Safar (1970)

It's far too long since I posted anything on Rajesh, I admit, but it's almost as long since I saw anything of his worth seeing. This is my fault, probably, as I recklessly burned through a lot of his best stuff early on. So to those of you who've been waiting patiently for some RK loyalty* (especially respected readers Filmbuff and Suhan, who have urged me not to leave Rajesh too far behind), I hope this fits the bill . . .

The set-up: Promising medical student Neela (Sharmila Tagore) meets struggling artist Avinash (Rajesh Khanna). The two quickly develop an intimate friendship. But when Avinash's strange health symptoms prove to be terminal, he begs her to marry the elder brother of the boy she's tutoring, Shekhar (Feroz Khan) who has expressed interest. Neela agrees. It turns out to be a good decision at first--as the two share some explosive chemistry, and Shekhar seems to want her to pursue all her long-held goals. But since they don't share the special communication Neela has with Avinash ... their secrets and insecurities spell trouble ahead.

Despite some good performances and unusual themes, Safar is not an easy film to watch. It suffers from overly methodical pacing--there are fewer dramatic high notes than you would hope for in a plot including a love triangle, cancer, proxy proposals, a woman working her way through cardiology school, and an increasingly jealous husband. It tackles big topics, and makes big claims, and then misses by a mile. [The dialogue is credited to the same writer who did C.I.D., Aag, and Mard ... so it's easy to see how the verbal hits and misses would both be spectacular.] While not parallel cinema by anyone's definition, there's a devotion to realistic progression of events and conversations, and a dedication to letting events follow from each character's driving motivations.

Many moments that aren't especially well-crafted strike home JUST because they diverge a bit from formula. In tone, it reminds me the most of Dastak, released in the same year. Safar's clearly aiming at more of a commercial crowd (like I said, the plot elements advertise melodrama), has a budget for locations and side plots ... but still, its middle class sensibility and unique blend of traditional and modern ideals edge it nearer art house tearjerker than popcorn matinee. Looking at some of the earlier works by the director, such as Anokhi Raat (1968), the description of which screams experimental to me, it's easier for me to guess at what Safar is trying to accomplish: something thoughtful with enough tears and remonstrations to keep you in your seat.

Director Asit Sen was barely on my radar before this, although it turns out I've already seen a number of his films. Now, I'd like to watch more ... simply to tease out his similarities to other Bengali directors and the parallels between his various films. So far, its easy to see his preference for surprise twists! in the final third of the film (meh), the medical profession (gadgets and technobabble!), boat/river metaphors for death/life (kinda heavy), admirable women working  at various levels of social respectability--Sharafat's dancer, Amar Prem's prostitute, Deep Jele Jai/Khamoshi's nurse, and Safar's surgeon (refreshing), and women dealing with different kinds of social rejection or ostracism from their community (a standby theme in all of his films that I've seen). Even more curious is that while he worked with plenty of mainstream actors, as far as I can tell, it's his films with a focus on a central female's life that have remained popular.

In terms of regional film-making grammar, I think Sen ended up making a Bengali film about a problematic marriage in Hindi. To back that up? First, there's the lack of choreographed songs. Most are in bedrooms and hallways--claustrophobic Bengali specialties. The rest are in mountain or river locations, accompanied by sedate activities. Then I'd say that the use of topical, metaphorical conversations to further the character's misunderstandings and their perception of deeply ingrained differences is a standard feature of 1960s Bengali cinema. As is the use of nuanced economic pressures at crucial points to undermine a character's mental or relational stability. In classic Hindi films, it is *often* enough that a person is (A) motivated by jealousy and (B) does something stupid. In '60s Bengali films, environmental stressors tend to be used with political pressures and family pressures to erode someone's judgment and push them over the edge. I think you could make Safar in Bengali with Uttam and Suchitra c. 1970 (think their Nabarag) and it wouldn't lose much of its essence as a story. It might even be improved by a shorter runtime. Regional trends aside, a film anchored upon conversation is hard to sustain across 2/12 hrs.

Possibly related: people talk a lot in a film ostensibly about bad communication. Accidental irony? Or clever juxtaposition?

