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Zakhm (1998)

Not Rated | | Drama | 15 December 1998 (India)
Amidst religious riots, a son deals with his mother's life-threatening injuries, and her last request.


Mahesh Bhatt


Mahesh Bhatt (screenplay), Mahesh Bhatt (story) | 2 more credits »
9 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ajay Devgn ... Ajay
Pooja Bhatt ... Mrs. Desai
Nagarjuna Akkineni ... Raman Desai (as Nagarjuna)
Sonali Bendre ... Sonia
Akshay Anand ... Anand
Kunal Khemu ... Young Ajay
Avtar Gill ... Isa
Sharat Saxena ... Jr. Inspector Pawar
Ashutosh Rana ... Subodh Malgaonkar
Madan Jain Madan Jain ... Anwar Hashmi
Saurabh Shukla ... Gurdayal Singh
Vishwajeet Pradhan ... Sr. Inspector Yadav
Amardeep Jha
Namrata Dhamija Namrata Dhamija ... Raman's wife
Zafar Karachiwala Zafar Karachiwala


Mrs. Desai is a Bombay-based widow and lives with her singer son, Ajay, his pregnant wife Sonia, and a second son, Anand, who is currently involved in a right-wing organization run by Subodh Malgaonkar. Things take a turn for the worst when militants storm the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh and demolish it. Anger runs high amongst the Muslim community which lead to riots, even in far-off Bombay. The Bombay police move quickly and a curfew is imposed in the more sensitive parts such as Mohammed Ali Road, Jogeshwari, and Dharavi. It is on this day that Mrs. Desai goes to offer prayers at her usual place of worship, and it is here that she will be attacked by militants, set ablaze, admitted to the Holy Family Hospital with more than 80% burns, and virtually no chance of surviving. Ajay must now deal with conflicts with Sonia, who wants to leave India, and re-locate to England, where she wants to give birth to her child without any constraints as to religion and caste, on one hand, and on ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 December 1998 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Wound See more »

Filming Locations:

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


When Mahesh Bhatt brought together the genius of M.M. Kreem with the mastery of Anand Bakshi for "Zakham" (1998), one beautiful romantic song, "O Saathiya," remained unused, probably because its bright tone did not match the serious mood of the film. The song was kept in cold storage till the perfect place was found for it in "Saaya" (2003), written by Bhatt for his brother Mukesh. This was Kreem's and Bakshi's only contribution to the film whose other songs were done by Anu Malik with Sayeed Quadri. See more »


In the opening scenes, Ajay is composing on a piano, but we hear no piano music, even when he "plays" a tune for his wife. See more »


Ajay: NO religion of this world can stop a son for fulfilling his mother's last wish.
See more »


Remade as Naamkarann (2016) See more »


Hum Yahan Tum Yahan Dil Jawan
Sung by Alka Yagnik
Lyrics by Anand Bakshi
Music by M.M. Keeravani
See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely stunning film
7 August 2000 | by Mr BoothSee all my reviews

Zakhm is quite unlike any Bollywood film I have seen before, a far cry from the song and dance routines and conventional moralities that are typical of the ITV late night slot at least. It is shot like a black and white Hollywood drama, and filled with tension and quite piercing political and social issues.

The context is Mumbai torn apart by religious hatred and violence. Muslims and Hindus are killing each other en mass. This friction is mirrored by events in one man's life, as his family is split in two by religion just as his society is. Much of the film is told in flashback, filling in the history of the family's deeply buried secrets.

The performances throughout the film are gripping, with the cast giving very convincing portrayals of the grief and fear their characters go through - one wonders what director Mahesh Bhatt might have put his cast through to get such fantastic acting. Particularly impressive is child actor Kunaal Khemu, whose honest and intense emotions are infectious.

Zakhm raises many issues about how we treat other people, and what issues are ever worth resorting to violence over. It is beautifully filmed, and the script is both intelligent and original. Unforgettable.

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