Movie: Pushpak (1987, Hindi++, India)

Review of the Indian, silent movie Pushpak (Pesum Padam, Pushpaka Vimana, Pushpaka Vimanam, Pushpaka Vimanamu)

Pushpak (1987 Movie) - DVD Cover ImagePushpak (Hindi), Pushpaka Vimana (Kannada), Pushpaka Vimanamu (Telgu), Pushpaka Vimanam (Malayalam), and Pesum Padam (Tamil), is a movie without dialogues. It was released in multiple Indian languages in 1987 (being a movie without dialogues, the language does not matter; except for the credits/ titles at the start of the movie; the movie is exactly the same in all languages 🙂 ).

Directed bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
Released in1987
GenreDark Comedy, Silent Movie, Romantic Comedy
  • Kamal Haasan as an Unemployed Youth
  • Amala as a Young Lady
  • Tinu Anand as a Contract Killer
  • Farida Jalal as Young Lady’s Mother
  • Sameer Khakhar as The Rich, Drunk Man
  • K S Ramesh as Young Lady’s Father and Magician
Music byL Vaidyanathan
Produced bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao, Shringar Nagaraj
Written bySingeetam Srinivasa Rao
LanguageNo dialogues
Length2 hours 11 minutes

The Plot

An unemployed youth-UY (played by Kamal Haasan) lives alone in Bangalore. He lives in an old, run-down apartment building (chawl) with common toilets and bathrooms. He spends his day trying to look for jobs, but gives up easily, when he sees long queues, and long waiting times. He also wants to be rich and powerful, while not willing to put in the required effort. At the start of the movie, the UY is down to his last coin.

As he is returning from his daily job hunt, the UY sees a well-dressed, rich, drunk (Sameer Khakhar) in a gutter. The UY finds a room key of a famous 5-star hotel, Pushpak (played by ITC Windsor Manor), in the drunk man’s pocket.  The UY kidnaps the rich man, secures the rich man in the UY’s one-room apartment, and takes the rich man’s place in the hotel room. He also finds the rich man’s cash bundles and upgrades his wardrobe with some of the money.

The UY enjoys his stay in the hotel with all the accompanying food and entertainment and luxurious amenities in the room and the bathroom. He meets a Young Lady – YL (played by Amala), the daughter of a magician performing at the hotel, and together they form a romantic bond.

In the meanwhile, a Contract Killer -CK (played by Tinu Anand) arrives at the hotel  with the intention to kill the rich, drunk man, and mistaking the UY to be his target.

The movie is full of hilarious incidents woven together in a very engrossing manner. One example is the daily routine that the UY has to follow to feed and clean the kidnapped, rich, drunk man. Another is the series of unsuccessful attempts by the Contract Killer to eliminate UY, while UY is completely unaware of all the attempts.

The movie has a bitter-sweet ending. The UY finally resolves to go back to his original role and start looking for work in earnest.

An Amazing Movie

When I  first watched the movie, it took me over half an hour to realize that the movie had no dialogues. The situations in the movie are do not require any dialogues. And this does not hamper in either the understanding of the movie nor its ability to engross the viewer.

It is funny, ironic, romantic and also carries a moral message, all at the same time.

I have seen most of Kamal Haasan’s Hindi movies, and I rate his performance in Pushpak as his best (though Kamal Haasan is an experimenter, he is often over-the-top in most other movies). Farida Jalal, Tinu Anand, and Sameer Khakhar are great. Amala sometimes resorts to exaggerated gestures (sort of making up for the lack of dialog).

The background instrumental music (almost continuously running throughout the movie) is melodious and aligned to the mood of the scenes.

The movie also reminds us of the unspoiled Bangalore of the 1980s – most of it was shot around Sankey Road, MG Road, and the Windsor Manor – with scant traffic!

Pushpak received a National Film Award, and two Filmfare Awards. It has also featured in many film festivals and is listed among CNN-IBN’s hundred greatest Indian films of all time. When it was released, it had a long, continuous run in many cities of India, especially Bangalore,

Pushpak can be watched multiple times, from any point to any point; at a single stretch or in fragments.

A great movie to cheer up to after a rough, tiring day (something like hot chocolate or hot soup).

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Your comments are welcome, especially if you have seen the movie!

Author: Rajesh Naik

I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me, I am also available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite.

2 thoughts on “Movie: Pushpak (1987, Hindi++, India)”

  1. I loved watching the movie years ago. There was a lot to smile about. Tinu Anand with his ingenious ice knife kept us on the edge. Amala was like a breath of fresh air. Those were also the days when one watched Charlie Chaplin movies. With the loud blaring that passes off for ‘muzik’ these days and the inane dialogues, wonder whether it’s time for the ‘silent’ movies again.

    1. Hi Prakash,

      Thank you for posting your comment.

      By the way, I consider Pushpak as being a much better movie than the Charlie Chaplin ones.

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