A beautiful Subhash Ghai creation, Khalnayak is a raw, honest portrayal of a man fighting the war of black and white. This month that year, we witnessed this calssic, starring Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit and Jackie Shroff. This 1993 action drama is still relevant and worth a watch. Almost 30 years later, its song Choli Ke Peeche is still hummed by everyone and is a favourite.
Khalnayak was what you can call a film before it’s time. The film is known even today for its enigmatic performances and realistic storyline. In every story, there’s a hero, a heroine and a villain and the movie ends with the hero and villain engaging in a fight, and the hero triumphs. But who has seen the story from a villain’s perspective? Or tried to decipher his actions and find if he’s really a criminal?
The movie highlights the grey area between a hero and a villain. Ballu is known as a wanted delinquent working under a criminal, causing havoc in the society. When Ganga spends some time with him she sees a person who’s kind, helpful and good at heart. She knows him to be a man who’s a victim of his situations, conned by the real criminals into working for them. Although her original plan was to get him captured by the police, she aids in evading him from them, even at the risk of her work and life.
Jackie Shroff’s portrayal of Inspector Ram is another key character that changed the course of the movie. An honest officer who wants to search the truth behind a man proclaimed as a villain by the world, he’s a true hero. His girlfriend Ganga played by Madhuri Dixit stands along the same lines, making choices based on her own understanding of the truth and not following society’s norms.
The film portrayed the true essence of love through its various characters. The love of a mother for her son, persuading him in taking the right path even though it will cause both of them pain. The love of a woman for her partner, so much so that she jumps into the lion’s den to help him earn his reputation. Lastly, it shows what it means to love someone unconditionally, even though the love was one-sided and never his. The one whom the world thought of as the villain gave up everything in order to save his love from being punished and penalized. And he did so when he had finally gained everything he wanted to live a successful life.
Khalnayak was an eye-opener and an enigma of a movie. It brought new meaning and shows a brilliant light to the lesser-known truths of the underbelly of our country, where powerful people harass and manipulate those of lower stature, making them do all the dirty work while they live in the safety of their homes. It also proves the age-old belief of the triumph of good over evil, as Ballu surrenders himself to pay for his sins and to save the lives of the few people who made him a better person.
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