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When Both Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan Wanted To Die 4 When Both Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan Wanted To Die 5

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When Both Rajesh Khanna & Amitabh Bachchan Wanted To Die

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Only Hrishikesh Mukherjee could dare  to bring the  reigning superstar  Rajesh Khanna and  the upcoming   Amitabh Bachchan in Anand  in 1971. Four years  later when  Hrishida  cast them again  together in Namak Haraam  he was  advised to  retrace his steps before  it was  too late. Because  by then  the Bachchan had  already dethroned  the  Khanna and the latter  didn’t feel too good about it.

But  Hrishida was adamant. He  was sure his two protégées would behave  themselves. Sure enough things went smoothly  during the shooting until it came to  the climax. The  question  that cropped up  was,  who among the two stars   was  going to die at  the end?  Khanna  who suffered from a  death  wish  on screen  , felt the  ‘privilege’ was  rightfully his.  On  the other hand the Bachchan felt his  character’s death made more sense in the plot.

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So what did Hrishida  do?  He sorted  the  problem by  withholding  the  information on the death scene from the actors.  He  didn’t reveal  who was going to die  to either  of  the two stars until the day when the death sequence  was  to be shot. On that day he announced  the  ‘privilege’ by putting a garlanded photograph of the chosen one  on  the set in the morning before shooting.

For  the record , the one chosen for  the   privilege was Rajesh  Khanna.

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Rajesh Khanna repeatedly played characters who went bravely and defiantly to their death.In another of his celebrated roles in Safar , he sang in his playback Kishore Kumar’s voice, Zindagi se bahot pyar humnein kiya maut se be bhi mohabbat nibhayenge hum/Rote-rote zamanein mein aaye magar hanste hanste zamanein se jayenge hum…

Rajesh Khanna’s love affair with death began in his career-making film Aradhana when the airforce pilot Arun perishes leaving behind his pregnant girlfriend to face stigma and ostracizing. Khanna romanced the most beautiful women on screen but went to bed with death.

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After Aradhana he made a career out of playing doomed characters.A year later in Asit Sen’s underrated masterpiece Safar played an artiste dying of cancer.This was the second fim that proved how comfortable the actor was doing death scenes.He virtually relished the moments when his character gasped his last. During the same year as Safar he again smiled his way through cancer into death in Anand, immortalizing his career by taking on death headlong

After the trilogy of great tragic roles Rajesh Khanna did the spectacularly successful guest appearance in Ramesh Sippy’s Andaz where he dies singing Zindagi ek safar hai suhana yahan kal kya ho kissne jaana.

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In the 1974 marital drama Aap Ki Kasam an entire mythology of mortality is woven around the song Zindai ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo maqaam woh phir nahin aate. The penitent husband travels from place to place seeking atonement for his mistaken belief that his wife was unfaithful. He dies at his daughter’s wedding venue.The entire episode echoed Ashok Kumar’s journey and death in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Aashirwad.

With the help of  directors from the Bimal Roy school of filmmaking like   Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Asit Sen, Shakti Samanta and Raj Khosla, Rajesh Khanna repeatedly created the persona of the tragically doomed hero.A post-modernist Devdas.

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In 1974’s blockbuster Roti Khanna is gunned down at the Indo-Pak border as tries to cross with his girlfriend Mumtaz. By this point in his career Khanna was unnecessarily imposing mortality on his characters.In several of his post-superstardom films like Prem Nagar, Amar Deep, Avatar, and Dard we can see Rajesh Khanna strugging to bring his characters to a tragic closure merely out of habit.He had forgotten Anand’s philosophy. Zindagi badi honi chahiye lambi nahin.The same goes for mortality. The death wish cannot be used as an extended tool for artistic impact .

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Rakesh Roshan: “Everything I  Know  About Acting & Direction, I Learnt From K Vishwanathji”

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Rakesh Roshan

The  mighty moviemaker K Vishwanath who  was to Telugu cinema what  Satyajit Ray  was  to Bengali cinema,  passed  away on February 2,leaving behind a luminous  legacy.

