Rakesh Roshan started his acting career with the in 1970 released movie “Ghar Ghar Ki Kahaani” which was also the hindi debut movie of Kamal Hassan (deen in a cameo as an assistant director in this movie). During the 70’s Rakesh tried his luck as a solo hero. Some of his films were hits but there was no real break out role or brake out movie. He was cast opposite actresses like Hema Malini (Paraya Dhan -1971), Raakhee Gulzar (Aankhon Aankhon Mein -1972) and Reena Roy (Goonj – 1974). The big change (and breakthrough) came in 1975 when the classic “Khel Khel Mein” was released. Cast opposite Aruna Irani the major part of the film’s succes was credited to Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh and to R.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhonsle. After this movie Rakesh started dong 2-3 hero projects in which he never was the main hero. Films featuring Rishi Kapoor, Mithun Chakrevotry and Vijayendra Ghatge amongst others.
Rakesh thought of producing films himself initially to give him some good roles and (thank God) FILMKRAFT was established. I say thank God because Filmkraft is one of my favorite banners from the 80’s and the 90’s. The film they produced (especially in the 90’s) were based on Hollywood films bt were “Indianized” and Rakesh Roshan was a great director and an even better producer. The first production of Filmkraft is one of my favourite romantic comedies of the 80’s “Aap Ke Deewane” (about which I will write an entire article soon).
Filmkraft produced 4 different kind of movies : Aap Ke Deewane, Jaag Utha Insaan, Kaamchor and Bhagwaan Dada (the last one being the first film in which Hrithik Roshan had a full fledged role).
After the (reasonable) succed of these movies Rakesh Roshan decided to go even further and take the next step. He became a director. And it would be with his first directorial venture that the movies of Filmkraft woiuld be inspired by Hollywood movies BUT they would be Indianized in the most perfect manner : more emotions, great music (another highlight of Filmkraft movies – more on that later), the works!
Khudgarz was his first directorial venture and a blockbuster. Loosely based on Cane and Abel this movie had it all. A good script, emotions, comedy a big cast, good story, fine performances (I must mention Shatrughan Sinha here), great direction and great music courtesy of the maestro Rajesh Roshan. This film would be followed up by Khoon Bhari Maang -the desi version of the Australian mini-series Return To Eden. Another super hit with good songs. But the film had no chartbuster like Khudgarz which had a youth anthem which was picturized on the hit Jodi of the 80’s – Govinda and Neelam!
After Khoon Bhari Maang would start the (what I call) Anil Kapoor – Jackie Schroff era…
This so called Anil Kapoor – Jackie Schroff period consisted of 4 films: Kala Bazaar which starred both Jackie and Anil. This film as far as I can remember is not based on a Hollywood film. This film is remembered though ’cause it had Jackie Schroff and Farha Naaz (elder sister of Tabu). This was a casting coup since there was a war going on between these two since Farah had claimed that Jackie had tried to hit on an underaged Tabu at that time. Kishan Kanhaiya (a remake of Dilip Kumar’s Ram aur Sham), Khel (a remake of Bedtime Stories and Dirty Rotton Scoundrels) and King Uncle (based on the musical Annie) followed. Some were successful and some less successful. But I personally liked all these films. Khel being my favourite (even being my all time favourite Anil Kapoor – Madhuri Dixit movie). What all these films had in common was good music by Rajesh Roshan -but more on that later.
King Uncle had starred Jackie Schroff in the leading role and the role of his younger brother was portrayed by an actor who had one hit to his credit “Deewana” (which was attributed to Rishi Kapoor, Divya Bharati and a great Nadeem Shravan soundtrack) – Shah Rukh Khan. From here on the Shah Rukh Khan era would start…
The next film of Filmkraft would be my personal favourite Filmkraft movie of the 90’s after Khel. Karan-Arjun is the only movie in which Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan were both in leading roles. In all subsequent movies Shah Rukh would be in the lead with Salman either in a guest role or in a special appearance.
But this casting almost did not happen…
(from left tp right : Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol, Ajay Devgun. Raveena Tandon, Juhui Chawla, Karishma Kapoor, Naghma and Aamir Khan).
When Rakesh Roshan was going to start his movie “Kaynaat” he wanted Sunny Deol and Bobby Deol in the lead. This could not happen at that time since Bobby was fully focused on his debut film “Barsaat”. Aamir Khan was approached and though Aamir liked the script and predicted this movie would become a blockbuster he declined the role offered to him since he had some problems with the logic of the story. This would also be the reason why Aamir would refuse the lead role in the mega hit “Saajan”. Then Ajay Devgan was approached and signed for the role along with Shah Rukh Khan. For the role of Sonia (opposite Shah Rukh Khan) Juhi Chawla was approached but she had no dates to spare and declined the offer. Karishma Kapoor was also approached but she refused to do the movie as well. For the role of Bindiya (opposite Ajay) Naghma was also approached but even she declined. Eventually Raveena Tandon was signed. At the time this movie was being made (in those days it took 2-3 years to make and release a movie) Ajay was angaged to Karishma Kapoor. And there was a war going on between Raveena and Karishma. Raveena used to say that she was friends with Ajay and that they grew up together and Karishma did not like that at all. Karishma and Raveena did not even talk to each other. During the making of Andaz Apna Apna and Aatish which both starred Karishma and Raveena the 2 leading ladies did not talk to each other. So Ajay Devgun had Raveena dropped from the film and Kaajol was signed.
The start of the Ajat Devgan – Shah Rukh Khan cold war.
