Red Rose 1980

Anand (Rajesh Khanna) lives a wealthy lifestyle in his palatial house in Bombay.  He has two man servants – Shera (Om Shivpuri), the mali who is a very mysterious character and Chotu (actually nobody calls him by any name, so I just gave it for convinience) – the 16 year old bawarchi (whom Anand sends back to his village with some money for his education).

Every year on 12th October, which happens to be Anand’s birthday, he goes to the jail and distributes sweets and fruits to the inmates there.

On being asked by Jailor Bhushan (Roopesh Kumar) he says he comes there for humanity. There are so many people outside who are greater criminals than the ones in prison but just because they are not caught, they are termed innocent. And it’s not necessary that all those arrested are always guilty. Proofs and wintesses are not always true. Also says that his father was arrested and punished for no fault of his and he comes to meet the inmates out his his empathy for them.

Must say a pretty good-looking jailor. And the other guy is one of the prisoners who Bhushan gets introduced to Anand. Anand has a problem of remembering names. In a short conversation with Bhushan he calls him Roshan once and then Gulshan. He goes on to explain that in his line of business he comes across so many people with so many different names that he just can’t keep track of it but however he remembers people’s faces.

Anand owns and runs a business “Export India”. He’s in need of a Stenographer in office. There’s a  group of girls who have turned up for the itnerview. After interviewing them all he finally selects Chitra (Snehlata) for the post.

One fine day he accidentally bumps into Sharda (Poonam Dhillon) who works in Roop Saagar Clothing store. He goes to the store following her and finally buys a hand kerchief from her counter once he locates her.

He goes to the store everyday and buys a handkerchief from Sharda’s store.  And the looks he gives her….I had only seen the likes of Prem Chopra and Ranjeet eyeing the heriones this way. Sheila (Aruna Irani), Sharda’s friend is jealous of Sharda because she has such a good-looking customer coming to her counter everyday.

One day he comes to the store again but totally ignores Sharda  and goes to buy a vest from Sheila’s counter.  But on his way out he sees a book on Sharda’s counter, flips through the pages and sees Sheila written on the first page.

He calls the store and asks for Sheila (that’s what he thinks Poonam’s name is) and calls her to meet him at a park. When she says she doesn’t know who he is, he says he’ll be wearing a White suit with a Red Rose pinned to it. He waits for her at the park but is surprised to see Aruna there instead of Poonam.

Sheila is surprised as to who had called her there. She doesn’t come to work the following day and the Store Manager (Shammi) is worried. Since it’s her brithday Sharda says she will go to Sheila’s place and find out what happened to her.

Anand calls the the Store Manager (Shammi) to find out what time the store closes. He comes and waits outside the store just before it’s closing time and follows Sharda.

On her way to Sheila’s house, Sharda is almost hit by Anand’s car. He then offers her a lift and finds out that her name’s Sharda. She lives in Mahatma Gandhi Road working girl’s hostel. And then he proposes to her (must say in quite a strange way) :

Anand : Raat ke sannate mein driver ke paas baithkar is tarah chup rahengi toh accident hone ka darr hai (If you sit so quiet, there’s a chance we might meet with an accident)
Sharda : Ji, main kya bolun (Hmmm….what do I say?)
Anand : Achha hum sawaal karte hian aap jawaab dijiye, thik hai? (I see. In that case I’ll ask some questions and you just answer them, ok?)
She nods her head
Anand : Hum baar baar aapke dukaan pe aate rahe, aapko bura toh nahin laga? (I kept coming to you store, didn’t you feel bad about it?)
Sharda : Ji nahin (No)
Anand : Dukaan par aane ke baad hum aaphi ke counter pe aate, rahe aapko bura toh nahin laga (I always come to your counter, don’t you feel bad about it?)
Sharda : Ji nahin (No)
Anand : Us din jaan pehchaan ke bager hi humne aapko tohfe mein rumaal diya, aapko bura toh nahin laga (That day I gifted you a hand-kerchief, didn’t you feel bad about it?)
Sharda : ji nahin (No)
Anand : Agar hum is waqt aap se yeh kehde ke hum aapse pyaar karte hai, aap ko bura toh nahin lagega? (Now if I say I love you, will you mind?)
Sharda : Ji nahin (No) It’s after she says that she realizes what he had said.
Anand : Sharda, I LOVE YOU (the tone in which he says that and the way he looks at her, I dont know what made her fall for him)

A song follows this conversation – Tere bin jeena kya

Sheila has disappeared but Sharda doesn’t seemed worried about it. She’s happy in her newly found love. When Anand is in a club one night, he thinks of how he had killed Sheila.

