Rajesh Khanna was a poor ac­tor: Naseerud­din

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Naseerud­din Shah is some­one who is never afraid of speak­ing his mind. The vet­eran ac­tor blames late ac­tor Rajesh Khanna for in­tro­duc­ing medi­ocrity to Hindi films in the 1970s.

“Noth­ing has changed in Bollywood. It is the same as it was 50 years ago. The pho­tog­ra­phy and edit­ing is bet­ter but the sub­jects are as puerile as they were in the 70’s. In fact, it was the 70’s when medi­ocrity came in Hindi films. That’s when the ac­tor called Rajesh Khanna joined the in­dus­try. For all his success, I think Mr Khanna was a very lim­ited ac­tor. In fact, he was a poor ac­tor. In­tel­lec­tu­ally, he wasn’t the most alert per­son I have ever met. His taste ruled the in­dus­try,” says Shah about Khanna, who gave hits such as Arad­hana (1969), Haathi Mere Saathi (1971) and Anand (1971).

Shah says that it was dur­ing the 70’s that the in­dus­try be­came less con­tent driven. “The qual­ity of script, act­ing, mu­sic and lyrics de­te­ri­o­rated. Colour came in. You could make a hero­ine wear a pur­ple dress and hero a red shirt, go to Kash­mir and make a movie. You didn’t need a story. This trend con­tin­ued and I cer­tainly think Mr Khanna had some­thing to do with it be­cause he was God in those days,” says the 67-year-old ac­tor.

The new gen­er­a­tion of ac­tors, too, don’t im­press Shah much. “Where are they? Please tell them to put their hands up and I would like to in­ter­ro­gate them. They claim they love cinema, but what do they cre­ate? Peo­ple who just snap their fin­gers and choose any project they want are in­se­cure. The guys who are fi­nan­cially se­cure for the com­ing ten gen­er­a­tions are mostly in­se­cure and they will not dare step out of line,” he says.

Medi­ocrity came in Hindi films in the 70’s. That’s when the ac­tor called Rajesh Khanna joined the in­dus­try. For all his success, he was a very lim­ited ac­tor NASEERUD­DIN SHAH, AC­TOR

PHOTO: WASEEM GASHROO/HT

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