This is a good performance from Sharmila. She's best, I think, in the more sensible (rather than moralizing) dialogues, in scenes with her teenage science student, and in her character's believable switch from sexy intellectual (with Feroz) to unguarded schoolgirl (with Rajesh) ... changes that fit these chemistry and emotion driven relationships (respectively).
Feroz as Shekhar, the high-flying
businessman and (eventually) suspicious husband, is perhaps the post powerful role in this story. Yes, I did just write that, I guess. I do love Rajesh's sensitive and tortured Avinash--but frankly, such a human, mesmerizing performance from Feroz was unexpected (given other things I've seen). Cool factor sure. Bluster and heroics I've watched. His angst I've appreciated. But for once, something self-contained and purposeful, without being overdone. In fact, I swear you can see him exerting directorial influence over his own scenes, as they tend to use blocking, physicality, and zooms to achieve an edgier effect than the rest of the film. Might have been a nightmare for Mr. Sen, but I find it compelling, so, whatever.

Still, all the actors get time on screen that is unusually naturalistic ... a chance for them to shoot from the hip. Feroz almost literally ... as he gets a Western inspired showdown scene with some creditors and guitar strumming accompaniment. It was also fascinating to see the proto-Rajesh and Feroz egos collide ... you completely believe that these two men would be of comparable interest to the same powerful woman. One is energetic and impulsive, the other weak and over-analytical. One offers excitement and romance, the other idealism and bosom friendship.

People have been telling me to see this film forever. One look at the plot summary and you'll know why I balked. "Unfair" is right. BUT, y'all were also right that this is prime material for Rajesh appreciators. He's still so new here that one is tempted to throw out a lot of cheesy descriptors like "fresh faced" and "earnest" and "bright." But when you compare this with the hardened Rajesh characters in The Train (1970) or Ittefaq (1969), his diverse talents at this stage belie those adjectives. His role in Safar--Avinash, the young artist with cancer--is filmi-gold . . . and thus effing tempting to phone in. But he didn't. All you really have to do is look at that spot in the upper right corner of the frame and spout wisdom, and you have *cough* every non-alcoholic filmi invalid ever and maybe a hit. And also something laughable to present-day eyes. Mostly, this is not laughable stuff. Even though Avinash is an uncompromising white hat, he's not without darkness or struggle. Because he's terrified of his impending death, his scenes of existential reflection scrape away his veneer of perfection. He hasn't really lived yet, so when he sings zindagi ka safar, hai yeh kaisa safar? koi samjha nahi, koi jaana nahi [loosely: life's a journey, for what purpose is this journey? no one understands it, no one really knows it], you feel betrayed, too. And when he begs the girl he loves to marry someone else, it's not forced goodness. It's a desperate, panicky kind of logic--a bid for one person's happiness instead of two people's sorrow.

Unlike other musings along a similar topic (*ahem* Kal Ho Na Ho), the bride isn't given away. She's mostly in control. I don't think she would have married just anyone--she had already established a compelling rapport with Shekhar. In nearly every scene, she furthers her own will and opinion (usually in opposition to others). In the ongoing conversations about "trust" and "understanding" she always comes back to the fact that she trusts herself: her own perceptions. She's even supported in this by her VERY egalitarian family--who say she is "her own guardian" in major life decisions. [Likewise, Avinash isn't the self-sacrificial "ex" immediately ... he has to work through some occasionally hilarious reactions to his rival. And in a serious moment later, when he realizes Shekhar is being a tool (lez be honest), he doesn't instantly let him off the hook.]

This is all so progressive that one starts to suspect Neela must be punished for her empowerment. In this story's domestic sphere, there isn't *quite* enough room for a woman who sees herself as an equal partner and unbound by traditional gender norms. Almost, but not quite. Her husband ends up interpreting her secret sorrows and work ethic as disinterest, and she pulls away in frustration when he declines to tell her of his struggles. They end up giving each other so much space that they feel shackled to one another. In this film's universe, she just can't have love AND a higher calling, she can't be a domestic goddess AND be a famous surgeon, and there's no way she can both have a male friend AND a husband. At least, *spoiler* that's what the ending seems to tell us by default.

It's not that Safar's ending is "unfair" in a traditionally sexist way, but rather, it's fatalistic where it could have been progressive. Instead of a strong woman who works through issues along "the journey of life," this is a strong woman hounded by other people's issues--problems she is expected to fix. Like in Amar Prem, Asit Sen doesn't really blame Sharmila's character for all the things that happen to her. If anything, she is deified in her chosen profession and in her good intentions. But of course, as in Amar Prem and Ray's Devi, the price for deity is more than any woman should have to pay.