They go out pretty often after that and this song is in bits and pieces everytime they go out. One day while driving he’s unusually quiet and Sharda is surprised and asks him if everything is ok.

Anand : Jab insaan ki zindagi mein naya mod aata hai toh kadam uthane se pehle usse achhi tarah se soch lena chahiye (When there’s something new happening in a person’s life, he needs to think seriously about it)
Sharda : Zaroor soch lena chahiye (Definitely, one has to think)
Anand : Kisi naye kaam se pehle experience ka hona bhi zaroori hai (It’s necessary to have an experience before you start something new)
Sharda : Bahut Zaroori hai. Agar experience na ho toh bahut mushkil ho sakti hai (Ofcourse,it gets difficult without an experience)
Anand : Toh phir kahan chale. Samundar ke kinare, club, hotel ya kisi hill station (So, where do we go – Beach, club, hotel or some hill station?)
Sharda: Kya matlab? (What do you mean?)
Anand : Agle mahine hum dono shaadi kar rahe hai. Abhi se kuch experience ho jaye toh kya bura hai? (we are getting married next month. What’s wrong in it if we decide to have some experience?)
Sharda : Ji? (What?)
Anand : Nahin samjhi? (You didn’t get it?)
Sharda : Nahin (No). (Then after a while) Chheeeeeeeee….(love the way she says that) Jab dekho bas ek hi baat. Aur kuch nahin aata aapko? (Chhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeee…That’s the only thing in your mind, don’t you know anything else?)
Anand : Aata toh bahut kuch hai lekin aap mauka de tab ta. Ek baat batao Sharda tum itne angrezi films dekhti ho, novels padhti ho, tumhe in baaton mein, mera matlab hai ke sex ki baaton mein zara sa bhi dilchasbi nahin hai?
(I do but you never give me a chance. Tell me one thing, you watch english movies, you read novels, aren’t you interested in sex at all?)

Chitra has also disappeared and her brother calls up Export India to check . But the Manager (Ram Sethi) informs that she hasn’t come to work for days now.

Anand and Sharda get married at the Registrar of Marriages and he takes her home.

On the way he says :

Anand : Aaj hume jo naam pasand hai woh ek hi hai -Sharda (Today, there’s only one name that I like and that’s Sharda)
Sharda : Bhool toh nahin jayenge aap is naam ko? (Won’t you forget this name?)
Anand : Arey hum aapko bhool sakte hai, aapke naam ko nahin bhool sakte (I can forget you, but not your name)

And this dialogue hold quite a significance at the end of the movie 😀

Once home, he gets her introduced to Shera and Ghasitaram (the new Bawarchi). Then he shows her his father’s photo.

Sharda : Such a huge house and you have only 2 servants?
Anand : Socha toh yehi tha lekin baad mein irada badal diya. Jyada log honge toh bheed hogi aur mauka nahin milega (I felt the same but on a second note I felt with too many people in the house, it’ll get crowded and we wont get an opportunity)
Sharda : Kis baat ka mauka? (Opportunity for what?)
Anand : Ek hi toh baat reh gayi hai zindagi mein. Shaadi ke baad pati ka jo farz banta hai ussse fohren poora karlena chahiye (There’s only one thing left in life. After marriage, I have to immediately fulfill my duty as a husband)
Sharda : Ji nahin. Aap ka farz banta hai daftar ke kaam mein dil lagaye aur mera farz banta hai ke aapka dil lagane ke liye main bhi daftar mein aapka saath doon (Your duty is that you concentrate on your work at office and my duty is to help you do that)
Anand : Hum dono ka farz banta hai ke daftar mein double bistar lagaye (It’s our duty to put a double bed in office)
Sharda : Aapko bistar ke siwa aur bhi kuch soojhta hai ya nahin (Can’t you think of anything other than the bed?)
Anand : Thik hai agar aapko bistar pasand nahin hai toh aapke liye sofa laga denge (Ok, if you don’t want a bed, I’ll arrange for a sofa for you)
Sharda, I love you, isi liye hum tumhe jaldi se jaldi bistar wale kamre mein le chalenge (I love you, so I will take you to my bedroom first)

But she remains adamant about seeing the rest of the house. So  he takes her to his librabry.

