Khoon Bhari Maang

Khoon Bhari Maang (transl. Blood on the Head) is a 1988 Indian Hindi-language action thriller film directed and produced by Rakesh Roshan. Based on the Australian mini-series Return to Eden (1983), it stars Rekha as a wealthy widow who is almost killed by her second husband and sets out for revenge. The film was a comeback venture for Rekha, and was a critical and commercial success. It received seven nominations at the 34th Filmfare Awards, including for Best Film and Best Director for Roshan, and won Rekha her second Best Actress award. Khoon Bhari Maang was released on 12 August 1988.[1]

Khoon Bhari Maang
Theatrical-release poster
Directed byRakesh Roshan
Produced byRakesh Roshan
Written by
Music byRajesh Roshan
Edited bySanjay Verma
Distributed byFilmkraft Productions
Release date
  • 12 August 1988 (1988-08-12)
Running time
172 minutes


Aarti Verma (Rekha) is a widow with two children. She is an unattractive woman with a large birthmark on her face. Aarti's husband (Rakesh Roshan) died in a car accident under mysterious circumstances, and her father (Saeed Jaffrey) is one of the richest and most famous businessmen in the city. However, when Aarti's father is murdered by his worker Hiralal (Kader Khan), Aarti's world is completely destroyed. She does not find any sense for her life, except bringing up her children. Hiralal pretends to be a friend, and takes care of her like a father. He brings his poor nephew Sanjay (Kabir Bedi) from abroad, who is also the lover of Aarti's best friend Nandini (Sonu Walia). Although Nandini loves Aarti, she is intensely in love with Sanjay, and after he requests her to help him, she finally agrees to help him rob Aarti of her wealth. Slowly, Sanjay gets close to Aarti's children. Nandini and the rest of the family convince Aarti to marry Sanjay and finally, she marries him. The day after the wedding, Aarti, Sanjay and Nandini go on a short trip, in which Sanjay pushes Aarti from the rowboat into crocodile-infested waters, so that she dies, and he inherits her wealth. The crocodile mauls Aarti and mutilates her body and face. However, Aarti's body is not found and Sanjay cannot inherit the legacy until her body is found and her death is established beyond any doubt. As a result, the family is in a serious situation. Sanjay, out of frustration becomes abusive to the children and Aarti's pets. While all of this is occurring, Aarti is found adrift by an old farmer, who rescues her.

A few months later, the horribly disfigured Aarti decides to return to her city and avenge herself and her family. She exchanges her expensive diamond earrings for a huge amount of money, using the money to pay for extensive plastic surgery, and becomes a stunningly beautiful woman, very different from her earlier self. Aarti sets her first target Nandini who is the most successful model in town. In order to beat her popularity, she participates as a model in the same modelling agency (Kraft advertising agency) which made Nandini a star. Aarti Introduces herself as 'Jyoti'. The photographer JD (Shatrughan Sinha) spots her beauty and vows to make her the topmost model in the town even more successful than Nandini. Soon Jyoti's popularity takes over Nandini and out of frustration, she challenges Jyoti for a dance performance in which she loses. Nandini soon becomes jobless and Jyoti's first target gets settled. Meanwhile, Sanjay gets smitten by Jyoti's beauty and is no longer interested in Nandini. He tries various ways to woo her and seduce her but fails every time. Later Jyoti finds out that her children have stopped going to school. Jyoti lures in Sanjay to invite her to her own home where she lived with her pets and children. Although the pets recognize Jyoti as Aarti, the children fail to do so. Jyoti finds out about all misdeeds of Sanjay and Hiralal through the children including the murder of Ramu Kaka, the servant (A K Hangal) and her father.

