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From Roti to Bawarchi: Chronicling Rajesh Khanna’s journey in Bollywood

Anukriti Chaturvedi

Anukriti Chaturvedi
Jul 18, 2021

Source: Hindustan Times

Rajesh Khanna is one of the most prolific actors of the 20th century in Bollywood. Recipient of numerous awards, he started his career in the movie, Aakhri Khat in 1966 which was incidentally India’s first entry for the prestigious Academy Awards.

The actor died after a period of illness on July 18, 2012, which was seen as a personal loss for the country. Riyasaat, which was released posthumously in 2014, was Khanna’s last film.

On the superstar’s death anniversary, we are remembering the actor through some of his greatest films available on OTTs. 

7.3OTTplay Rating
Khanna essays the role of Mangal Singh, a criminal, who is sentenced to death in this action crime film. A gang boss, who had raised him to be a criminal, plans his escape. Mangal settles in a small village to start afresh in the role of a teacher. But his past is about to catch up with him.
8.2OTTplay Rating
“Babumoshai…..zindagi lambi nahi badi honi chahiye (Sir…..Life need not be long it should be big)”, is perhaps one of the most famous dialogues in film history, from the film Anand. Anand is one of the most beautiful films, chronicling Khanna’s character, Anand’s journey when he gets to know that he has not more than six months to live due to cancer. Gulzar wrote the dialogues of this groundbreaking albeit tragic film. The Hrishikesh Mukherjee directorial also starred Amitabh Bachchan.
7.1OTTplay Rating
Smita Patil and Rajesh Khanna star in this drama. Khanna plays the titular character, a widower who meets another widower, Kamla (Patil), who is mistreated by her children. The film traces their meetings and how and why they ultimately decide to stay together and how society perceives their cohabitation.
8.4OTTplay Rating
In the film Bawarchi, Rajesh Khanna essays the titular character who goes by the name of Raghu. He is hired by the Sharma family, who had been desperately looking for a cook. He changes the lives of the family members and even diffuses tension amongst the members with his charismatic presence and multi-faceted personality.
Namak haraam
7.7OTTplay Rating
Rajesh Khanna And Amitabh Bachchan essay the roles of two friends, Somu and Vicky respectively, who decide to exact revenge on a union leader. A rift occurs between the two as Somu starts empathising with workers of the union. Kishore Kumar lent his melodious voice to the score composed by RD Burman.
Aap ki kasam
7.4OTTplay Rating
In this tragic romantic drama, Kamal, essayed by Khanna, a poor man accuses his wife Sunita (Mumtaz) of infidelity. The film featured a melodious score from R.D Burman. The famous song, Jai Jai Shiv Shankar belongs to this film. The film was remade in both Malayalam and Telugu, with a different ending in the former.
6.5OTTplay Rating
Khanna essays the role of Kumar in this romantic thriller. After getting dreams of a railway station, he ends up travelling to India from Africa where the villagers eye him with scrutiny as if they have seen a ghost. The villagers narrate an interesting and unsettling tale to him which leads to a face-off with the main villains of the movie.
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