Hate to jam this post in but I feel like it has to be made; call me the Official Khanna Week Squee-stopper, if you must, but I assure you, happy posts will commence tomorrow once more - for now, let's deal with the things we might talk about but don't particularly enjoy talking about head-on.
I mean, they are in a sense the reason this Khanna fest had to be initiated - why are Khannas so unloved (or underloved or not adequately loved) by the great Bollywood worldwide consciousness (wow, does that sound spiritual? we could just call 'em fans).
Akshaye Khanna - I am not sure where I've read about this perception that Akshoo picks his roles carefully and is particularly choosy about which films he does. But I have read it and going by how little movies he makes, I could swallow it, too. But then I look at his filmography and just .. what the hell. I understand getting stuck in a rut, doing crappy film after crappy films because that's all you're offered but can that really be true for somebody who has shown considerable acting potential and is widely considered a solid actor despite, you know, all those countless bad films I choose not to name right now. I confess I know very little about the inside workings of the industry so maybe I'm missing a lot of key factors that play into this but sometimes I fear that the dude doesn't really care and kind of wants to cash in.
Rahul Khanna - Now here's a guy whose perceived pickiness with roles I could actually see as justified, as his filmography doesn't really have that many bad films. But it's so tiny! Isn't everybody on Twitter now? Doesn't everybody just want to cast him? (I do, but the only job I have available is cleaning my room. I doubt Rahul gets out of bed for the money I'm willing to offer him...)
Vinod Khanna - One word: Osho. (For the uninitiated, or the newbies, here's a little lesson in history - at the height of his career, in the early 80's Vinod Khanna joined his guru and withdrew from regular human life into a spiritual commune in North-East US of A. He returned to the industry in the late 80's.)
I spotted somebody commenting on a youtube video of some Vinod Khanna song that "he realized the futility of human existence" or something like that, and this made me realize how much a culture colours our perceptions of one man following his guru and withdraw from his regular job AND family life. I mean, Finns don't tend to withdraw from anywhere as hundreds of years of Lutheran work ethic kind of ties us to the home and work life so much so that the idea of "getting away from it all", in a spiritual way, not just for a holiday, is completely alien. (Not saying this is better - just how it is.)
But to somebody of India, it's not necessarily so. Now, I don't personally withdraw my own judgment completely because of this. I could, but it feels pretentious - I still have the opinion that from the point of view of a fan, who loves his 70's/early 80's films and isn't enamored with him returning to Bollywood when the films lacked inspiration and interest, and he was getting too old to be a hero anyway. And if somebody I knew left their family to pursue greater spiritual understanding, I'd consider them selfish. But I keep in mind - different context, different culture, different perceptions.
So I maintain my views as a fan. I think the man made simultanously the worst and the best decision he could've made. Leaving Bollywood in the early 80's? Abandoning a slowly sinking ship, good call. Returning to the industry in the late 80's? Sigh. No. Just no.
So there. Elephants sorted. Would be curious to hear your views on these topics. And sorry for squee-killing, just gotta be honest with myself & my readership here. I still love all three of these actors - trust me on that one.
[Elephant screencaps from the Tamil film Dhool.]