SYNOPSIS - ANJAAM
- Shivani (MADHURI DIXIT), an airline stewardess,
is supposed to go to her friend Kavita's birthday party. First, however,
she must check to see how her sister's health is. At home, Shivani's
sister wants to use the money she makes selling plants to buy herself
medicine, but her husband takes it to gamble with. He says once he wins
the jackpot, he'll pay for her operation. This outrages Shivani, but
he refuses to be shamed, and demands the 2000 Rs. she pays each month
in rent. He wheedles extra out of her for her sister's medicine.
- At Kavita's birthday party, Shivani attracts
the interest of a wealthy businessman, Vijay Agnihotri (SHAHRUKH KHAN).
She isn't interested, but he doesn't accept it well.
- Vijay is visited by a policeman, Arjun Singh.
Seems the fire he lit in his car spread to three nearby shops, and the
owners want to lodge complaints. To his mother's distaste, Vijay bribes
the policeman and gives him pay-off money for the shopkeepers.
- Vijay, looking for a model to represent his
company, spots Shivani on an Air India ad. He goes to her house to offer
her the job, but she turns him down.
- Vijay's mom sends him on an important business
trip to London, but at the airport, he sees Shivani and impulsively
buys a roundtrip ticket for her flight to Dubai. On board, he makes
himself a severe nuisance, requesting a drink "more intoxicating
than your eyes, tarter than your tongue, and as salty as you."
Shivani complies, and he enjoys it so much that, to her disbelief, he
asks for another (SONG: BADI MUSHKIL HAI).
- Vijay tells his mom he's found her future daughter-in-law.
Thrilled, she goes with him to propose a match. They arrive at Shivani's
house in the middle of her wedding.
- At the airport on the way to London, Vijay runs
into Shivani's brother-in-law and learns from him that Shivani's husband
has received a four year posting in New York.
- Four years later: Vijay's mom worries about
how angry at life Vijay has become. He's always out hunting. She hopes
marriage will settle him. Later, she asks him why he feels the need
to kill innocent animals. "I like it, Mom. It gives me a lot of
pleasure." She tells him to stay in tonight, because Mr. Sharma
and his daughter are coming by. Vijay protests that he must go to the
police commissioner's party. She relents, but tells him to return home
early to meet with the Sharmas, because they are leaving tomorrow for
- At the police commissioner's party, Vijay has
an unexpected reunion (SONG: CHANE KE KHET MEIN). He returns home disgusted
with the idea of any other woman, and rudely demands of Seema Sharma
that she sing and dance for him. He tells his mother she can't understand
what he's going through.
- Shivani is planning a birthday party for her
daughter, Pinky. To her husband Ashok, she defends her decision to quit
the Air India job but start working at the hospital. With everyone out
of the house Pinky at school and Ashok at work she gets
lonely. Besides, the disabled people she works with have made great
progress under her care, responding with amazing speed to the love and
attention she gives them. She demonstrates; meanwhile, Vijay bribes
her brother-in-law for her address.
- As Vijay watches, Shivani is mugged and her
mangalsutra [specific type of necklace worn only by married Hindu women]
- Vijay shows up at Pinky's birthday party to
offer Vijay a job as general manager of the new airline Vijay is starting.
Shivani is against it, but the offer is hard to turn down. Learning
that they're going on holiday to Mauritius, Vijay tells Ashok he'll
fax the agreement to him at the resort.
- Before the couple leaves for their holiday,
Vijay and Inspector Arjun Singh intercept Shivani with the good news
that they've found her mugger. She accepts her mangalsutra, but is shocked
by Vijay's proposition that she dole out a little personal punishment
to the thief with the club he offers her. When she declines the opportunity,
protesting that such things should be left to the police, Vijay decides
to do it himself.
