Classic documentary on Rajesh Khanna

a very big thanks to AsliJat..










33 Responses to “Classic documentary on Rajesh Khanna”

  1. I wonder if Rajesh Khanna had back trouble from carrying around a head that big. Really, some of his responses and actions here are hilarious. Shashi Kapoor, in contrast, came off very nicely in his tiny interview segment.

    This was a good watch, even if, like many docs that approach Hindi/Indian cinema, it is saddled with its fair share of cliches and misinformation. Still, a fine piece that captures a time and place very well. Especially loved the coda in the village.

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  2. Awesome post Satyam, your tireless pursuit of such stuff is commendable! Never seen this docu before, what an amazing peek into the world of Rajesh Khanna!

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  3. “…the charisma of Rudolf Valentino, the arrogance of Napoleon…” 🙂 what an odd juxtaposition!

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  4. Perhaps the Napoleon bit has to do with their common physical heights?

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  5. ideaunique Says:

    satyam, i have just watched the 1st part and going to watch all – but thnx a ton man – this is gonna a gr8 watch – i m sure…

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  6. salimjakhra Says:

    I was cringing watching this…Rajesh Khanna come across sooo badly! I’ve always kinda felt sorry for him, how his career crashed with the rise of Mr Bachchan, but after seeing this I have no sympathy…his arrogance/insercurity is embarassing.

    Having said that, this was a fascinating documentary – was awesome seeing Dimple, looking rather stunning, but clearly she’s a child inside! Would love to see a documentary of this sort but 10-15 years previously.

    Mumtaz was different to what I expected…in some ways she came accross as rather blond, but then at the same time seemed rather philosophical. My mum told me once that Mumtaz struggled for so long prior to making it big…

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    • My personal favorite line of his here was “And I think a star does twinkle.” Cracked me up. The whole interview felt like something scripted for comedy ala Christopher Guest.

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    • Asli Jat Says:

      This program has actually been a part of my collection since 1982, but it is only now that I found the time & effort to convert & share it on youtube, glad you enjoyed it

      My take on Rajesh Khanna is that even though this program shows how manipulative he was, it also shows his charm & honesty in admitting his tactics etc. to the interviewer.

      Today’s stars are probably just as manipulative (if not more), & have learnt from the mistakes that Rajesh made. They have their own PR departments etc. At the same time they seldom give such honest & refreshing interviews as Rajesh did here.

      Can you imagine SRK etc. admitting like Rajesh did that staying a star involves more than just acting … ?

      I think his rise was so sudden, with about 14 hits in a row, that he never really had time to ponder or realize that he was rubbing people the wrong way. That & his surrounding himself with yes-men & flunkies (Chamchas’) ultimately led to his downfall.

      Asli Jat

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  7. It was also interesting to get the BO gyan derived from the village cinemagoers like-dislike of the movie.
    “If they dont like the film, tonite will be the only time they see it.
    If they quite like it, they will spend 2 days earning to see it once more in a town 16 miles away. If they really like it, they will go see it 6 times more, and the movie will be a hit!!”
    Sounds like 3Idiots innit?

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  8. Quite a few others’ reactions to this documentary had much to do with how the BBC team conducted itself. In any event, for a different POV from the ones in the comments above, see link below which discussed this at some length a year and half back.

    http://memsaabstory.wordpress.com/2008/10/08/bombay-superstar/

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  9. Quite a fascinating post ! RK really seems to be a good actor offscreen as well and gives nothing away! Also surprisingly his English is quite good.
    There is no doubt that his arrogance was his downfall.

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  10. Am surprised that the BBC commentator says Daag didn’t do well. My impression was that the movie did really well and the songs were quite popular.

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    • I haven’t seen the documentary yet but they’re wrong on that. The film was a definite hit.

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      • Asli Jat Says:

        As you can see this program finishes with the premiere of ‘Daag’ & then it’s release to cinemas (inc. the rural ones which they show).

        So, in the context of the program, it was too early to decide whether it was a hit or not & the narrator was just speculating.

        We now know of course that it was a hit …

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        • Now that we mentioned Daag here, a little trivia about the director and actor, the Yash Raj Films is the combination of Yash Chopra & Rajesh Khanna, Not many know this, THis was their first production together, then they parted ways, but the name stayed as Yash Raj Films. Not sure if this was shared, My apologies if it was.

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          • never knew that was the origin of that banner’s name..

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          • I dont think this is true.
            Yash Chopra’s full name is Yash Raj Chopra.
            Before establishing YRF, he used to work with elder brother BR Chopra whose film company was BR Films. They had a split that led to the birth of YRF.

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          • Agreed Rajen, That his name is indeed Yash Raj, But I am saying this from a reliable source, My uncles was a journalist of that time, who was close to Rajesh Khanna and his family. Every word of it is true. Well, if my uncle is telling me the truth that is. I def believe him.

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  11. ideaunique Says:

    fantastic watch this documentary……obviously, the BBC team hasn’t missed an opportunity to blend sarcasm here at many points….and who is that Devi (journo)…to me that looked like a “cooked up” angle to show RK in bad light….in any case, RK was arrogant no doubt ….but come on guys, what i hear from elders is that the kind of superstardom, fame, adulation he enjoyed has never ever been repeated again…..and he comes across as a recklessly impulsive and emotional being (unlike solidly grounded BIG B) so no surprise that he went downhill very fast…but as long as he lasted, he was GOD and off-screen also, he had a very pleasnant side to him as well apart from that whimsical and arrogant side…..success is never easy to digest…a classic example is RK…

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    • Almost read last word as SRK, Lol

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      • ideaunique Says:

        🙂 SRK needs to digest failures of Billu, Dulha Mil Gaya, and accept that in India – he is no more BO king – but yes, he can still get 70-80 cr in India for his solo-hero films – which is no less achievement….we’ve to acknowledge that…

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        • ideaunique Says:

          i think for another 3-4 yrs, srk will continue getting 70-80 cr from India with his masala films like Ra.1, Don 2 etc.

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    • Asli Jat Says:

      Devi’s full name was Devyani Chaubal & she wrote for ‘Star & Style’ which was the most prominent film gossip mag in India until Stardust came along. She was also a close friend of Rajesh who had known him before he became famous.

      Hindi Cinema had never witnessed anything like the Rajesh Khanna tidal wave of success & Devi was the one who actually coined the term ‘Superstar’ to describe him.

      So sad that she has been largely forgotten by fans of Hindi Cinema. Towards the end of her life ‘Movie’ magazine resurrected her column ‘Frankly Speaking’ & I have several examples in my collection if anyone is interested in reading …

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  12. That journo was Devyani Chaubal known as Devi who used to write a gossip column in the one of the leading film rags. Apparently RK and Devi were good friends who later fell out – perhaps something to do with his ditching his long time girl friend Anju Mahendru and marrying a young out of school Dimple Kapadia. Haven’t seen this Ytube yet – if Devi is criticising RK here then it must be the hate RK phase!

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  13. There is one very good point about playback which RK makes when he says that he actually sings his songs. I have always felt that nowadays many of the actors do not really lip sync properly with Salman being the biggest culprit!

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  14. wow, great link will have to find time for this.
    I don’t know why but I have always had a soft corner for Rajesh Khanna.
    P.S.- he should just release “Jai Shiv Shankar” straight to DVD.

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  15. thanks thanks thanks thanks for posting such a nice documentry.

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  16. Sathurangan Says:

    Good stuff mate!

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  17. Alex adams Says:

    Agree nayanesh-thanx
    Btw No offence but your name reminds me of an awesome song from Dev d
    ‘Nayan tarse’

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