Karma: Did Bollywood’s longest kiss really happen in 1933?

For years, some information about a kissing scene in the 1933 movie “Karma” has been circulating in media and social media.

Claims that are being circulated

The Rumor Scanner team has spotted three specific claims circulating around a kissing scene between the lead actor Himanshu Roy and the lead actress Devika Rani at the end of a Bollywood movie named ‘Karma’.

Claim 1
It’s the first kissing scene in the history of Bollywood movie

Check out the report published on ‘CatchNews.com’ in 2017 on this claim here (archive).

Screenshot from Catchnews.com

Claim 2
The kiss lasted for 4 minutes

Check out the report published on ‘mensxp.com’ in 2022 on this claim here (archive).

Screenshot from mensxp

See the report published by the British media ‘The Guardian’ in 2014 with the same claim here.

Claim 3
It’s the longest kissing scene in the history of Bollywood

Check out the report published on ‘newsgram.com’ in 2021 on this claim here (archive).

Screenshot from newsgram.com

See Facebook posts with similar claims from previous years here,here and here. You can see the archived version of those posts here, here and here.

Factcheck

According to rumor scanner’s investigation, those claims that the kissing scene in the movie “Karma” is the first and longest kissing scene of Bollywood and the kissing scene lasted for 4 minutes are not correct, there were kissing scenes in Bollywood movies even before ‘Karma’ and the kissing scene actually lasts for about 2 minutes not 4 minutes. Moreover, this kissing scene does not hold the record of the longest kissing scene in the history of Bollywood movies.

By keyword searches, We have found a report titled “Devika Rani: The myths surrounding ‘Bollywood’s longest kiss’” on the website of British media ‘BBC’ on January 13.

Screenshot from BBC

The report says, “The kiss – from the 1933 film Karma – featuring real-life couple Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai – has long been written about as the first-ever Bollywood film to have a lip lock and “Bollywood’s longest kiss ever”. Apparently, neither is true.

In 2020, Indian author Kishwar Desai published a book titled “The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani” based on the famous kiss scene of the movie ‘Karma’.

Screenshot from amazon

The book received the National Film Award from the President of the country in 2021 as the best book on Indian cinema. The book tries to depict that kiss and the tumultuous life of Himanshu and Devika couple.

Kiswar told the BBC, “The film was made at a time when Himanshu Roy and Devika Rani were newly married, and they were very much in love; so the passionate kiss on screen was not surprising.”

It’s not the first kiss in Bollywood movie

Claiming that this kissing scene is not the first kissing scene in Bollywood Kishwar said to BBC, “Since India was then under British rule and many films were made for Western audiences, the scene was ‘not unusual’ in Indian cinema at the time. Late 1920s and 1930s Many movies have had kissing scenes.”

Screenshot from BBC

After searching on this topic we found a Hindi silent movie named ‘A Throw of Dice‘ released in 1929 on YouTube. The 1 hour 16 minute movie had a kissing scene between Shweta Devi and Charu Roy at 19:45 minutes. Himanshu Roy also acted in this movie.

Screenshot from youtube

That is, the kissing scene in the 1933 movie ‘Karma’ is not the first kissing scene in Bollywood. Another Bollywood movie released four years earlier also had a kissing scene.

The kissing scene did not last for 4 minutes

According to the BBC, the kissing scene in Karma was at the very end of the film; to save the unconscious prince from Gokhara’s thrashing, the desperate princess kisses him. 

Kiswar Desai told the BBC, “The popular story of kissing for four minutes in the movie is not true. “In the beginning there wasn’t just one kiss, but a series or one after the other. And if you count the time, it won’t be more than two minutes.

screenshot from BBC

Then, we found the movie on youtube. We found the famous kissing scene at the end of the 1 hour 03 minute movie at 55 minutes. This sequence of kissing scenes lasted less than two minutes.

So, the kissing scene from the movie “Karma”does not last for 4 minutes, it actually lasts for less than 2 minutes.

This is not the longest kissing scene in the history of Bollywood

We found a report titled “Bollywood’s top 10 longest on-screen kisses” on the website of the Indian media ‘Times of India’ on June 21, 2022.

Screenshot from times of india

The report says, a kissing scene between Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif in 2011 from the Bollywood movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ is three minutes long. Moreover, another kissing scene between Aditya Roy Kapur and Katrina Kaif in the 2016 movie ‘Fitoor’ lasted for three minutes.

That is, the kissing scenes in these two movies are longer than the kissing scene in the movie “Karma”.

Bottom line

In 1933, the movie ‘Karma’ was released starring Devika Rani and Himanshu Roy. A kiss scene between Devika and Himanshu in the film has been promoted by the media and social media for years as Bollywood’s first, four-minute long and longest kiss scene.

But the search revealed that the kissing scene is not the first kissing scene in Bollywood. Another Bollywood movie ‘A Throw of Dice’ released four years earlier also had a kissing scene. Also, the kissing scene in ‘karma’  lasted less than two minutes. Moreover, this is not Bollywood’s longest kissing scene either. Kissing scenes in ‘Zindegi Na Milegi Dobara’ and ‘Fitoor’ are longer than the scene in ‘Karma’.

So, Informations circulating about the kissing scene in the 1933 Bollywood movie ‘Karma’ are false.

Sources

RS Team
RS Team
Rumor Scanner Fact-Check Team
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