0)

    • bollywooddeewana-ji,
      This is a super cheesy melodrama and fine specimen of a Bollywood film. I think you should do a full review of the film, since I merely dealt with some of the more showy fluff, as usual. A more comprehensive look and dissection of the film is in order and you’re the one to do it! Thanks for your kind words dost. :)

    • ajnabi-ji,
      Ah yes juxtaposing the serious theme of family betrayal with this almost playful tune is part of the movie’s yucky charm. You can easily miss it, since there are so many great movies out there, but if you’re in the mood for some camp, this is your film. Thanks for your visit. :)

    • theBollywoodFan-ji,
      Adab nawab, I will look forward to hearing your impressions of this film. Don’t worry, I didn’t post much of a review, but I suppose the screen caps could be considered an extremem spoiler alert. :)

      • Saw it, and have mixed feelings. It was just too long. Definitely didn’t like Jackie’s character either. Dude put guys to shame. But woah, ALL that DRAMA! And it did have a scene right by my Bombay home, so that made it worth it, alongside Juhi, of course.

  7. The 1993 Aaina is the desi version of “Fatal Attraction” which was a super hit hollywood movie around the same time with Glen Close doing a great job.

    Having seen the original, I was not inclined in seeing the desi (twised version). Finally saw it at the insistence of my sister who liked the desi version (who hadn’t seen the original) – I did not like the movie altrhough Amrita Singh is a good actress.

    • Anonymous-ji,
      Well it’s not quite like Fatal Attraction, but it has the one similarity in that there was a mentally deranged woman after the love of a married man. I’d say that Aitraaz(2004) is closer in plot to Fatal Attraction. I’m glad you got to see both movies though. Now have you also seen Aitraaz? Thanks for your comments.

  8. That original tamil version of the old Aiana (1977) was supposed to have been very well made and was a big success. Re-makes are often poor as we know from scores of examples

      • The tamil version was called “Arrangetram”(1973)

        IMDB list of movies made by Balachander

        Poi (2006)
        Paarthale Paravasam (2001)
        … aka Paravasam (India: Telugu title: dubbed version)

        Kalki (1996)
        Duet (1994)
        Jathi Malli (1992)
        Vaaname Ellai (1992)
        … aka The Sky Is the Limit
        Azhakan (1991)
        Oru Veedu Iru Vasal (1990)

        Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal (1989)
        … aka New Meanings
        Rudra Veena (1988)
        … aka Veena of Shiva
        Unnal Mudiyum Thambi (1988)
        … aka Brother, It Is Possible!
        Manathil Uruthi Vendum (1987)
        … aka Courageous Heart
        Punnagai Mannan (1986)
        … aka Smiling Prince
        Sundara Swapnagalu (1986)
        Kalyana Agathigal (1985)
        … aka The Refugees of Marriage
        Mugila Malligey (1985)
        … aka The Jasmine in the Courtyard
        Sindhu Bhairavi (1985)
        Ek Nai Paheli (1984)
        … aka A New Puzzle
        Achamillai Achamillai (1984)
        … aka Fearless
        … aka No Fear! No Fear!
        Eradu Rekhagalu (1984)
        … aka Two Lines
        Love Love Love (1984)
        Benki Alli Aralida Huvu (1983)
        … aka The Flower That Bloomed in Fire
        Kokilamma (1983)
        Poikkal Kuthirai (1983)
        … aka The Horse Dance
        Zara Si Zindagi (1983)
        … aka A Short Life
        Agni Sakshi (1982)
        Pyara Tarana (1982)
        … aka The Beloved Melody
        47 Natkal (1981)
        … aka 47 Days
        … aka 47 Rojulu (India: Telugu title)
        Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981)
        … aka Made for Each Other
        Aadavallu Meeku Joharulu (1981)
        … aka Women We Salute You!
        Aakali Rajyam (1981)
        … aka The Land of Hunger (India: English title)
        Enga Ooru Kannagi (1981)
        Thaneer Thaneer (1981)
        … aka Water Water
        Thillu Mullu (1981)
        Thirakal Ezhuthiya Kavitha (1980)
        Tholikodi Koosindi (1980)
        … aka The Morning Cock Crows
        Varumayin Niram Sigappu (1980)