*P.S. Y'all, this is my hundredth post, so I thought it would be appropriate to return to Rajesh. If Shashi provided the initial bridge to the classics for me, Rajesh is the one who kept me there ... providing a multi-film experience that was consistent enough to keep me interested when everything was scary and new. And because I'm dubiously contrary at heart, I needed someone who was sort of dusty and unwashed and unloved (as far as I knew, then) to explore on my own.


  1. Congratulations on the 100th post! Seems like just the other day when I began lurking here, almost as soon as you’d begun writing! Thank you so much for your thoughtful pieces. Many times I’ve read them and then seen some utterly unworthy stuff :-) of the lead(s) when I couldn’t get my hands on the film you were writing about.

    It does make me VERY HAPPY to see Rajesh making it back here again and in one of my favourite roles of his!

    Asit Sen, as was his wont, remade this from his 1956 Bengali film ‘Chalachal’ based on a story by Ashutosh Mukherjee. I haven’t seen it so don’t know how faithful it is to the original but if his reworking of ‘Deep jele jai’ into ‘Khamoshi’ is any indication, then it would be a pretty faithful one.

    Sharmila was still quite ‘nyaka’ here - a very Bengali term that I’m not sure is translatable but the closest would be ‘affected’. That biting of the lips and coy dialogue delivery grated a bit ;-) though I like her well enough when she forgets to do these things. Feroz Khan considered this as one of his best roles and rightly so. The film was a huge hit and he was so taken by the audience appreciation of Mukesh’s playback for him in the beautiful ‘Jo tumko ho pasand’ number that he began using him for himself on his directorial ventures. ‘Dharmatma’s’ ‘Kya khoob lagti ho’ comes to mind here. I think just like everyone else, his early performances are his best.

    In terms of the way you’ve described the romantic relationship between the leads, I saw it a bit differently (I am speaking of Sharmila here). There seemed to be a simmering sexual tension between her and Kaka which came to the fore in that memorable ‘slowly ripping apart his sleeve’ scene. And exactly how strongly she feels about him she comes straight out with when she tells Aruna Irani ‘main jiske liye mar sakti hoon woh mujhe jeene ka hukum de raha hain’ (i.e., the one I could die for is commanding me to live). It’s understated, but they talk (quite a bit as you’ve pointed out!), and I’m not sure how the subs translate it though I suspect your Hindi’s pretty good with all your study. Also, the way Sharmila’s eyes roll almost like she’s dying in the prelude to the ‘suhaag raat’ ….! But as I’ve said elsewhere, Indian women were good, adaptable souls ;-) and she certainly seems to be enjoying herself with him during the honeymoon and thereafter. And consequently the relationship with Rajesh does become more buddy like.

    About Rajesh, what can I say. I think he played it almost pitch perfect. And looked so good too, especially in those dhotis (Rajesh was, as Tom Alter has said “…so Indian and real..”) brush waving in the air as he performed to ‘Jeevan se bhari teri aankhen’, the best IMO in an overall fabulous Kalyanji Anandji soundtrack. I’ve read one of those early 70s pieces where someone was talking about how they were disappointed in some of his choices like ‘Aan milo sajna’ and some of the other fluffy stuff and then suddenly ‘Safar’ came and all was forgiven.

    On his popularity when Safar was released, here’s something: “Veteran actress Nadira, who costarred with him in Safar, vividly recalls the premiere of the film held at Mumbai’s plush Apsara: ‘A sea of humanity lined up on either side of the road. And when Kaka [Rajesh Khanna] got out of his car, there was a deafening roar as they called out ‘Rajesh Khanna’ in unison’”.

    1. It's wonderful to have a reader like you, Suhan, you are first class. Thank you for your kind words :)

      *The term "nyaka" is very expressive (love it!)--it's probably appropriate here, agreed. Altho, I would say it applies to about half of her performance, and not the other half. The aging surgeon Neela is irritating and forced--but to be fair, some of that is how it's written. She's asked to be a certain kind of [now] grating archetype, I think. BUT, there are a lot of scenes with Rajesh in this film that struck me as off the cuff, as if they were making it up as they went along. I loved that sense of "learning" that they both embodied ... learning about each other incrementally. And their friendship, both the romantic stage and the "buddy" stage (as you described) never felt stagnant. You believe it, I think. Scenes like the one you mentioned (which I should have included in the post!) where Sharmila tears his sleeve? Beyond being sexy, it's exciting, because you don't feel you know where it's all heading. I got the feeling that there was this sexual tension, for sure, but that (A) Avinash was ill throughout the story and therefore wasn't supposed to be a dynamic lover figure, and (B) he was possibly trying to repress acting upon his feelings because he guessed that he didn't have much time.

