It’s Sad That My Film With Vinod Khanna Could Not See The Light Of Day, Says Ramesh Sippy

Ramesh Sippy was at the top of his game in the ‘80s and had worked with all the superstars of the era. For his last film, he turned to Vinod Khanna. But fate had other plans

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It’s Sad That My Film With Vinod Khanna Could Not See The Light Of Day, Says Ramesh Sippy

It’s often said that veteran director Ramesh Sippy started his career with A and ended on Z. The A stands for Andaz, his debut film in 1971 and Z is for Zamaana Deewana, his last directorial venture in 1995.

vinod khanna
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But not many know that he wanted his Z as early as 1987. Sippy wanted to end his stint with Zameen; a multistarrer featuring Vinod Khanna in the lead, which was later on, shelved.

The sudden demise of Vinod Khanna came as a shock to the ace director. “In the ‘70s he was a superstar and had a great following and a great presence on screen. He did some wonderful films with Amit Ji and some fabulous solos. He was a very fine actor and then of course he had some personal problems also to cater to,” says Ramesh Sippy reminiscing about the superstar.

vinod khanna in zameen
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Zameen would have also marked Ramesh Sippy’s first film with Vinod Khanna after having worked with all the superstars of that era – Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Rishi Kapoor. Vinod Khanna was the only gem missing from his repertoire.

Throwing more light on the film, Sippy says, “Vinod Khanna was part of the only one film that I could not complete. The gentleman who was involved in the making of the film and now Vinod Khanna, they both are no more so uske baare mein jyada bolna accha nahi hoga. I had a great time working with Vinod in that film and it’s unfortunate that the film could not see the light of day.”

sanjay dutt rajnikant zameen
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Think of it, the film had all the signs of becoming a potential blockbuster. There was Vinod Khanna who was returning to acting after his stint as an ascetic at the Osho Ashram in the US, Sridevi was at the peak her stardom, Rajinikanth and Sanjay Dutt were at the top of their game and last but not the least, the rising star Madhuri Dixit too was part of the ensemble. Anupam Kher and Paresh Rawal gave the menacing touch to the film.

vinod khanna and sridevi
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Ramesh Sippy started his labour of love soon after the completion of his TV series Buniyaad.  Vinod Khanna was paired opposite Sridevi in the film and ace writer Manohar Shyam Joshi penned the script of the film.  After the film was 70 per cent through, the finances of the film dried up and the financiers pulled their hands out of the film and the film till this day is stuck in the cans.

Though Ramesh Sippy might never admit to this but there is buzz that many factors contributed to the ‘demise’ of Vinod Khanna’s potential blockbuster. On one hand while Vinod Khanna proved a little difficult to work with after he came back from the ashram, there was also the rivalry of Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit involved in the film. Those associated with the film convinced Sridevi and Madhuri that there wouldn’t be any scenes in the film that will feature both.

When asked to share a memorable moment in the company of the superstar, Ramesh Sippy after a long pause only adds that the list is pretty long. “I have spent some wonderful evenings with him. I wish I could recall something interesting to you but they all were very personal moments with him. His wife is a very dear friend and we have spent some great moments in her company. We will all miss him dearly and he was a wonderful guy,” says the veteran director.

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