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5 Rajesh Khanna Films You’ve Probably Missed(Time to Catch Them)



 Rajesh Khanna’s rich repertoire of melody-drenched performances in  Aradhana, Amar  Prem.  Kati Patang,Dushman,  Sachcha  Jhutha, Roti,  Premnagar, Aap Ki Kasam,  etc etc have been rightly  celebrated.  But as  a diehard   Khanna fan I can tell you  Khanna  did better than what is considered his  best.  Here are  the performances  of India’s greatest superstar ever that  you’ve probably missed.

1.     Baharon Ke Sapne(1967):  This  came  before superstardom hit RK’s career in a big way. The future superstar played a jobless youth looking for  an aim in his life who becomes   a union leader. The  anger and hunger in RK’s eyes  were so  palpable  many felt he  was  going to be  the Angry  Young Man of Indian cinema. But Khannahad other plans .He  took the romantic road. Baharon Ke Sapne featured  a Mohammed Rafi memorabilia  Zamane ne mare jawan kaise kaisezameen  kha jayi aasman kaise kaise written by Kaifi Azmi. Director Nasir Hussain  never worked with  Khanna after this.

2.     Aavishkar(1974):   Rajesh Khanna was wrongly accused  of never taking career risks. At  the peak  of  his career he did this experimental film about a marriage gone  horribly to the dogs. Stripped  off all his mannerisms  RK  was  the portrait of an  agitated  marital deadlock. Livid with an imploding rage  at his screen -wife Sharmila Tagore.Of all the films that RK did with  Madame Tagore this  was the least stylized. BasuBhattacharya  who worked  with Sanjeev Kumar  in  his best films (Anubhav,  Grihapravesh)  confessed it wasn’t easy directing RK. The best things in life are never easy to get.Highpoint in the film is RK emoting to Manna Dey’s  Hansne kichaah ne kitna mujhe rulaya hai.

3.     Palkon Ki  Chaon Mein(1977): Directed by the  late Meraj,Assistant to the great Gulzar, this quaint rural  romance  featured  RK as  a postman who  refuses to read  out the bad news in  a letter informing Hema  Malini of her  lover’s death. Restrained and remarkably  effective the  film showed  what an great actor  Khanna was  . If  you  can get  your hands on this  one, you willknowwhy  there has never been  a bigger star than Khanna.Watch  him  emote to  the  theme  song Dakiya dak laya.

4.     Janta Hawaldar(1979):  By the time this film came along  Rajesh Khanna had almost lost his superstardom  completely. Though this  film directed by the comic  virtuoso Mehmood  was  a  flop, it features RK  in a delightfully  artless avatar as a simpleton havaldar(junior –level cop)whom everyone takes advantage of. Mehmood  was supposed  to play the part. He decided to  direct and let Khanna take over the screen. RK is moving and  sincere.He will  make you  cry when he lip-syncs to  Humse  kya bhool  hui jo  yeh sazaa  humka  mili. That’s we  felt watching  Khanna in some of his later works  like Awaaz, Bandish, Fiffty Fiffty and Dharam Kanta.

5.     Amar Deep(1979):  The last really great  performance  by the  Superstar ,inspired  by RajKumar  in  the  1960s’   drama  Mere Huzoor,   Khanna played  an arrogant  debauched tycoon who goes through a complete character reform after a life-changing experience.  Draped in that  trademark shawl  over  a spotless kurta-pyjama, RK’s histrionics  ripped the screen apart. There  will be  another  actor like  him.

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