Rajesh Khanna is many things, the first superstar, the epitome of the romantic hero, so on and so forth. Almost everybody knows about how women would marry his photograph and send him bloodied letters. However, there’s one insight into his life that very few people know about – and even the most hardened Rajesh Khanna fan will find difficult to believe.
Rajesh Khanna once played a serial killer in an eerie, creepy-crawly psychological horror movie, Red Rose. This is one of the rarest of rare psychological horror movies and nobody talks about it. That’s interesting, because its the movie released fairly late, in 1990. Yes, it will be 30 years to this movie in a few weeks. I mean, it’s not a seventies or a sixties movie that’s lost to the audiences. Because…
Watch Red Rose here:
Red Rose is pretty straightforward with its story. Rajesh Khanna plays a man who gains a deeply seated hate for womankind because of his experiences with them and begins killing women with loose characters right off the bat. He falls in love with one and marries her, but that marriage is short-lived.
Watching the movie, you will get a Southern vibe to it, that’s because it counts Madras and Tamil Nadu as two of its locations. That’s also because the director of the film is P. Bharathi Raja, a critically acclaimed director whose list of accolades requires three scrolls on a laptop and filmography six.
Rajesh Khanna amps up the debonair, rich, playboy serial killer with his out-of-this-world attire. Poonam Dhillon plays a naive wife who somehow has a chance to rehabilitate her husband. The movie’s important because it was 1981 and it was unheard of a mainstream actor,m and someone like the heartthrob Rajesh Khanna to kill someone who had not wronged him on screen. The concept of the antihero is talked about a lot today. Some say Shah Rukh Khan brought it out. But fans of this website now know, Rajesh Khanna beat him to that pedestal as well.
There were a few rumors about the movie. It is the remake of a South movie. The rumors suggested that the Raman Raghav murders inspired the writer. Now that Nawazuddin Siddiqui is poised to play the killer in a movie, maybe this one will become a footnote in the articles about movies made on the life and times of serial killers.
The psychological horror movie is a treat to watch. It’s aged well and is available in a good enough print over at YouTube. Thank me later.