- Mauritius. Shivani, who is keeping a fast for
her husband until moonrise, is hungry and irritable that the moon hasn't
yet come out. Her husband teases her about keeping the fast even when
they're not in India, then goes inside to make a phone call. The moon
comes out, and Shivani excitedly calls him, saying she wants him to
be the next thing she looks at after seeing the moon. She turns
and gets an unpleasant surprise. Vijay has come to get Ashok to sign
the papers in person, since, as he explains to Ashok, time is of the
essence. Ashok is thrilled beyond his wildest dreams when Vijay offers
him a monthly salary of 1 lakh (100,000 Rs.), but later Shivani tells
her husband that she's sure he's being conned somehow, and if he were
smart he'd rip up that contract and throw it away. When Vijay intercepts
her on her walk, she tells him she's not happy about it. "What's
your problem with me? Tell me and I'll fix it," he assures her.
"There's no cure for the problem," she parries. "There's
no rehabilitation center for fools, and you are a fool." Vijay
assures her that he's also extremely stubborn and there's no cure for
that either. When he makes a crack about her skill at darts, she challenges
him to do any better. "A bet?" he asks. "Yes. You'll
lose," she predicts. Vijay: "I never lose, Shivani. Never."
- First of several annoying comic interludes with
"hijras," or modern eunuchs who make their living by attending
weddings and births and dancing for the household (on threat of cursing
it if money isn't given).
- Shivani's brother-in-law warns Ashok that a
lock is hardly effective in Bombay; he offers to housesit. Ashok turns
down the offer and takes him to the new house, where Shivani's sister
congratulates him about becoming a father again. An overjoyed Ashok
is teasing his wife when Vijay comes by to show them the new pamphelet
for the airline company. Both are shocked to see Shivani on the cover,
but Shivani loses her head and tells Vijay to get out of their house.
He slinks off. Ashok is appalled by her bad manners; she tells him he's
got to quit the job. "What would you do with all this money anyway?"
Ashok: "It's for you, and Pinky, and our unborn child!" Shivani
spits, "You want more money, do you? So quit and I'll go
to work!" Ashok hits her, and she announces that she's leaving.
"If you leave, don't come back!" he yells after her as she
goes. Vijay appears: "You hit Shivani?" Ashok is angry: "This
is a private matter. Go away!" All Vijay can do is repeat himself
"You hit Shivani?" as he pummels Ashok into
- The police tell Shivani that since Ashok had
no enemies, it seems the motive for the attack was robbery, and Ashok
probably just intercepted the thief before he could steal anything.
Ashok is touch and go, requiring a steady oxygen supply to keep him
breathing, so Shivani goes to keep vigil at his bedside. When Vijay
shows up, she tells him to get out. "I've brought something for
you, Shivani divorce papers. I've spoken with a lawyer
sign them, and marry me." Shivani asks, "Are you crazy?"
"Yes," Vijay replies, "I am; your love drove me crazy...
He raised his hand against you. Marry me." Shivani is outraged,
launching into a speech about the sacredness of marriage vows and sindoor
(vermilion, which married women wear in their parts). "No one can
break the bond of husband and wife. God won't pardon you for this; aren't
you ashamed to talk to a wife like this? I'm a wife, a wife!" Vijay
unplugs Ashok's oxygen and says: "Now?"
- Policemen come to Vijay's house to tell him
that Ashok is dead and his wife says Vijay did it. Vijay is convincingly
outraged: "The biggest loss is mine! My airline is about to open
and my general manager, who I'm completely dependent on, is dead!"
A policeman insists that Shivani said Vijay was there at Ashok's bedside
last night at eleven PM. Vijay gives his alibi: he was with Inspector
- Shivani's panicked outrage doesn't sway the
police officers, who won't take her word over that of one of their own.
Arjun Singh himself speculates to his boss that she's doing this to
get money out of Vijay. Later, Arjun counsels Vijay to forget Shivani.
Vijay: "Never! Never say this again to me!" Arjun Singh: "She'll
never be yours." Vijay: You know, when I was a kid there was a
girl in my class with a glass doll. I wanted that doll, and kept asking
and asking for it, but she refused to give it to me. So you know what
I did?" He demonstrates.