Sharda : Baapre itni saari kitabein? Lagta hai aapko kitabe padhne ka bahut shauk hai (So many books??? Looks like you love reading)
Anand : Padne ka shauk toh pehle tha. Ab toh jo padhliya usse aazmane ka shauk hai (I liked reading, but now I prefer using all my knowledge in practice)
Sharda : Kya matlab? (Again after a pause)  Chee…yeh sab kya waisi kitabein hai? (So all these are that kind of books?)
Anand : Nahin sab ke sab waisi kitabein nahin hai, 2-4 doosri bhi hai (Not all, there are 2-4 other books as well)

Next he takes her to his games room. She sees a chessboard laid out, a carrom board, TT table. She’s surprised that he plays all thses games alone and challenges that she’ll beat him at them.
Sharda : What’s the fun if there’s no one to win or lose?
Anand : I can tolerate everything in life, but I cant tolerate someone else winning me
Sharda : Then you’ll have to lose for the first time in your life
Anand : Lose? With who?
Sharda : Me. I challenge you
Anand : Wait until dark. Shaam dhalne do, tumhe bhi pata chal jayega hamara khel. (Wait until dark then you will understand my game).

He takes her to a window and shows a room below saying that his dad lives in that room. Long ago he had gone to jail for no fault of his. He’s gone insane after that. And he always shuts himself in that room and lives like a prisoner.

Finally he reaches his destination, takes her to his bedroom and says nothing can stop him now. He’s even got the license to cross the lakshman rekha.

But the phone rings and he has to go to office because Chitra’s brother has come to see him. Chitra’s brother says that his friend, a waiter at a night club, had seen her with a boyfriend before she disappeared. And since he feels that the boyfriend may be from office, he has brought his friend along for identification. Anand tells his manager to help Chitra’s brother and show all the employees in the office but the waiter doesn’t find Chitra’s boyfriend.

Anand, peeps from his cabin door and sees the waiter.

In a series of flashback Anand recollects seeing the waiter when he had gone out for dinner with Chitra.

That night Anand goes to the same club in search of the waiter. He offers him some money and asks him to keep his mouth shut but when he starts increasing his demands and threatens to expose Anand, he kills him.

Back home Sharda cooks dinner for Anand and waits for him (all decked up) to come back home. She sings  Kiski sadayen mujhko bulaye.

Tired of waiting and hungry herself , she cuts an apple but cuts her finger in the process. The moment Anand’s cat smells blood, it pounces on Sharda and she runs around the house with the cat behind her heels.

When she finally manages to put the cat off her trail, she goes and stands by the window. It’s raining heavily outside. She sees water oozing out from one point in the garden forming a fountain and feels the water pipe must have bursted. Suddenly she sees a human hand shoot out from the base of the fountain. Scared to death she goes running and reaches a room where she finds skeletons.

She also discovers that Anand had killed Sheila. In a series of flashback, Anand’s history is revealed.

A picture flashes through Anand’s mind everytime he sees a girl – A face and a pair of feet wearing payals.

Who is this girl? What does she have to do with Anand’s past? And why is Anand such a maniac?

This is Munna (Mayur Verma), Anand when he was young.

Why did Anand marry Sharda? Will Sharda be spared? Or does Anand kill her too? What had happened to Anand’s father? Was he  an innocent victim or was he really guilty?

I loved Rajesh Khanna’s performance – his portrayal as an arrogant, wealthy, short-tempered maniac who hates women. Neither it’s a big mystery nor a great love story. I have no idea how successful this movie was at box-office. It’s a zara hatke movie and that’s what I liked the most about it. I also liked the way movie ended.

Had I seen this movie as a teenager when I was totally crazy about Rajesh Khanna and almost treated him like a god, when everything he did was more than perfect to me,  I don’t think I would have liked this movie. But today,  though I am still extremely fond of RK, I’m more matured as a person and can differentiate the on-screen role from off-screen, I appreiciate good performance irrespective of what kind of a role it is (good or bad) – I really liked this film!

Most of the story doesn’t make much sense or may be it does, quite silly at times, and our hero is such a psycho, Poonam is good in the little space and time that she has. I am surprised to see  a mainstream superstar (though this was after his reign as a superstar was over) doing a role like this. But I was more surprised to see him talk so openly about sex! (such talks are usually censored even to this day or should I say till Dev D and Dil Kabbadi).