“Kaynaat” was changed into Karan Arjun. Karan -Arjun is THE movie where the Ajay Devgan – Shah Rukh Khan cold war had started. What happened was that the two stars had some problems with producer/director Rakesh Roshan during the making of the movie. They could not come to terms. So Ajat and Shah Rukh talked to each other and decided to both walk out of the movie. Rakesh tried to pacify them but they would not relent and walked out of the movie as they had discussed amongst themselves. The next thing Ajay knew was that Shah Rukh had gone back to Rakesh Roshan and was back in the movie. Ajay was not taken back in the movie and instead of him Salman Khan was signed. This is the reason while till date Ajay Devgan and Shah Rukh Khan have never worked together and Ajay had never been in a Filmkraft movie again.
(from left to right : Mamta Kulkarni, Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kaajol and Raakhee Gulzar)
In the 70’s and 80’s if there was amovie about two or three brothers you had the “Amitabh Bachchan” character (the lead of the movie) and then you had the Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha character. But those times had changed. Now every hero wante to have the Amitabh Bachchan character. So here Shah Rukh Khan is called Vijay while Salman Khan’s character is more the angry young man character. Kaajol did a good job in what she was offered as always, Raakhee once again was the mom of 2 songs who avenge their father’s murder (Ram Lakhan anyone) and was the subject of many “Mere Karan Arjun Aayenge” jokes, Shah Rukh Khan did a good job. Mamta Kulkarni whom I think was a very beautiful actress and who according to me did not get her due in the film industry is damn good in her role. But out of the main cast the one that does it for me is apna bhaai – Salman Khan!
The Jodi’s in the film were just too good to be true! Salman Khan and Mamta Kulkarni really look good together and their track in fun to watch. Too bad they did not star in anymore films together. Shah Rukh Khan and Kaajol – well what can one say about these two as a pair. Hate Shah Rukh or not -he does look good with Kaajol. Their Baazigar had already released and a few months after Karan – Arjun Dilwale Dulhaniya Lejaayenge would release. But for me the best Jodi of this film was not the Salman – Mamta Jodi neither the Shah Rukh – Kaajol Jodi… but the Salman – Shah Rukh Jodi!
No film is complete or no film can last in one’s memory if the supporting cast is not up to the mark. Rakesh Roshan had his favourite supporting players as well and this film too boasts of some good actors.
(from left to right: Aasif Sheikh, Amrish Puri, Aasif Sheikh, Jhonny Lever, Dinesh Hingoo, Ranjeet, Jack Gaud, Arjun and Rajat).
Aasif Sheikh had started his career with Mirza Brothers’ Rama O Rama and had been the hero in quite a few other films like Yaara Dildaara as well. But because these films did not do well at the box office he switched to villainous roles. He is one of the many negative characters in this movie. The main villain in the movie is of course Amrish Puri who had done a million roles like these before (and after) but he is/was effective as always. Jhonny Lever makes you laugh a couple of times but in this movie it is Ashok Saraf who makes you chuckle everytime he goes ” Gayo… Thakurji gayo”… The rest of the supporting cast is adequate. Rajat Bedi who would be one of the villains in Filmkraft’s Koi Mil Gaya was the body double of Salman Khan in this movie.
Seen in the 3rd foto (at the right) are the wto heroes of the movie Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan with the 21 year old assistant director of the movie. A young lad by the name of Hrithik Roshan who was the assistent of his dad.
(from left to right: Rajesh Roshan, Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik, Ila Arun, Udit Narayan, Mohd Aziz, Sadhana Sargam, Sudesh Bhosle, lyricist Indeewar and Lata Mangeshkar).
Like all Filmkraft movies the music in Karan-Arjun is by Rakeesh Roshan’s younger brother Rajesh Roshan. R.D. Burman and Rajesh Roshan have been my favourite music directors since childhood. To be honest these two music directors were the reason I started listening to hindi film music in the first place. Rajesh Roshan is the only music director left who gave hit songs in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and after that as well. he was at the top of his game in the 70’s and 80’s when he worked with singers like Kishore Kumar, Lata mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi and Asha Bhonsle. But even in the 90’s when he switched to Sanu, Alka, Sadhana, Udit and all the other ususal suspects he delivered some gems. And Lata and Asha still sang for him. What I liked most about Rajesh Roshan’s music was the Indianess his music had. An aspect that had music from his latest movies lack. When you heard a song composed by Rajesh Roshan you knew that it was a Rajesh Roshan song without reading the credits (the same with R.D. Burman, O.P. Nayyar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Nadeem-Shravan, Shankar-Jaikishan).
KARAN – ARJUN (1995)
produced by Rakesh Roshan
directed by Rakesh Roshan
cast Slamna Khan, Kaajol, Mamta Kulkarni, Shah Rukh Khan, Raakhee Gulzar, Amrish Puri, Jhonny Lever, Ashok Saraf, Ranjeet, Dinesh Hingoo, Arjun, Jack Gaud and others
music by Rajesh Roshan
lyrics by Indeewar
singers Lata Mangeshkar, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Sadhana Sargam, Udit Narayan, Mohd. Aziz, Sudesh Bhosle and Ila Arun
If you like “old movies” and those golden oldies songs listen to “YAADEIN – A WALK THROUGH MEMORY LANE” every Sunday on SunriseFM (The Netherlands). For more information about the time and where to listen click here.
For more Indian movies about reincarnation check out my list “TOP 10 REINCARNATION MOVIES” on IMDB here