- Shivani finds Vijay telling her daughter, Pinky,
to call him daddy. She sweeps her daughter out and then returns to confront
him: "Murder! How dare you come here! Get out!" Vijay: "Don't
be mad, I've brought you something." He holds up a tin of sindoor,
adding, "Fill your part." She refuses. He persists: "I
can't bear to see you in this widow's guise. Marry me. I love you so
much." Shivani: "This isn't love, it's lust!" Vijay:
"No, it's true love, don't insult it like that." Shivani:
"I hate you!" Vijay: "Just say once that you love me."
Shivani: "Get out, bastard!" Vijay: "Say it! Say you
love me!" He beats her. "Say it once!" He pauses to call
the police to tell them to come quick, someone's about to be murdered.
And then he frames Shivani for his attempted murder. (INTERMISSION)
- At Shivani's trial, Vijay says on the stand
that he gave Ashok the job because Shivani begged him to. When asked
what his relationship with Shivani was, he says they were having an
affair. The day she "tried to kill him," she called him over
to beg him to marry her. When he refused, not wanting to marry such
an amoral creature, she grew violent. The judge buys it, finding her
guilty and sentencing her to three years in prison.
- In prison, Shivani bonds with Nisha, another
guiltless inmate. Meanwhile, her brother begrudges even the smallest
amount of milk to his niece, claiming it's too expensive an indulgence.
He rips off Pinky's necklace to pawn for cash to gamble with.
- Vijay attends a charity show where a fantasy
of Shivani (SONG: MAIN KOHLAPUR SE) moves him to later inform his mother
that he wants to marry the performer.
- Pinky visits her mother in prison. Her tales
of her uncle's abuse move Shivani to helpless rage, but she tries to
hide it so she can soothe her daughter.
- At Vijay's engagement ceremony, he informs his
mother that his fiancee will no longer be known as Roopali, but as Shivani.
Meanwhile, the prisoners are paraded out in the dead of night so a wealthy
man can have his choice of bedpartners. Shivani's morning sickness saves
her; Nisha is taken instead.
- Shivani's brother-in-law throws his wife and
niece out of the house. Meanwhile, Shivani comforts Nisha, assuring
her that things are going to change around here: "I've written
the home minister." Vijay comes to visit her; he offers her freedom
if she'll just say once that she loves him. Shivani vows that she'll
never say it in any of her births. Vijay: "I thought the iron bars
would break you, but no, you haven't changed. Know why I came?"
Shivani: "You cunning swine are all the same: you want to rub salt
in the wound." Vijay: "That's not cunning, it's love. Love
of you dragged me here. Remember when I said that what I loved and couldn't
have, I destroyed? I've destroyed you. And now I'm marrying, and the
girl I'm marrying, I've named after you." Shivani: "That name
will become an ulcer and torment you the rest of your life. It will
remind you constantly that you wouldn't win Shivani. You lost, Vijay
Agnihotri. You lost."
- Vijay's rage leads him to a tragic accident
on the way home, killing Shivani's sister and child. When she learns
of it, she assumes it was on purpose, even though the policemen assure
her that Vijay was too badly hurt to have done it deliberately. Shivani's
brother-in-law is frantic to find his wife's mangalsutra (very expensive
piece!) and takes the earrings off her body to sell. Shivani's mind
cracks a little; when they want her to identify her daughter's body,
she refuses, saying it's some other child, there's been a mistake, her
daughter is an imp who would never lie so quietly there.
- Shivani tells Nisha to let her die. Nisha: "No.
You must live for your unborn child. Remember, every night has a dawn."
Shivani: "True. There's one remaining trace of my husband, and
it's this child within me. I beg God that my child will be born to avenge
- Arjun Singh informs the prison chief that Shivani
has filed a complaint against her. "Teach her a lesson she won't
forget," he advises her, and she does inducing Shivani to
miscarry. Later, Shivani tells Nisha, "Don't cry. Look in my eyes.
