As a lesser-discussed and largely forgotten but ‘well-made’ Hindi crime thriller, QATL was released in 1986 post the sudden demise of one of the most gifted performers of Indian cinema Sanjeev Kumar and thus was dedicated to the legend too as respectfully mentioned in the very first slide of the film’s opening titles. Produced and directed by R. K. Nayyar, the project director of QATL was his wife Sadhna Nayyar (the famous actress) and the film was written by J. P. Choksey (story), Vinod Rattan (screenplay) and Madan Joshi (dialogue).
Featuring Sanjeev Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha, Sarika, Ranjeeta, Marc Zuber and Ashok Kumar (in a special appearance as the Fakir), QATL is the story of a stage actor who goes blind in an accident and then finds out the truth about his unfaithful wife and her affair in that helpless state. Controlling his anger, he smartly plans to murder the betraying wife and successfully does that too taking all possible precautions leaving no clues to trace. Enacted in a fabulously subtle manner by the maestro Sanjeev Kumar, the final hour of the thriller is about how he escapes the police enquiry and in the end comes up with a unique twist in the court forming the USP of the film.
With music given by Laxmikant Pyarelal and lyrics by Rajinder Krishan and Anand Bakshi, QATL has a couple of melodious, meaningful tracks too and it also uses clips from another famous film of Hari Bhai (Sanjeev Kumar), in which he did nine unusual roles with completely different get ups titled NAYA DIN NAI RAAT (1974).
Now coming to the revealing section of the write-up, which would sure disappoint many, I recently found the film almost entirely inspired (lifted) from an English TV film, after getting the valuable information in a comment received by a BTC friend at the site.
Its an American TV film titled IN BROAD DAYLIGHT aired in 1971 and is directed by Robert Day featuring Richard Boone, Suzanne Pleshette, Stella Stevens, John Marley and more. Written by Larry Cohen, the film has an exactly similar plot, story progression and many key sequences too as seen in QATL including the disguise, round fire staircase, the falling umbrella and the lady with the child in a pram.
However, the delightful silver lining in this particular case is that despite taking it all from the English TV film, QATL still comes up with its own unique climax which is completely different from the original and highly entertaining too. But at the same time the original IN BROAD DAYLIGHT also has a brilliant culmination which says it all without even a single dialogue in the final sequence of the film so cleverly.
Therefore, intentionally skipping writing anything about the two different and equally praiseworthy endings keeping the mystery intact, I am sharing the links of both the original and inspired film here for all the interested readers, so that you can also see them together and enjoy their individual excellence in execution, reaching your own conclusions.
QATL (1986) - https://youtu.be/3_kpP021HEw
IN BROAD DAYLIGHT (1971) - https://youtu.be/tVMcLffeL6s
Do write in post watching the films, as I would love to read your views about the two unique endings.
Note : A big thanks to V. Madhurageetha for giving the exclusive information.