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14 Responses to “Red Rose 1980”

  1. dustedoff Says:

    Hmm. I remember reading memsaab’s review of this – and thinking I wouldn’t want to see it, no matter what! Frankly, I prefer Rajesh Khanna in his earlier films – Ittefaq, Aradhana, Safar, Amar Prem, Khamoshi, etc. He was so good in those, and the films were excellent too.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      The films you have listed (along with Anand) are among my all time favourites!!! I have seen them so many times that I have lost the count myself. And I love everything about them.
      I don’t know, I never felt like watching this one earlier….may be because it just isn’t my type of movie. And even now I saw this because this was the only RK movie I had with me. Friends have taken other DVDs that had Anand, Amar Prem, Khamoshi, Aakhri Khat, Mere Jeevan Saathi and haven’t returned them back.
      But now that I’ve finally seen it, I liked it. I won’t say I enjoyed watching it, but it’s a well made movie and RK has given a fabulous performance.
      So from a film-making perspective I would definitely call it a must-watch. But if we look at it from fun-filled movie watching experience (like what we discussed in my last post), then I wouldn’t recommend it.
      So far I had seen only goody-good RK movies, this one was totally different experience altogether. Had I seen this movie as a teenager, I would have hated RK for sure. I’m so glad I waited 😉

  2. Abhijit K Roy Says:

    Red Rose is one of the rare classics of Superstar-Actor Rajesh Khanna which proves his infinite range of versatility and calibre of characterisation of a changed personality without any make-up but only with superb class facial expressions and body language. While watching this film during my college days in 80s one thing came in my mind that this is a par excellent performance at world level and I still believe this with full strength.

  3. ALOK Says:

    excellent effort. I always say that Rajesh Khanna deserves more than what he has got. I find him an extremely talented actor with a lot of understanding of human being and cinematic perfection. Rajesh Khanna as he himself says is an actor first and in the process somewhere he became the superstar. Since he was an actor, he has acted in offbeat movies like Aavishkar, palkon ki chaon mein, Red rose, Naukri at the peak of his career and never bothered to live in an image.His sensative portrayals in Anand, Itefaq,Safar, Namak haraam, Souten, Agar tum na hote. Offbeat characters like Aaj ka mla, Avatar,Romantic leads in Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Daag- Hero of commercial cinema- Saccha Jhootha, Roti, Hathi Mere Sathi, Dushmun etc. are all time greats and have a great repeat value. It is bad luck of today’s youth that they cannot see his performance as he has called it a day…….

    Long live Kaka and his fans.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Wow, that was a great list!!!! Very true, he’s an amazing actor.
      I’m writing about Agar Tum Na Hote at the moment. And have Dushman, Ittefaq and Palkon Ke Chaon Mein lined up for tomorrow and day after. I only hope I get to complete them.
      Oh, how I adore him in all his movies!!! Cheers to Kaka and all his fans 🙂

  4. Suhan Says:

    I’ve a great fondness for this film. It’s different, eerie, and both RK and Poonam are very good and believable in what they set out to do as are the cameos by Shammi, Aruna, etc. Om Shivpuri gave me the shivers especially with that rat killing spree in the garden 🙂 The music by RD Burman is truly great, the background score and the two songs; love Kiski Sadayen, the music as well as the picturization.

    This movie had a very strange feel to it overall. Quite, quite different from the standard Bollywood fare of the day. You asked about its Box Office performance and unfortunately it bombed. However, even so, the few people that managed to see it then kept talking about it and it’s become quite a cult film now by word of mouth. That genre hasn’t been explored in Hindi films much (not at all at the time it released I believe) and it’s considered to be the best of its kind. It was a remake of the hugely popular Tamil version with Kamalhasan and a very young Sridevi in the leading roles. I’ve seen that too but I think Bhartiraaja did an equally, if not better job in the Hindi remake. I’m probably in the minority though but I think, in general, most people think that the originals are better and I’ve never quite agreed (I speak from having seen quite a few Bengali films remade in Hindi, where most of the latter were much better).

    In any event, thanks for this week of RK specials 🙂 It’s a huge treat for Kaka’s fans. Look forward to your other reviews. Best wishes for a very happy new year by the way.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Honestly speaking this isn’t my kind of a movie. I prefer watching happy-happy movies, I don’t mind even if they don’t make much sense as long as they are fun-filled and not too depressing.
      Not that I don’t watch other movies, that’s what I generally prefer. But I do like collecting movies of different genre.
      I spotted this in a video store and it being a Rajesh Khanna movie, I just couldn’t stop myself from buying it. But I somehow couldn’t gather enough courage to watch it. Had heard quite a lot about it esp. about Rajesh’s character. Having almost idolized him ever since I was a kid, I couldn’t imagine him doing such a role. But this particular week I was left with no other RK movies (thanks to my friends who had taken other DVDs and hadn’t returned them back).
      But now looking back, I’m glad they didn’t. And I’m so happy that I saw this movie. I got to see the other side of Rajesh Khanna as an actor and hats off to the director and producers and script-writers – it was very bold of them to experiment with a subject like this, especially in those days.

