Pinjra is the tragic story of a school teacher and a dancer. The 'cage' here is a metaphor for life. The dancer dies as she falls for the teacher and is unable to save him. The teacher prefers to die under mistaken identity, rather than live as a man who has lost respect. This is a story of how death frees them from their cages.

Shridhar Pant or Guruji is an upright school teacher; a man of high morals. Unfortunately, the village where he teaches does not value these qualities. A Tamasha group comes to the village. The lead dancer of the group, Chandrakala steals the heart of every man in the village. The teacher is righteously infuriated by their lack of morals. He vents his anger on the dance group in form of a speech and by demolishing their temporary dwelling places. The dancer is hurt by this and decides to take revenge by staying and performing. Gradually, even adult school students start skipping class to see Tamasha. The teacher decides to confront the dancer after a performance. During a performance, she is badly injured and in humanity and humility, Guruji helps her. During this period, he is overwhelmed by lust that he had never before encountered. Horrified he asks her to keep it a secret. Later, the son of the landlord, who is against the teacher, finds him visiting Chandrakala on a daily basis. He calls his father (landlord) and all people to see, but they don't find Guruji there. Guruji is deeply hurt as he deceives the villagers. Bajirao tries to frame Guruji in a molestation case. A villager (milkman) who tries to save Guriji is murdered by Bajirao, who implicates Shridhar. Chandrakala asks him to flee. She also misguides villagers by saying that the murder victim was, in fact, Guruji. The dancer hides Guruji as a tamasha worker in disguise. Here, he learns to drink and chew tobacco. As the police investigation proceeds, the teacher is arrested for his own murder.

After realizing that she has brought a good man to her level, and is solely responsible for whatever happened, Chandrakala decides to make amends. She confesses that Shridhar is the teacher and not a murderer. The pious teacher tells her how people love his thoughts, his acts and how, in his memory, they have built a statue of his. He decides that he should be punished for deceiving the villagers.

In a twist of fate, while telling the truth to the judge, Chandrakala loses her voice in the court and the teacher is sentenced to death. While listening to the sentence, the dancer dies on the spot. Thus, the actual Guruji, a man of high morals was living in fact but moral values in Guruji were dead and so Guruji himself accepted to be hung by devoting his love with Chandrakakla for his own murder so that people keep their trust on the man with high morals amongst average group of people. What a challengeable and appreciable sacrifice!
This film won a National Award for Best Marathi Film in 1972. 


Shriram Lagoo
Nilu Phule
Bhalchandra Kulkarni
Govind Kulkarni
Krishnakant Dalvi
Vatsala Deshmukh
Manik Raj

V. Shantaram

V. Shantaram

Singer: Usha Mangeshkar, Sudhir Phadke, Lata Mangeshkar

Lyricist: Jagdish Khebudkar

Music Director: Ram Kadam, Hridaynath Mangeshkar