Acto-director Rakesh Roshan  who had  the  rare honour of working  in four projects  with  Vishwanath recalls him with tremendous respect. “Everything I know  about acting and  direction I learnt from  him. He was  a stalwart , an institution, and so passionate about his work. I had the privilege  of being directed  by him in two films Aurat Aurat Aurat  and Shubh Kamna. He would show  his actors  exactly what he  wanted, down to the minutest gesture.His  understanding  of the medium was  extraordinary.”

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Rakesh Roshan remembers how  he  invited Vishwanath to make films for him. “I produced  two films that Vishwanathji directed. One  was Kaamchor, the other was Jaag Utha  Insaan.While the  first was  a runaway success, the second didn’t do well.”

Speaking on how Kaamchor happened Rakesh recalls, “Vishwanathji and I used to meet socially in Hyderabad.We  wanted to work together. But we had  no script.One evening when we met he  looked very depressed. When I asked him what was wrong, he  said his new release Shubodayam  (in Telugu) had  flopped. That  night I went to see Shobodayam  in  a theatre in Hyderabad. The  next morning I  told Vishwanathji, ‘We’ve  found our script’. I told him where  the  storytelling in Shubhodayam  had gone wrong.We corrected the script and that’s how Kaamchor  happened. Although the entire story revolved  around me,  it was Jaya Prada who benefited  from Kaamchor.”

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About the beautiful  Jaag Utha Insaan , Rakesh Roshan admits  bluntly, “It  flopped because  of miscasting. During those days Sridevi was known  in Hindi cinema as a glamorous heroine. We cast her as classical dancer. Mithun Chakraborty had  the image  of  Gun Master G-9 and  Disco Dancer.We cast him as  a downtrodden  underdog. I was  known  for Kaamchor and  other citybred characters,I was cast as a Brahmin pandit.With other actors Jaag Utha  Insaan would have been a superhit”

Rakesh met K Vishwanath six years  ago. “We were shooting for Krissh in Hyderabad. He came on  the set several  times. We  had so much to say to each other. After that we lost contact. He was  very very busy with many projects. K Vishwanathji lived  for his cinema.”

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As His Latest Work Faraaz Releases Today,  Hansal Mehta Speaks To Subhash  K Jha On The Exciting Times Ahead

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Faraaz

Hansal, Faraaz is  your fifteenth directorial  venture. How does it feel to have come so far  with so many  milestones behind you?

don’t count my films. Genuinely. Every film is a new beginning. Every film has its share of uncertainty and nerves. Perhaps it is also because of the choices I make. There is no scope for either complacency or me carrying a false sense of security. I’m not complaining,though. Living life on the edge keeps me going.

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I  consider  Faraaz to be  a part of your great trilogy on  the dynamics  of terrorism, after  Shahid and  Omerta…where do you see Faraaz  positioned  in your creative ambit?

Thank you , Subhash.Faraaz is a film I’m very, very proud of. It was a challenge to pull off, a tough journey but creatively a very satisfying one. As Rajkummar Rao told me after watching the film , the Trilogy is complete now. Time to explore new stories and new characters. And finish post-production for all the exciting things that we shot for over the past eighteen months.

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Out of curiosity which of your films  have given you  the most creative  satisfaction?

Almost every film Shahid onwards has been immensely satisfying , both in terms of process and the outcome. Save a couple that I need not name. But even those I own for all their flaws, failures, deficiencies and redeeming qualities. But Faraaz has been a great process. I’ve made so many new friends in this journey and found some of the most exciting colleagues that I’m proud to introduce through the film. Writers Raghav Kakkar and Kashyap Kapoor (who co-wrote the film with Ritesh Shah), Cinematographer Pratham Mehta, Sound Designer Mandar Kulkarni, Editor Amitesh Mukherjee, co-producers Sahil, Maz and Sakshi – all of whom have given their blood and sweat to make this film happen. And of course Anubhav Sinha one of my oldest friends in the industry who backed me in telling this story just the way I wanted it. So yes, Faraaz has been satisfying and also filled me with a deep sense of gratitude. I must have done something right, no?

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Of course. Faraaz has a lot of young new actors in it. Tell me  about the  process  of  casting in this film? It couldn’t have been easy since there are dozens  of faces?