      I never knew it was a remake of a Tamil movie, I would love to see that!

      But this did inspire me to explore the movies that I hadn’t seen earlier. And that’s how I ended up watching Aavishkar, which was another treat.

      And I have to confess that Om Shivpuri’s rat killing spree did give me shivers too, and that too not just once – first while watching the movie and next when I was taking the screen caps! Another scene which really scared me was that hand in the garden, suddenly shooting up with the fountain. I watched the movie in the afternoon so didn’t give it much thought then. But it was around 2 AM while I was taking the screencaps, and GOD it really scared the wits out of me.

  5. bollywoodeewana Says:

    you give this quite a balanced review, as all the others i’ve read seem to say its really really bad, i’ll check it out. By the way whats the meaning of zara hatke

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Well, I am not very fond of the story as such but it’s the execution and treatment of the subject that I really liked. And not to forget, amazing performance by Kaka. Please do check it out and let me know how you find it.
      Zara hatke means little out of the ordinary/off the beaten track/offbeat/one of a kind


    I had seen this movie when I was studying in college and it was almost the end of RK’s superstar era. I went to see this movie after reading the review in Screen -film weekly discribing it as zarahatke kind of the film *ing RK in lead with negative shades. I must say that he could portray this role in excellent manner because of his real life arrogant style which shifted to the movie directly. In those days we used to read about his arrogancy in the filmy magazine. This helped him a lot -especially for this movie. Rajesh Khanna -an actor with par excellence but at the same time a man of mood. One can never afford to forget him.

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Well, his arrogance helped him somewhere at least! I felt his performance was amazing in this one. I have only heard goody goody things about him – my main source of filmy information over the years being Vividh Bharati and All India Radio.
      I think I should get hold of those filmy magazines and read them. It would be fun and interesting to read all such gossip 😉

  7. Suhan Says:

    Here are a couple of other reviews on the film. One’s from a couple of years back in the Economic Times. It makes some very interesting points and linkages. Here’s the link to it.

    The other’s from the March 1 to 15, 1982 issue of Filmfare by Basab Sinha called “Rajesh Khanna: Breaking the Shackles of His Own Image”.

    “The last couple of years have witnessed Rajesh breaking the shackles of his image and showing remarkable versatility in handling different roles, roles which were a distinct about turn as far as his image went.

    The film which deserves special mention is “RED ROSE”. This film had Rajesh in a negative role where his underplaying brought alive the complexities of the character – mental instability, obsession with sex and sufferings because of traumatic childhood experiences. In every scene Rajesh was positively brilliant, like the one in which his newly married wife repeatedly questions him about his office affairs and he bursts out and replied “NOTHING, NOTHING…………………” Further the last scene where he becomes abnormal his expressions of eyes and face were simply classic. It is doubtful if any other Indian actor would have been able to handle the role so effectively. Truly this is one of the finest performances of the recent years.

    Rajesh simply lives the roles. His detailed studies of the characters come across in the little but deft touches in his performances which make the characters so natural and life like and lent it what a certain critic rightly called ‘PSYCHOLOGICAL CREDIBILITY’. One sincerely hopes that Rajesh khanna continues to show the same courage in choosing his future roles. “

    • sunheriyaadein Says:

      Both of these are so well written! I wish this movie had done better at the box-office.
      Down south, all genres of movies have equal fan-following. Romance, Action, Thrillers are accepted whole-heartedly and when the likes of Kamal Hassan or Rajnikath do these movies, they are bound to rock the box-office.
      But in Bollywood, we associate tags with actors…like we expect the likes of Rajesh and Shammi to always do romantic roles. And when they experiment something different, it’s not appreciated much, no matter how well the movie is made or how brilliantly the actors have performed.
      During those days, for someone with an image of a superstar, it must have been quite a bold decision to do a role like this. But I’m glad he took it up as a challenge and did it .
      If I have loved Rajesh Khanna as the romantic hero earlier, my love and respect for him has increased all the more after watching this movie.

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