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Theatrical release poster
|Written by||Yu Avetikov
Bharat B. Bhalla
|Edited by||Bhanudas Divakar
|Distributed by||Aasia Films Pvt. Ltd.
Gorky Film Studio
|12 April 1991|
|Budget||₹80 million (equivalent to ₹480 million or US$7.2 million in 2016)|
|Box office||₹45 million (equivalent to ₹270 million or US$4.0 million in 2016)|
Ajooba is a 1991 Bollywood fantasy superhero film, produced and directed by Shashi Kapoor and also co-directed by the Soviet filmmaker Gennadi Vasilyev. It is a fantasy film loosely based on Arabian mythology (such as One Thousand and One Nights). A Russian language dub of the film was released in the Soviet Union as Vozvrashcheniye Bagdadskogo Vora (The Return of the Thief of Baghdad).
The Afghan kingdom of "Baharistan" is ruled by a just and kind Sultan Ali Rizwan Mohhamad Dokeer Khan (Shammi Kapoor). All is well in the land except that the Sultan seemingly can't have children. An evil devil-worshipping Vazir (Amrish Puri) seeks to usurp the throne, revive his "fauladi shaitan" (a huge demon-like figure made of stone), and take over the world. The Vazir instructs his maids to strangle every child born to the Sultan. Finally, however, a spark of divine intervention (presented literally as a spark which descends from the heavens and enters the womb) renders the next newborn son immune to the poisons and strangulations administered by the maids. This Shehezada (prince) eventually becomes Ajooba (miracle).
The Sultan and his wife Malika (Ariadna Shengelaya) kick off celebrations throughout the land. The good court magician Ameer Baba (Saeed Jaffrey), recently returned from his travels to the "land of Hind" (i.e., India), presents a magic sword to the Sultan. The Sultan thrusts it into a pillar (verifying its keenness), and Ameer Baba pronounces that it may be drawn out of the stone again only by a member of the royal family (rather like the Excalibur).
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