      Also, I should have mentioned "jo tumko, ho pasand" in the post above, because for me it was definitely the highlight, melodically ... Mukesh's voice is a good match for's kind of earthy and brings to mind an unshaven antihero.

      "Indian and real." The dhotis are important to talk about, I realize more and more. It also seems to me that dhotis really went out of fashion with Rajesh. You just don't see the later 70s heroes doing it, with minor exceptions (I feel like I've seen Sanjeev Kumar go for it, but he's one of the late 60s crop, too). Rajesh looks good in pretty much three types of outfits, IMO: simple flares/button down shirts, suits or uniforms, and dhotis. I just don't believe him in all the groovy 70s wear (with the exception of certain crazy but well tailored suits, as in Apna Desh). He doesn't have the figure for it, and he looks uncomfortable. Whereas, when he wears traditional clothing, he looks like himself. I always think of that moment in "The Bombay Superstar" where you get a rare shot of Rajesh in his bedroom, wearing traditional garb, and you think, "Yeah. This guy's from another generation. What is he going to do with such a changing world?"

    2. I so agree with how you write here about the relationship.

      In terms of Rajesh’s clothes, am going to plug a thread I started in the RK Topix forum which discusses this. When I went back and read it, I had to laugh some of the comments :-D

    3. Your post was a great summary--the rest were just funny. I had to laugh, too, at the "fattiness around the stomach" comment. Sure, I guess you could just say it. But he's actually pretty thin, just has to contend with his very particular figure, around 1970.

  2. You say you’ve burned through most of his early stuff. Have you seen b/w Rajesh? Especially ‘Baharon ke sapne’ and ‘Aakhri Khat’? From his mid 70s fare, I’d suggest ‘Palkon ki chhaon mein’ written by Gulzar. Also ‘Karm’ is interesting (though it does go off the rocks at the end!) as is Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Naukri’. And from later fare, definitely ‘Kudrat’ and ‘Rajput’.

    Sorry for rambling on and on! Just so thrilled when I see Rajesh’s films written about. And I’m so happy that you discovered and like b/w Dev Anand, another of my favorites! Dev I love well into the early 70s really but b/w Dev is very underrated and misunderstood. Remind me to send you a link to Varsha Bhosle’s (Asha’s daughter) wonderful piece on him if you’re interested. Thanks so much again for all you do, I’ve spent many happy hours here.

    1. Definitely send me the Varsha link! Of Dev's stuff, I need to see C.I.D. next, I think, since it's top tier. I'm approaching the Dev thing carefully because I want to learn to appreciate him more, not less. So, no 60s roles until I've found sort of a natural fondness, not just an interest, you know? Lol.

      Let's see, out of what you've listed, I have a few on my list.
      *PKCM I've started a couple of times, since I think both you and Filmbuff rec'd it. I'm assuming it get's better, but I haven't got to that point yet.
      *Khamoshi I haven't seen--I wanted to see Deep Jele Jai first. That has been accomplished, so, I plan to see Khamoshi some time soon.
      *I didn't know about Karm or Naukri (but I'm always up for some HM)
      *Akhri Khat--I admit it looked kind of dismal and sad, so I haven't got around to it.
      *Kudrat is definitely on my list, but I felt I needed a long space between watching it and Mehbooba.
      *Rajput--I saw that pretty early on, actually, I just never wrote about it, since I didn't feel at the time that I had anything very personal to comment (that other bloggers hadn't said). Looking back, I'm amazed at the likable character development Rajesh manages in that film--esp. when surrounded by much beefier and popular heroes. The post-interval mustache helps tho, as almost always.
      *Baharon ke Sapne I'd forgotten about--I think I may watch that soon.:) Nasir Hussain and Asha is a good draw all by it's lonesome, but add early Rajesh? Sounds good to me.

      As you can see, I've avoided certain earlier RK films because of a sad plot, but eventually I'll get to them ... I'm less sensitive now that I've been watching depressing Bengali/international cinema, lol.