That was the challenge and the joy of making this film. I worked on the story during Chhalaang and I always knew that it would be a return to my indie roots for Faraaz. The film had to be made. And it needed fresh faces, bereft of image or trappings of stardom. A huge credit to Mukesh Chhabra who has a huge role to play in my filmography since Shahid. We constantly challenge each other and never ever give up. Casting is a process I really enjoy and finding the right talent to bring characters alive is something I thrive upon. Faraaz has an amazing ensemble. Right from Aditya Rawal , Zahan Kapoor, Juhi Babbar to every small character in the film including the officers, parents and the hostages this one is a triumph of honest casting , casting without an eye on profits, simply in service of the film, of the character.

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Faraaz is  about a terror attack in Bangladesh?how  do you respond to those who want to know, why Bangladesh?

In our research of this dastardly attack we realised that here was a story that had a larger message and something very universal to share. Misguided youth taking up violence in the name of religion or a parent’s love for her child or the unexpected bravery from an unlikely hero are themes that cannot be limited by borders, nationality or language. These stories must be told. They must transcend the limitations of perceived local relevance – particularly when our polarised times need such stories to be told to a larger audience.

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In 2020, your OTT series Scam 1992  proved to  b e game changer. Do you see Scam as a turning point  in your career?

I see Scam 1992 as an enabler. We did not expect its humongous success and to say it did not change things would be fake humility. It gave me back a lot of things I had lost in the years before it released. Including some money. And the courage to tell the stories I desperately wanted to. Also exceptional friends and collaborators like Sameer Nair and his Studio Applause.

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Your films  and your  attitude to cinema has always  been fearless. How  do you  cope with the  threat of growing intolerance in our society  vis a  vis your  convictions as a  filmmaker?

It is not new to me. Remember Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar in 2000? The only difference now is that then I was deeply affected by the intolerance to a point of self destruction. Now I channelise my despair and anger into telling relevant stories and through them taking on those who have made it a business to be intolerant.

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To Attend Siddharth-Kiara’s Destination Wedding, Karan Johar Preponed His Twins’s Birthday  Bash

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Siddharth-Kiara’s

For those  who are  wondering why Karan Johar hosted  the grand birthday party for his  twins Roohi and  Yash who will  turn 6 on 7 February,  six days in  advance  on 1  February  here is  why:  on the day of his twins’ birthday,  Karan  will be in Rajasthan attending the wedding celebrations of his dear friends  Siddharth Malhotra  and Kiara Advani who are  getting married on  February 6.

 Reveals   a friend close  to  Karan,  “Karan was in a dilemma. To him there is  nothing more important than his  children’s happiness.  How could he break their hearts by skipping  the most important day of their  lives? At the same time, how could he  not attend Siddharth and Kiara’s wedding ? They are  very close to him.”

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Karan did the best thing possible to resolve the situation:  he put the dilemma before his children Yash and Juhi who happily  agreed  to  have their party  a few days in advance so their ‘Dada’  could  attend  his friends’ wedding.

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The  Big Independence Day Clash To Be Averted?

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Animal and Sunny Deol’s  long-awaited Gadar 2

Sunny Deol, John Abraham  Ranbir  Kapoor  and the Covid Vaccine are all set to clash at the boxoffice this  Independence Day .

While the  Ranbir Kapoor starrer Animal and Sunny Deol’s  long-awaited Gadar sequel  are  both scheduled  for release  on August  11, John Abraham’s  Tariq  releases three days later on August 15.On the same day  Vivek(The Kashmir Files) also  releases  The Covid Vaccine.

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It looks  like  a crowded weekend, with one too many releases for audiences to  choose from.

Apparently  intense discussions are on among the  producers of the four  big films to see how the clutter can be  resolved.

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A  source close to the  development says, “Gadar 2 is the  right fit for the Independence Day weekend. But the producers of Animal  are in no mood to move  from August 13 . John  who is  a co-producer  on Tariq  and Vivek  Agnihotri with his Covid Vaccine  are also adamant  on coming on   August 15.The  Independence Day weekend is  a long  weekend. So let’s see…”

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