Vinod Khanna, who entered the Hindi film industry in its most influential era of the 70s, left a void in Bollywood last year on April 27. His demise at the age of 70 in 2017 left his fans, friends, family and co-actors heartbroken. Many actors like Akshay Kumar and Kajol rightfully remarked his death as the ‘end of an era’.
The conventional actor blessed with good looks was the one who made cine lovers fall in love even with an anti-hero, such was the charisma of this stalwart whenever he appeared on the 70mm screen. But soon the actor graduated from being just an antagonist to a hero. His diverse filmography holds proof of his acting chops and many will still agree, if he would not have taken a sabbatical from Bollywood, he would have posed a threat to the stardom of Amitabh Bachchan.
In those days when Bollywood heroes were painting a dreamy picture of love and romance, it was Vinod Khanna who was instrumental in making cinephiles look at love in a whole new light. It was him who moved the audience away from the typical ‘boy meets girl’ romance and redefined love as a feeling which does not necessarily mean being together forever. The shade of love he depicted in some of his movies was not about everything blissful and beautiful. Contrary to the popular belief, the Qurbani actor portrayed love which was synonymous to sacrifice.
Today on Vinod Khanna’s death anniversary, we list the movies where he acquainted the then generation with the idea of laying down your love and happiness for someone else’s happiness.
The Yash Chopra directorial was a resplendent love story that revolved around the characters of Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi but it was Vinod Khanna who gave pace to the second half of the film. After Rohit aka Rishi Kapoor and Chandni (Sridevi) part ways and Chandni moves to another city to start a new life, she meets a melancholic widower Lalit Khanna (Vinod Khanna). Khanna eventually falls in love with Chandni and proposes her for marriage. The twist in the tale comes when Rohit unexpectedly befriends Khanna on a business trip and the latter invites him to his wedding. On the day of the wedding, he discovers the love of Chandni and Rohit and he gracefully movies aside to make the two lovers reunite.
Qurbani, as the title suggests, was a story of a friend’s sacrifice for the life of his beloved friend and it was Vinod Khanna who made the titular sacrifice. In the movie, Khanna impressed the cinephiles not only with his debonair charm but also with his act of a loyal friend. Rewriting the understanding of love for his audience, in the climax of this Feroz Khan (who also acted in the film) directorial, he gives up both his love and his life for his friend.
3. Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
In this 1978 hit film Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Khanna played the second hero but still, he managed to hold his own in the movie. Playing a loyal friend to Amitabh Bachchan in this drama of love and sacrifice, Khanna once again was ready to give up on his love but this time destiny held something else for his character. Khanna in the role of a lawyer Vishal pens down love letters on Sikandar’s behalf to Kaamna (Raakhee). Oblivious to the reality, Kaamna falls in love with Vishal and unaware about Kaamna being his friend Sikandar’s love interest, Vishal too reciprocates her feelings. But on discovering the truth, Vishal decides to sacrifice his love for his friendship. However, the twist comes in when Sikandar (Amitabh Bachchan) dies and Vishal and Kaamna becomes man and wife in the climax of the movie.
In the 1981 film, Kudrat starring Vinod Khanna, Hema Malini and Rajesh Khanna, the character of Khanna decides to go away from the life of his fiance played by Malini and her lover Rajesh Khanna after he learns about their love story.