    2. Dev – Here’s the article by Varsha Bhosle.

      My favourite 1950s Dev other than those you’ve mentioned are as below. And the songs, oh my god the songs in Dev’s films! Just like in much of Rajesh’s oeuvre, you can’t go wrong with Dev’s songs.

      1. Jaal with Geeta Bali. Whatever there’s left of it is pretty awesome.
      2. Taxi Driver with Kalpana Karthik.
      3. Munimji with Nalini Jayant and Pran. He’s so SWEET!
      4. Nau do gyarah with Kalpana Karthik directed by Goldie Anand. Great chemistry between the leads.
      5. Solva Saal with Waheeda. LOVE it!
      6. Kalapani with Madhubala and Nalani Jaywant. He got an award for this one I think.
      7. Kala bazar with Waheeda. Dev happy and in love singing ‘khoya khoya chaand’ is something I kinda go back to when I’m feeling good Makes me feel even better :-) He’s always great when Goldie Anand directs him.
      8. Manzil with Nutan. Noone talks of this one much but I rather love this. He was always so great with Nutan.

      And don’t dismiss 60s b/w Dev. Some of his best are there. My favorites:

      1. Jab pyar kisise hota hai with Asha Parekh is fun.
      2. Hum dono with Sadhana and Nanda.
      3. Tere ghar ke samne with Nutan. Everyone loves this one! Goldie directing again.
      4. Bombai ka babu with Suchitra Sen. Just awesome. Again Raj Khosla directs.
      5. Maya with Mala Sinha. The songs oof!
      6. Asli Naqli with Sadhana directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Kind of meh like much of early HM but I liked it. He and Sadhana are easy on the eyes.
      7. Jaali Note with Madhubala is fun too. Shakti Samanta directs.
      8. Teen Devian with Nanda, Simi and Kalpana Mohan. I believe he ghost directed it. The songs!!

      On Rajesh, ‘Palkon….’ resonates with some of us because of the sincerity with which it’s done I think. How village life in India was and probably still is. But I can understand that it might be hard going in terms of entertainment value. It doesn’t help that Kaka doesn’t look that great in it but the story, dialogues, songs, acting make it one of my favourite of his.

      ‘Karm’ is actually BR Chopra who never shied away from highlighting social issues of the day. Unfortunately, it loses the plot and goes over the rails at the end.

      ‘Naukri’ is atypical Hrishikesh M. Memsaab’s reviewed it.

      ‘Akhri Khat’ is rather arty but not sad despite the premise. Again check out our redoubtable Memsaab on this.

      Be warned, ‘Baharon ke sapne’ is also very atypical of Nasir Hussain and Asha! But very well done till the end.

      ‘Kudrat’ is in a different league from ‘Mehbooba’. As I’ve said before, ‘Mehbooba’, ‘Anurodh’ and ‘Ajnabee’ of Shakti da suffered because he was so caught up with the bilingual ‘Amanush’ and ‘Anand Ashram’ later with Uttam and Sharmila as the leads. ‘Mehbooba’ was affected by this directorial laziness. Every time he came up with a hole in the plot, he plugged in strains of the beautiful ‘ Mere naina sawaan bhadon’ and IT DIDN’T work!

      Incidentally, on another issue regarding ‘Amanush’, Rajesh has himself noted that he begged SS to let him do it instead of ‘Ajnabee’ but SS didn’t allow it. I think it was right up Rajesh’s alley in terms of its middle of the road feel. By the way, again a pretty accurate and damning portrayal of rural life in Bengal. Uttam was too old for the Hindi version; the Bong version with Uttam would work anyway in Bengal no matter what. Still the Hindi version did well.

    3. Definitely will take your Dev list into consideration. I forgot--Jaal has been high on my list to see for a while because there's that super famous tune (which I've seen the clip from a number of times).

      You saw my post on Amanush, I suppose, so you know I wasn't a fan (poor beloved Uttam, I just cringe for him). I think I remarked in that post that it seemed a role Shakti would have written for Rajesh, not Uttam. [Still, I don't think it was the best year for Rajesh, either.] Everytime I see a Shakti Samanta film, I ask myself, "Why?" But I keep watching, nonetheless. because there are a few standout films that make you believe again.

      Mehbooba is so painful, with the exception of some of the flashback scenes and parde ke picche. Kudrat looks more sensible in tone, so I'm glad to hear you confirm that. I just "relive" Mehbooba again, lol.