No chance you'll see even a single tear. Like the dried blood, each
and every tear has dried up. Wipe away those tears, that make a woman
weak. Do you know, Nisha, why woman is subjected to injustice? Because
she endures it. But the world doesn't know that a woman's power of endurance
is like the earth, which can endure any atrocity, but which, when its
rage finally flares into flame, will crush everything. The world sees
woman in her forms as mother, sister, daughter but it hasn't
seen her as the deceiver."
- The head of the prison summons Shivani. "You
know why I called you here?" Shivani: "Yes. Usually people
like you call death upon themselves." "Looks like you forgot
the lesson I taught you!" "No, I remember. It erased the last
trace of my husband. I remember it all. But today I'll do something
you won't remember because to remember, a person must be living.
And you won't be."
- The inmates say Shivani was with them at the
religious ceremony, giving her an ironclad alibi which prevents Arjun
Singh from taking his revenge. Shivani taunts him: "You're right.
I killed her. But you can't do anything to me, because the same way
I had no proof that Vijay killed my husband, you have no proof of my
- Shivani's brother-in-law finally wins his jackpot.
Meanwhile, Shivani's parole date is upon her. "Where'll you go?"
Nisha asks her. Shivani replies, "This city before us isn't a city
it's a battlefield, and on this battlefield I must wage a holy
- Shivani hits her first target. Arjun Singh hears
of it and asks whether she's out on parole yet. He finds her at her
daughter's grave, and promises to put Shivani in the ground with her.
Things don't turn out exactly as he'd planned.
- At Vijay's house, Shivani learns that the family
moved two years ago. Disoriented, she decides to dedicate her life to
caring for the disabled. But she asks her old friend the doctor to assign
her to someplace other than the city, which has so many painful memories
for her. The doctor sends her to a sanitorium in the countryside. Upon
arriving, she learns from the doctor there that the sanitorium is funded
by none other than the Agnihotris! When she learns that Vijay
lives nearby, she sets off with a sickle in hand to finish her business
but is waylaid when she runs into Vijay in a wheelchair, inert
and inchoate. She asks that the responsibility for his care be placed
solely on her.
- Vijay's mother comes to meet the goddess who
has done such wonders for her son. Meanwhile, Shivani is deep in a "therapy"
session with Vijay (SONG: BARSON KE BAAD). Sight of her shocks Vijay's
mother, who is sure Shivani wants to kill her son. Shivani dumpes Vijay
in the water and challenges him to pull himself out: "It's a test,
Vijay, get out!" He does.
- Vijay's mother feels terribly guilty about the
way she misjudged Shivani. Instead, they owe Shivani everything, because
Vijay is now up and functional again. She sends Vijay to find Shivani
at the local temple. He tells Shivani, "You know what my mother
thinks? That you did me a big favor by giving me a new life. She's very
simple. She doesn't understand that you didn't do me a favor,
you did yourself one. I'm the only opportunity left to you. You're
all alone in this world and no woman can bear to pass her life all alone.
So, tell me once that you love me. I'm ready to marry you. Shivani,
you gave me this new life, so it's my duty to give you a new one. Just
once, only once, say you love me." Shivani embraces him
and stabs him. "Yes, Vijay, I gave you a new life for this!
So I could send you back! If an ocean of compassion and affection
dwell in a woman's breast, then hate is a fire the smallest spark of
which can turn it all to ashes! A woman can give life, and she can take
it as well! It's a sin to kill, but to kill a demon like you is a virtuous
act!" Vijay: "Shivani just say one time that you love
me!" He grabs her and drags her over the cliff; she hangs onto
the ledge as he clings to her feet. "If I die," he says, "you
die with me!" Shivani cries, "My living isn't as important
as your dying!" She lets go. They fall to their deaths. The end.