Saturday, April 1, 2023

    ‘Your hero looks like a monkey’.

    Mumbai: The talisman of Hindi cinema superstar Rajesh Khanna was waning, times were changing, audiences were looking for a change. A new generation of film enthusiasts has arrived. ‘I’m running out of time’ – it takes a while for one to accept, and so was Rajesh’s case. Rajesh and Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Namak Haram’ was captured at a time when the stars were changing. Rajesh Khanna was a superstar and Amitabh Bachchan was a flop actor when the shooting of this film started. In such a situation Rajesh Khanna would have had the line of the movie without Amitabh getting the price.

    When Hrishikesh Mukherjee was making ‘Namak Haram’, Rajesh Khanna had no shooting dates and Amitabh Bachchan had time. Rishi Da has shot a lot of scenes with Amitabh in such a situation. When some clips from the film were shown to a group of distributors, Amitabh was seen more than Rajesh.

    Amitabh Bachchan quipped
    In such a situation, the distributors felt that Amitabh Bachchan is the hero of this film and Rajesh Khanna is in a guest role. In this situation he was reluctant to buy Amitabh’s film, but Hrishikesh Mukherjee was a big filmmaker, he had his own image and respect in the industry, so instead of rejecting the film outright, he started finding faults in the film. Some distributors joked about Amitabh’s big and ear-covering hairstyle, saying, ‘Your hero looks like a monkey, at least give him a proper haircut so we can know if he has ears or not’. All the distributors laughed at this.

    Amitabh Bachchan won the Best Supporting Actor award for ‘Namak Haram’. (Photo Credit: Amitabh Bachchan/Twitter)

    Also Read- Amitabh Bachchan Blindly Trusts This Man, Doesn’t Sign Films Without Asking, Jaya Bachchan Is Silent

    Time changed Amitabh’s hairstyle
    Shortly after this incident, ‘Zanjeer’ was released and Amitabh Bachchan became famous as ‘Angry Young Man’. Then the same distributors who made fun of him called Rishi Da and said that Amitabh’s role in the film should be increased and Rajesh Khanna should be given equal space in the poster-promotion. Amitabh’s same ear-covering hairstyle became a fashion statement.

    (Note- This information is taken from journalist Yasir Usman’s book ‘Rajesh Khanna-Kakhi Toh Log Kahenge’.)

    Tags: Amitabh Bachchan, Entertainment is special, Rajesh Khanna

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