When Silence Speaks: Vinod Khanna in Rakhwala

A. Subba Rao’s 1971 film Rakhwala has two of India’s handsomest and accomplished actors: Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna, a beautiful heroine: Leena Chandravarkar, and an old hand at villainy Madan Puri.

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It also has a story about past secrets, intrigue, murder, romance, and conflict. Unfortunately, the plotting is so shoddy with such glaring loopholes that it simply falls apart. It is a sorry waste of talent and pretty.

However, there is one scene that I found absolutely riveting.

Mephistopheles Vinod, the prime henchman of Madan Puri has seduced Rakesh Pandey, the younger brother of our hero, Dharmendra, from his hard-working, studious ways. The three men are having  a good time

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when party-pooper Dharam barges in…..

stoponly to be ticked-off by Madan Puri who gives him a lesson in etiquettes: Shareef people do not come uninvited to somebody’s house, second they don’t start bashing people.

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Dharmendra is in no mood for this. He doesn’t need a crash-course in ‘sharafat’ from Madan.

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He drags his brother. Li’l brother refuses to budge. This is his money, if he wants to spend it on drinking, it is his wish.

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The argument grows, Vinod watches…silently.

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The haranguing continues….

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Vinod is still silent…. watching all this through clouds of smoke.

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Madan would not allow li’l brother to be bullied…

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Vinod continues his silent, watchful stance….

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Madan retires hurt….and the silent, sympathetic Vinod offers him a bracing drink.

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And only when, it is all over…does he allow himself…. that smile….

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I don’t know why I like this scene so much but Vinod offering that drink to Madan just screams cool.

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