Vinod Khanna’s 3 Finest Performances

Vinod Khanna remained  underrated  throughout his career. He  just didn’t care enough. Midway through his career he simply chucked Bollywood  to  join Osho in Oregon where he  worked as a gardener. When he returned  he was welcomed with Satyamev Jayate.Each time Vinod would show his indifference , Bollywood  ran after him  a little harder.But Vinod was much too fast for   the entertainment business to catch him.Here is looking at his finest performances.

1.     Achanak(1973):  Vinod Khanna was Gulzar’s  favourite actor after Sanjeev  Kumar. From Mere Apne in 1971  to  Lekin in  1990, VK did his  best work in  Gulzar’s cinema. Achanak remains  unique, and not only because it had  no songs. But because it was a  flab-fee  plot about  an army man who  kills his unfaithful wife and  best friend then flees captivity to  immerse her mangalsutra in  the Ganga. The story  moved at  a breakneck speed and  VK was  relentlessly  brilliant,  propelling his  character  far away from  overt sentimentality, rooting his character’s  betrayal   into  adeep hurt rather than a wounded  pride. Vinod Khanna  considered this to be his   best performance.Incidentally not many know this  but Gulzar Saab and Vinod Khanna also had the opportunity to work together as actors.It was a  historical film called Jallianwala Bagh directed by one Balraj Tah in 1977 shot in London where Gulzar Saab got another opportunity to bond with Vinod Khanna.It was an ensemble cast that also featured father and  son Balraj and Parikshit Sahni. Gulzar Saab faced the camera for the first time , and Vinod Khanna was a  big help.

2.     Mera   Gaon Mera Desh(1971):  Raj Khosla  was  the other  director after Gulzar with whom VK shared an amazing rapport. From Mera  Gaon Mera Desh  and Kachche Dhaage to Prem Kahani and Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, these were films that   saw Vinod blossom as an actor. Mera Gaon Mera Desh stands out for  Vinod’s vibrant  villainy as the dacoit Jabbar Singh  . Many see  him as  the precursor to Sholay’s Gabbar Singh. No matter how you look a  it , VK’s Jabbar Singh  was  an unholy terror. Dharmendra  who played the protagomist  fondly recalls how  VK would get more fan  attention than Dharamji after the release of this film.

3.     Imtihan(1974): Vinod  Khanna’s  career’s biggest  hit as a  solo hero was this desi variation on  To Sir With Love . Khanna  played Sidney Pottier  with  chutzpah and chashma , the latter to  give him a  serious  look.If you  could accept Bindu as one of  ‘Lecturer’  Vinod Khanna’s students, you would appreciate Vinod’s  efforts to  be fully credible in  the  role of  a  college  professor  who  sets out to reform a  college of unruly students . Though the film had potboiler written  all  over it,  it is  Khanna’s performance  that elevates  it  to something  more substantial.  The  theme  song Ruk jaana nahin tu kahin haar ke   became associated  with  VK for  all times to come.Interestingly VK’s first spell of stardom come  his way as a  villain. Even in 1974 when he  had a huge success  as a leading man he also scored  big as villain in Patthar Aur Payal where Dharmendra played the hero.

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