Bollywood screen idol Rekha plays the title character, a girl abducted by greedy neighbors and sold to a brothel in faraway Lucknow who grows up to become a celebrated courtesan. After falling in love with the scion of a respectable family, whose social status makes marriage between them impossible, the heroine defies her madam and returns to her native village, only to find that she’s no longer acceptable to her Muslim family. Director Muzaffar Ali italicizes every emotion and plot twist of this 1981 tearjerker, but he maintains an oddly compelling ambivalence toward the heroine’s power over men and toward her ultimate independence. Rekha gives a seductive performance, whether she’s reciting poetry or dancing in one of the film’s musical numbers, which are based on classical Indian choreography. In Urdu with subtitles. 145 min.