      I have yet to get pulled into the Gulzar film fandom. I get the feeling that they tend to be extremely culturally specific stories. However, it's been a while, and maybe with an increased understanding of the language, I'll appreciate something like Palkon more.

  3. I wrote a loooong comment and it disappeared! Congrats on the 100th post and I am honored to be mentioned in this land mark post!

    Safar is one of my favourite movies for its story, direction, acting, music - you name it. It was a progressive movie indeed for a movie set in 1970s. Feroze Khan was so handsome and I really think he did well as a jelaous and insecure guy. Rajesh Khanna made the dhotis and kurtas famous. Indeed even at the height of his popularity he did not hesitate to don traditional Indian clothes to suit the role/character. Quite a few film heroes were known for their nakhras about these things. I think it was a very good role for Sharmila Tagore. Considering the 2 song 2 scene roles that heroines get these days I think Sharmila had very good female centric movies in her kitty. Did I mention the Safar's music ? I like the songs very much - each one is different from the other and melodious on its own. I have a weakness for "Nauka" or boat songs especially on the lush rivers of India and so nadiya chaley re dhara is one of my favourite songs from this movie.

    I second "Kudrat" and am waiting for your review. On a recent watch of Mehbooba I quite liked the story of the 2nd hema malini (the tribal girl) which is also the 2nd part of the movie. One can always consider it as two movies in one. While RD Burman's music was very good the movie itself is not so interesting. I think it was not a very successful movie if i can recollect an interview of Shakti Samanta.

    Other Gulzar movies to watch include - Aandhi, Kinara, Khusbhoo, Kitaab, Koshish, Mausam (Sanjeev or Sharmila won the national award for this movie). Khusboo is a period movie based on Sarat Chandra Chatterjee's novel. It had beautiful music by RD Burman.

    1. I should have known boat/river songs have a name. Fabulous. Sharmila may not always be the most lovable actress at first, but she really won me over in successive roles.

      I will get to Kudrat ... lol. Eventually. Weirdly, I think I liked the flashback part of Mehbooba better, it was more sensible. If I recall correctly, that was the part that was kept intact from the novel, so perhaps that's why. The main song didn't work all that well for me, but I liked Parbat ke peeche.

      I haven't found my stride with Gulzar, but I suppose I'm getting to the point where I might appreciate him more. Koshish was worth seeing, I thought, but not something I'd want to see again.

    2. A couple of years ago, I had requested old is gold who now has a new blog called masala punch to do a feature on "nauka" songs. Nauka is an old hindi word for boat. The songs themselves are not called as such. It is a term I used to sort of refer to songs set in river /water settings. I will send you a list of "nauka" songs that come to mind. Perhaps you can view the songs on You Tube some time if you are interested and have the time.

      Regarding the flash back version of Mehbooba, you are right it is set in a historical period and the book did have a good section to that main story. However the movie version could not bring that bit to life. Some how the 2nd half and the tribal girl's romance with a modern singer Rajesh seem to work better - perhaps it is do with RD's music, the beautiful scenery of Siliguri, West Bengal and Hema's outfits and bead jewellery ?

    3. Sorry for the delayed response, Filmbuff. Go ahead and send me the list via email, sometime, I'd like to see what you'd put in that category. As for Mehbooba, it's a messy film ... and sometimes I love messy films ... just not in this case. I didn't particularly like the main song that repeats a few times, either, which doesn't help. The scenery was lovely, I agree ... tho I feel they wasted a lot of the visuals on the story they picked.

  4. Hi

    Sent you an email some time ago with a list of "nauka" songs. Hope you got it


    1. I did, Filmbuff, and thank you! I have had about 6 weeks of problems with my jaw and emergency dental issues, so I've been slow to keep up with my correspondence. Will give you my thoughts soon, hopefully!

  5. I think I may have watched this film at an inopportune moment and not fully appreciated it. Your sharp observations made me think that I should perhaps give it another go because there's just so much that I missed and failed to appreciate.

    About RK's choices in terms of apparel - What do people think of his short trousers in Dushman? Having watched that film after a long time, I was struck by similarities in costume and character-type between Dushman and Pratigya - not to veer off course. I strangely like the look he carries in the first quarter of that film.

    Overall, I'm amazed at the range of roles he played in those few years and have never quite grasped the reasons for the kind of derision he invites. Oftentimes it seems as though people are at pains to distance themselves from him (lest they be accused of having poor taste), even if they appreciate his film or songs.


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