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HomeFeaturesVinod Khanna’s Imtihan is a testament to his versatility

Vinod Khanna’s Imtihan is a testament to his versatility

Inspired by To Sir, With Love, this feel-good film shows Vinod Khanna could do it all, while stealing hearts with his debonair looks.

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New Delhi: Vinod Khanna is, and always will be, one of the biggest stars Bollywood has seen. From 1968 to 2015, Khanna gave Indian cinema some of its big hits such as Mera Gaon, Mera Desh, Achaanak, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony and more.

As someone who started out doing only negative roles but went on to become a hero that actors aspire to become, Khanna did it all, including politics. On his birth anniversary, ThePrint looks at one of his all-time hits — Imtihan (1974).

Anyone will agree that one good teacher is all it takes for students to achieve their true potential. A good teacher can effect change in a way that even a parent cannot. Khanna proves this in Imtihan, where a teacher goes to a struggling college and changes the lives of its students and teachers for the better.

He, of course, faces many obstacles — in the form of rowdy, unwilling students, an infatuated pupil and even false accusations of misconduct. But, as a good teacher always teaches us, hard work and honesty prevail.

Also read: Jailed for anti-Nehru poem & celebrated for Bollywood songs, Majrooh Sultanpuri had it all

Inspirational, feel-good story

Khanna plays Pramod Sharma, a righteous professor who takes up teaching despite being from an affluent family because he believes in doing something good. Directed by Madan Sinha, this film is considered one of Khanna’s biggest hits, and it’s not difficult to see why.

He plays the role of a smart and amiable-yet-strict teacher really well. His versatility as an actor shines through as he plays the upholder of values, and strives to bring about positive change in everyone’s lives. In fact, it is films like Imtihan that made him more of a heart-throb because he would take risks at the peak of his career — that was built on memorable supporting roles in action movies and iconic negative ones.

Inspired by the classic British film, To Sir, With Love, Imtihan is about the tests one goes through in life — of loyalty, character and faith. Doing good, even on a small scale, is difficult. It tests one’s willpower, patience and character. Being a good teacher is not easy — one deals with multiple people who all think they know the best when really, they don’t.

Imtihan also stars Bindu and Tanuja in strong, interestingly-flawed roles. Tanuja’s character, Madhu, is self-assured, knows what she wants and does not seek validation from Pramod. Bindu, who has played many a villainous role, shines as a spoilt girl who always gets what she wants, but who also holds her own ground.

Imtihan’s music is another winning factor. The still-hummable Ruk Jaana Nahin and Bujhade Jal Gai are stirring classics. With lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri and music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, the success of these tunes is a no-brainer.

Khanna was a chameleon — blending behind the scenes when his co-stars needed to be in the limelight or at the centre of attention in the smallest of scenes. Imtihan, an inspirational, feel-good story, is a testament to his acting range.

Also read: Dev Anand’s Prem Pujari spoke about patriotism like no other Bollywood film


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