Khalnayak (1993)

  • Written by Ram Kelkar, Kamlesh Pandey and Subhash Ghai
  • Directed by Subhash Ghai

   Repeat Value : 9 / 10     

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 Zindagi ke har natak mein ek hota hai nayak ... aur ek hota hai khalnayak 

a popular dialog from Khalnayak

Khalnayak - Movie Highlights

Today's 100 crore films are nothing when compared to the mega blockbusters of yester years. Back then when Cinema was the major form of entertainment, films released to a great hype and anticipation and career were made or broken out of them. Such was the craze for films that single screen theatres saw serpentine Q's and many made a career out of selling black tickets of the film. And one film that proved to be worth all its pre release hype and publicity (intentional or otherwise) was 'Khal Nayak' (Villian), which celebrated a Golden Jubilee run (52 weeks) and 12 years after its release, the British Film Institute informed Subhash Ghai, that its students had voted it into a Top 10 list of best international films of the century. And it was ranked in the Top 100 films of world cinema by film magazine 'Sight and Sound', in its January 2000 issue. Years later, Mani Ratnam's 'Raavanan'/'Raavan' also had the same theme but the sensibilities of both differ on many parameters. Khal Nayak was Bollywood masala at its best and a super successful film in the careers of both Sanjay Dutt and Subhash Ghai.

Ballu Balram (Sanjay Dutt) works for the evil mastermind Roshi Mahanta 'Roshida' (Pramod Moutho). From childhood circumstances have forced him to choose a wrong path and now he is the most dreaded criminal who is hunted by the police. His mother (Raakhee) lives alone waiting for her prodigal son to return. But Ballu is now deep into criminal activities and believes and does what Roshida tells him to do. After the murder of a politician, he is captured by the police and brought to jail. Ram Kumar Sinha (Jackie Shroff), the officer in-charge shows compassion to Ballu while trying to get information that would lead to capture of Ballu's boss and mentor. But Ballu being stubborn and a hard nut to crack does not reveal anything and teases Ram that he will escape from his jail. Ballu engineers his escape, leaving Ram to face accusations of negligence causing his reputation to be seriously damaged. Desperate to bring the villain to justice and in an attempt to salvage Ram's reputation, his girlfriend Ganga (Madhuri Dixit), a prison guard, volunteers to go undercover and infiltrates Ballu's gang. Disguised as a dancer, she joins a troupe. Soon, Ganga realizes that Ballu is a kind-hearted person who turned to crime due to poverty and circumstances and tries to rehabilitate him while on the run. She soon finds herself drawn to the charismatic villain, and finds her loyalty to the law and to Ram, severely tested. Ballu also begins to fall in love with Ganga. Soon with the police on his trail, Ganga is caught between Ram, duty, and her empathy for Ballu and afraid that the police will kill Ballu, she stops the police from shooting him, allowing him to escape. She is hence arrested for aiding a criminal and is accused of being in a relationship with Ballu, which destroys her professional and personal reputation. Later, Ballu's mother finds him, while she is followed by Ram. In the following confrontation Ballu's mother takes Ram's side trying to convince Ballu to give himself up. Also Ballu comes to know that Ganga actually loves Ram and had infiltrated his gang to help Ram. How circumstances lead him to the truth of his mentor? And with change of heart will he help Ganga who is going on for a trial for aiding him thus revealing to the society and Ram that Ganga is still pure? Whether the society will accept him and allow him to lead a normal life and what the law of the land has in store for him forms the crux of the story?

With sterling performances, catchy music and some very good direction, this is a film that has repeat viewing factor. A saga of a hardened criminal redeemed by love, the film's premise offers an opportunity for some tight psychological drama. A powerful story about a mother's love for her son, good or evil, the cause and effect of crime in poverty driven societies. It has an age-old plot that would be familiar to those who regularly watch Hindi cinema, but the same is used very well resulting in powerful masala film. The story is interesting, but it suffers from the obviousness due to the formulaic requirements of being a masala film of its time. Though commercialized, at its core it is the retelling of 'Ramayan' involving Raavan, Ram and Sita. Also it had its share of controversies. In an ironic twist of fate prior to the release of the movie, Sanjay Dutt was arrested and jailed in real life. 'Choli Ke Peechey Kya Hai', which was an instant hit, got all the attention and the film was about to be banned but the film overcame all hurdles and become a huge hit. Saroj Khan's dance choreography and Music played an important role in its success. Laxmikant-Pyarelal were Subhash Ghai's favorite musicians. They have given memorable tunes right from 'Karz', 'Hero', 'Meri Jung', 'Karma', 'Ram Lakhan' to 'Saudagar' and this. Chart busters including the ever-popular 'Choli Ke Peechey Kya Hai', 'Nayak nahi Khal Nayak hoon', 'Palki Pe Hoke Sawaar Chali Re', 'Aaja Sajan Aaja' and 'Der Se Aana Jaldi Jaana' are still popular. So despite all the flaws, Khalnayak is a solid entertainer.

Choosing Sanjay Dutt to enact 'Ballu' was Subhash Ghai's masterstroke. Few actors could manage to be so bad and yet retain the audience's sympathy. Khalnayak belongs to Sanjay Dutt, a great over the top character played with great swag and vulnerability as only he can. His portrayal of much celebrated character went down in history as one of the most memorable characters in Indian cinema. He is compelling and raw. He is aggressive yet vulnerable. He is in his elements in expressing fury, resentment and sadness. The entire transformation is well handled. His interactions with others be it Madhuri, Jackie or Raakhee is wonderful. It is an inspired performance. Madhuri is not just a pretty addition; she delivers a sensational performance. She is her beautiful self, graceful and feisty. In every scene, she holds you captive with her stunning beauty, demanding screen presence, expressive acting and excellent dancing skills. Jackie Shroff is ever reliable and adequate. Little development in his character would have had more impact. Raakhee is very good in her role. Pramod Moutho and Anupam Kher are perfect. Others support.

A perfect Bollywood masala that has great repeat value!