        Idi Kathakaadu (1979)
        Andamaina Anubhavam (1979)
        Edo Saritha (1979)
        Guppedu Manasu (1979)
        Ninaithale Inikkum (1979)
        Nool Veli (1979)
        Maro Charithra (1978)
        … aka Yet Another Story
        Nizhal Nijamakirathu (1978)
        … aka Illusion Becomes Reality
        Thappitha Thala (1978)
        … aka Losing the Rhythm
        … aka Thappu Thalangal (India: Tamil title)
        … aka Wrong Beats
        Aaina (1977)
        Avargal (1977)
        … aka Characters
        … aka They
        Meethi Meethi Baatein (1977)
        Oka Thalli Katha (1977)
        … aka The Story of a Mother
        Pattina Pravesam (1977)
        … aka Entering a City
        Anthuleni Katha (1976)
        … aka A Story Without an End
        Manmatha Leelai (1976)
        … aka Cupid’s Play
        Moondru Mudichu (1976)
        … aka Three Knots
        Apoorva Raagangal (1975)
        … aka Rare Melodies
        Koti Vidyalu Kuti Korake (1974)
        … aka A Million Skills to Fill a Belly
        Naan Avanillai (1974)
        … aka I Am Not He
        Arrangetram (1973)
        … aka The Debut
        Lokram Maraali (1973)
        … aka The World Must Change
        Sollathan Ninaikiren (1973)
        … aka I Am Unable to Tell You
        Kanna Nalama (1972)
        … aka Are You Okay?
        Velli Vizha (1972)
        … aka Silver Jubilee
        Bomma Borusa (1971)
        … aka Heads or Tails?
        Nangu Suvargal (1971)
        … aka Four Walls
        Nootrukku Noor (1971)
        … aka Hundred Out of a Hundred
        Punnagai (1971)
        … aka Smile
        Ethiroli (1970)
        … aka Echo
        Kaviyath Thalaivi (1970)
        … aka Great Leader
        Navagraham (1970)
        … aka Nine Planetary Influences
        Patham Pasali (1970)
        … aka Simpleton

        Iru Kodagal (1969)
        … aka Two Lines
        Poova Thalaya (1969)
        Sattekalapu Satteya (1969)
        … aka Truthful Sattayya (India: English title)
        Ethir Neechal (1968)
        … aka Swimming Against the Current
        Thamarai Nenjam (1968)
        … aka Lotus Heart
        Anubavi Raja Anubavi (1967)
        … aka Enjoy O King!
        Bama Vijam (1967)
        … aka Bama’s Victory
        … aka Bhale Kodalu (India: Telugu title)
        … aka Well Done Daughter-in-Law!
        Major Chandrakant (1966)
        Naanal (1965)
        Neer Kumizhi (1965)
        … aka Water Bubble

        Azhakan (1991) (screenplay)

        Sindhu Bhairavi (1985) (writer)
        Ek Nai Paheli (1984) (screenplay) (story)
        … aka A New Puzzle
        Achamillai Achamillai (1984) (screenplay) (story)
        … aka Fearless
        … aka No Fear! No Fear!
        Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981) (screenplay) (story)
        … aka Made for Each Other
        Aadavallu Meeku Joharulu (1981) (story)
        … aka Women We Salute You!
        Aakali Rajyam (1981) (writer)
        … aka The Land of Hunger (India: English title)
        Thaneer Thaneer (1981) (screenplay)
        … aka Water Water
        Thillu Mullu (1981) (writer)

        Idi Kathakaadu (1979) (writer)
        Guppedu Manasu (1979) (writer)
        Kazhukan (1979) (story)
        Maro Charithra (1978) (writer)
        … aka Yet Another Story
        Aaina (1977) (screenplay) (story)
        Anthuleni Katha (1976) (writer)
        … aka A Story Without an End
        Haar Jeet (1972) (writer) (as K. Balachandra)
        Bomma Borusa (1971) (story)
        … aka Heads or Tails?
        Mastana (1970) (story) (as K. Balchandra)

        Anubavi Raja Anubavi (1967) (writer)
        … aka Enjoy O King!
        Oonche Log (1965) (play “Major Chandrakant”)

        Ayya (2005) (producer)
        Idhaya Thirudan (2005) (producer)

        Roja (1992) (producer)
        … aka Roja (India: Malayalam title) (India: Telugu title: dubbed version)
        … aka The Rose (International: English title)
        Unnai Solli Kutramillai (1990) (producer)

        Sree Raaghavendar (1985) (producer)
        … aka Shri Raghavendrar (India: Tamil title: alternative transliteration)
        47 Natkal (1981) (producer)
        … aka 47 Days
        … aka 47 Rojulu (India: Telugu title)

  9. Err don’t beat me but I lurve Aaina :) It’s just so much fun! And I love the funny auction commode scene (heh). Also, Juhi and Amrita rocked.. the songs are awesome too. It’s one of those super emotionally charged 80s-90s movies I can watch over and over. Also, Juhi looked soo beautiful in this movie once she stopped hiding behind those oily braids and glasses :)

    • pitu-ji,
      GURL! Now you know I must have liked some, or a lot of it to even take the time to screen cap it and post on it, so mention not. :) Juhi’s transformation was great! Also, remember how Ravi had a long hair fetish that could be more fully explored once when let her hair down both literally and figuratively. I also like when she grabs her mangal sutra to show that only she as a wife understands the sanctity of marriage and the importance of being a wife, and thus claims moral high ground on that basis. Except that’s sort of a flawed argument since it assumes a woman’s worth come only through a man, and it’s not hard to out moral her insane behen, hai na? I think the inherent misogyny is nicely counter balanced with a high kitch factor. Thanks for your comment and confession. :)

  10. I loved this movie for several reasons, but mostly because those two sisters could have been MY sisters. People who don’t think it can happen like that: It can happen like that!

  11. I remember seeing the old Rajesh Khanna wala Aaina, long back when it was shown on tv (on DD i think). Dint know there was another one … but now I know, thanks to your article, and I hope to watch it someday.

    btw, you write very well, keep it up !

  12. Pingback: Aaina (1977) « Bollywood Food Club

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