Saudagar is a 1991 Indian Hindi drama film, directed by
Subhash Ghai. It starred two veteran actors of the Hindi silver screen of
yesteryear, Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar, in the leading roles. It was the
second film in which the two actors came together after the 1959 film
Paigham. It featured the debut performances of Vivek Mushran and Manisha
Koirala, the latter became a noted Bollywood actress in later years. Amrish
Puri, Anupam Kher, Dalip Tahil, Gulshan Grover, Dina Pathak and Jackie Shroff
are also featured in the movie. The story line is influenced from the famous
play Romeo and Juliet and Mandhaari's role is parallel to that of Friar
Laurence in Romeo and Juliet.
The film was a Silver Jubilee success all over India and
was a hit.Saudagar got director Subhash Ghai his only Filmfare Best Director
The movie starts with Mandhari, an old crippled man,
telling a story of two friends to some kids. In the story, Rajeshwar Singh, a
landlord's son, and Veer Singh, a poor boy, become friends. They are naughty
kids, calling each other as Raju and Veeru respectively. As the duo grow up,
Raju decides to get his sisters marriage arranged with Veeru. Neither his
sister nor Veeru have any objections to the marriage.
However, as luck would have it, a girls marriage is
disrupted due to her in laws demanding dowry. Veeru steps in to save the face
of the girl and her parents by marrying her. While Raju is shocked by this
development, his sister, who had a secret crush on Veeru, commits suicide. A
devastated and distraught Raju now declares that Veeru is solely responsible
for whatever happened and that the latter is now his mortal enemy.
With these new developments, the duo have their
territories marked. They come to an uneasy and unwritten truce: no one will
kill a living soul from the others territory, but anybody entering other
persons territory will be doing this at his own peril. Chuniya, a kin of
Raja, sees an opportunity to leech off the money of Rajeshwar by keeping the
two sides at war. Chuniya has Veer's son Vishal killed, making the latter
believe that Rajeshwar will stop at nothing to eliminate Veer.