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Pushpaka Vimana (Kannada: ಪುಷ್ಪಕ ವಿಮಾನ, English title: The Love Chariot), or just Pushpak for subsequent films in other languages, is a black comedy Kannada movie released in 1988, directed by Telugu/Kannada director Srinivasa Rao Singeetham. Though the movie was made in Kannada, it was also released in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam as well. Set in a large unnamed Indian city (shot in Bangaloremarker), the film is based on the king-for-a-day story. The film is notable for its inventive recasting of the silent film form. Though shot in color and featuring incidental noise, the film does not have any dialogues. However, unlike classic silent movies, the film has very little mouthing of dialog; instead, clever cinematography, implicit and physical communication, and creating scenes or shots where a dialog would plausibly be absent are used. Additionally, crafty camera placement is sometimes employed to rationalize the inaudibility of dialog.

Pushpak won the 1988 National Film Award for Best Popular Film.


Because of its modern reinvention of the silent film form, effective blend of slapstick comedy and dark social satire, an unconventional ending and Kamal Haasan's commendable acting, the film was lauded by critics (including those of the Cannesmarker jury). The film was not proportionately well received by the general public and is relatively unknown. The film is one of the highest rated films in IMDb, rated 9.1 out of 10 as of June 2009.

Plot summary

The film follows an unnamed, almost penniless and unemployed youth (played by Kamal Haasan) whose fortunes change when he stumbles upon a millionaire drunk by the roadside. He takes the millionaire prisoner in his house and assumes his identity to taste the luxury of a five-star hotel (actually shot at Windsor Manor Hotel, Bangalore). In the process, he falls in love with a magician's daughter (Amala). He uses his false identity to enjoy a romantic day with her. Meanwhile a contract killer is sent after the millionaire who engages in repeated failed attempts to kill Kamal with knives made of ice. Finally, after seeing the millionaires wife lamenting her missing husband and witnessing other incidents that show him a different perspective on life, Kamal decides to give up his new-found luxury.

In the much-acclaimed ending, Kamal frees the millionaire and confesses everything to magicians daughter. The magician's daughter tells Kamal she still likes him and throws Kamal a flower and a note (presumably her address/phone number) from a car. However, a gush of wind blows the note and the rose down a sewage drain, suggesting the lovers never unite. The last shot shows Kamal Hassan standing at the employment line, once again a very poor man.


Kamal Haasan as Unemployed graduate

Amala as Magician's daughter

Tinnu Anand as Killer

Narayana P.L. as Beggar

Farida Jalal as Magician's wife

Sameer Khakhar as Samir Khakhar, the rich man

Ramya Krishna as Ramya, the rich man's wife

Loknath as Lokanath, the hotel owner

Prathap K. Pothan as Pratap Potan, the lover

K.S. Ramesh as Magician

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