Estate of Riyad Wadia
Title: Raj Nartaki / Court Dancer
Release Date: 1941
Director/s: Madhu Bose
Producer: Wadia Movietone
Cinematographer: Jotin Das, Probodh Das
Art Director: Sudhanshu Chowdhury
Music Director: Timir Baran
Script Writer: Manmatha Ray, Modhu Bose
Songs/Lyrics: Pandit Indra
Costumes: Maganlal Dresswala
Cast: Sadhana Bose, Prithviraj Kapoor, Ahindra Chowdhury, Nayampally, Protima
Dasgupta, Benita Gupta, Priti Mozumdar, Bibhuti Ganguly, Mrinal Ghosh, Moni Chatterjee, Probhat Sinha, Ashgar Ali, Y.G. Tale, Abani Mitra, Protap Mukherjee, Bechu, Feroze, Bijoy Das, Raj Kumari, Madhav Menon
Plot: Set in the early 19th century Manipur, the film is the story of a romance of the King
designate Chandrakirti and the dancer Indrani. Chandrakirti is to be crowned the King. He is spending time with his lady love. But his father frowns upon his choice. The father would like him to marry the Princess of the neighbouring Tripur. The King would like the Prince to meet the visiting high Priest of Koshishwar. The Prince refuses to comply. Indrani performs the ‘Raas Leela’ for her Prince. The visiting Priest happens to come there and watch Indrani perform. He is fascinated by Indrani’s depiction of Radha. He approaches her to apply the sacred dust. But the King is horrified and informs the Priest of her lowly status. The Priest recoils at the revelation.
Indrani is further humiliated when she tries to accompany Chandrakirti to the temple and is refused entry. On her way back from the Temple she passes another ruined temple where she is readily welcomed and her offerings accepted. Prince Chandrakirti, who has followed her promises her that when he becomes the King and marries her he will abolish all such customs. Naturally, the King is enraged and orders her to be executed. The High priest intervenes and requests a chance to talk to Indrani. He finds her and asks her to sacrifice her love for the sake of peace and harmony for the people of Manipur. The Chief Guard too is coveting Indrani. He threatens her that if she does not accept him he will instigate trouble against both of them.
What happens to the lovers is the crux of the film.