A film trajectory as colourful as Vinod Khanna's should earn more merit than we give it. The devastatingly good-looking actor, would be remembered mostly for that -- being devastatingly handsome. However, one glimpse of his filmography and even the most critical viewer would realise that he was a force to reckon with.
When the likes of Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra were dominating the silver screens and the box office collections, Khanna gave the legends a run for their money.
The veteran actor who was battling cancer passed away on 27 April.
1. When Vinod Khanna poured his heart out to Anubha Sawhney on The Uncensored Vinod Khanna, Times Of India
"I was game but my father held a gun to my head and said he would shoot me if I ever entered Bollywood."
From when his parents had to flee from Pakistan, from being the teachers' pet and the meritorious science graduate, to meeting his second wife, Kavita, and how his sons Rahul and Akshaye accepted her, Vinod Khanna bares it all in this interview from 2002.
2. Bhawana Somaaya's piece highlighting Vinod Khanna's acclaimed career for The Quint, Vinod Khanna: The Actor Who Became a Monk and Sold His Mercedes
"He wore an orange kaftan and a beaded mala to shootings. He walked around the studio and his set with an orange cloth bag strapped around his shoulder. He would delay getting into his costume till the shot was ready."
In this 2016 piece, Somaaya talks about when Sunil Dutt was fascinated by the young man from Peshawar, how 1971 proved to be a turning point in his career with Reshma Aur Shera, Mere Apne and Mera Gaon Mera Desh, how his obsession with Osho Rajneesh shoved his rising career into chaos as he stalled all his projects indefinitely. Khanna came back after a long exile and eventually joined BJP.
3. Nandini Ramnath's tribute to the legendary star for Scroll, Vinod Khanna (1946-2017): Villain, hero, sanyasi, politician and perennial heartthrob
"The movie showcases Khanna's casual sex appeal – it includes a brief lovemaking scene and a swimwear moment set on a beach, which has been enshrined on YouTube. Aruna Raje later celebrated Khanna's manliness in her sexual liberation tract Rihaee in 1988."
Ramnath's piece is a foray into a career that spanned a couple of decades. The piece looks at how he started off as a villain and made his way as a supporting actor or as the lead in a couple of low-budget movies into the year that was to change his fortunes: 1971.
4. Mrityunjay Bose's piece on Vinod Khanna's personal life and his career for Deccan Herald, Vinod Khanna: A stylish man who challenged the biggest
"He came at a time when the troika of Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were there and so as Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor. He gave the toughest competition to Amitabh Bachchan, his contemporary."
How Vinod Khanna gave the toughest competition to Amitabh Bachchan, when Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Shammi and Shashi Kapoor were still at the top of their game. But with a hiatus and his foray into politics, his Bollywood trajectory took a different shape.
5. The Wire talks about Vinod Khanna, the Only Actor Who (Almost) Matched Amitabh Bachchan
"Yet somehow, they – and the box office – loved Bachchan a bit more. With every film, Bachchan soared higher and Khanna, despite his commercial successes, remained a notch below – adored by fans and critics alike, yet in second place."
Amitabh Bachchan was dominating the box office during the peak of his career. Vinod Khanna came closest to challenging Bachchan's rule, but alas, the audience loved the superstar a tad bit more. He struggled to be on top of the list but gave it up as soon as he reached near it.
6. Lopamudra Ghatak writes on Vinod Khanna's impeccable style quotient for The Economic Times, Vinod Khanna - the ultimate swag king
"In a no-Internet world of the 1980s, thirty seconds of TV happened to be a big deal. And, more so, if it was a coloured one, and you had a sexy-looking man taking giant strides."
When the Bollywood stars were playing the good boy, Vinod Khanna took up the role of a villain. He was a stud with an unparalleled style quotient. He did things his own way and that reflected in his choice of roles and his life choices.