Mahal in 1949 was a lyrical movie of reincarnation and suspense that launched the careers of both Madhubala and Lata Mangeshkar. Directed by the poet Kamal Amrohi, it is virtually unique in Bollywood for its gothic atmosphere and chilling score. The film also starred Ashok Kumar. Madhubala’s own tale of course is one of extraordinary sadness, early poverty, separated by the mores of her time from the love of her life Dilip Kumar, dominated by her family throughout her life so she was never truly free, and then dying at the tender age of 36. And yet on screen, she carried a mixture of confidence and fragility that has led her to be compared to Marilyn Monroe.