JD gets suspicious about Jyoti's actions and shows his concern for her. He offers help as a friend which Jyoti declines. JD ultimately finds out that Jyoti is none other than Aarti who has come back to exact revenge on her wrong doers. Meanwhile, Jyoti sets her second target, her uncle Hiralal, sneaks into his house at midnight and kills him. She then calls Nandini and tells her that she is taking Sanjay with him at Sitapur farm (the same place where Aarti was attacked). JD asks Aarti's children to tell about Jyoti's whereabouts as her life is in danger. He reveals them the secret about Jyoti being their mother. Sanjay brings Jyoti to the farmhouse. Nandini also reaches there and confronts Sanjay. She threatens to expose him to Jyoti and will not let her suffer like Aarti. Jyoti confronts them both and finally reveals herself as Aarti. Aarti vows to take revenge from Sanjay in the similar fashion the way he tried to kill her. Aarti fights Sanjay and in the process, Nandini sacrifices herself to save Aarti. Aarti with the help of her pet horse Raja, drags Sanjay to the same spot with Crocodile infested waters. Aarti tries her best to knock Sanjay off the cliff but Sanjay turns around and pushes her down.

JD reaches the spot, saves Aarti and fights Sanjay. After a brief fight, he knocks Sanjay out and he rolls down the cliff, hanging upside down. He asks Aarti for forgiveness. Aarti recalls that horrific incident when she was pushed into the lake and brutally attacked by the crocodile. Aarti knocks Sanjay one last time with a wooden rod and he falls down the cliff and gets devoured by the crocodile. Aarti reunites with her family and pets.




The film has four songs composed by Rajesh Roshan:

  • "Hanste Hanste Kat Jaayen Raaste" - Nitin Mukesh, Sadhana Sargam
  • "Jeene Ke Bahaane Lakhon Hain" - Asha Bhosle
  • "Main Haseena Ghazab Ki" - Asha Bhosle, Sadhana Sargam
  • "Main Teri Hoon Jaanam" - Sadhana Sargam
  • "Hanste Hanste Kat Jaayen Raaste" - Sadhana Sargam, Sonali

The song "Main Teri Hoon Jaanam" is lifted from the theme song of the British film Chariots of Fire.[2]


Reviews towards Khoon Bhari Maang were positive, with most of the critics' praise being directed towards Rekha's performance. In a 2000 article reviewing the last two decades in Hindi cinema, Bhawana Somaaya from The Hindu wrote: "Rakesh Roshan offers Rekha the role of a lifetime in Khoon Bhari Maang."[3] M.L. Dhawan from The Tribune, while documenting the famous Hindi films of 1988, argued: "With Khoon Bhari Maang, Rakesh Roshan destroyed the myth that it was essential to have a hero as the protagonist and that heroines were there just to serve as interludes and mannenquins."

Dhawan further noted: "This fast-paced movie was a crowning glory for Rekha, who rose like a phoenix in this remake of Return to Eden, and bedazzled the audience with her daredevilry."[4] Akshay Shah from Planet Bollywood wrote, "a perfect female oriented... [which] demands repeat viewing."[5] An unofficial remake of Return to Eden,[6] the film was remade in Telugu as Gowthami starring Suhasini , in Tamil as Thendral Sudum starring Radhika and in Kannada as Jwaalaa starring Mohini.

Filmfare Awards 1988Edit

The film was nominated for seven Filmfare Awards, and won three:[7][8]




  1. ^ "Khoon Bhari Maang". The Indian Express. 12 August 1988. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  2. ^ "World Music Day: 10 Hit Songs Bollywood Copied From Abroad". NDTV. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  3. ^ Somaaya, Bhawana (24 November 2000). "The highs and lows — a recollection". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  4. ^ Dhawan, M.L. (18 August 2002). "Year of offbeat films". The Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  5. ^ Shah, Akshay. "Khoon Bhari Maang". Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2011.
  6. ^ Lawrence, Michael (2017). "Glamour and Transformation in the Cross-Cultural Makeover: Return to Eden, Khoon Bhari Maang and the Avenging Woman in Popular Hindi Cinema". In Smith, Iain Robert (ed.). Transnational Film Remakes. Edinburgh University Press. pp. 103–117. ISBN 978-1-4744-0725-0.
  7. ^ "The Nominations - 1988". Filmfare. The Times Group. Archived from the original on 8 July 2007.
  8. ^ "The Winners - 1988". Filmfare. The Times Group. Archived from the original on 4 June 2006.

External linksEdit