My blog is not a scoop scout. I do not aim to talk about his personal life; none of my business. What I am interested in his the graph, the amazing graph of his cinematic career.
20 years down the line, when SRK walks down the isle to collect the lifetime achievement award, he would look back and say "Phew! That was tough.". Very few actors, not just nationally but globally tend to swim against the current to start off with. SRK was one of them.
I am an SRK fan, and I admit, he looked like a sick mongoose back then. Forget about being the leading actor, a face like that was meant for Radio. But who thought that this very swerve-on-the-chin lad would be the heart throb of million, infact trillion girls going ga-ga for him. But that is not curtains to the story. Shah Rukh is way beyond being a face to die for.
Very few actors have the courage to make a heroic status out of negative roles. Afresh from Fauji and Circus, Shah Rukh was a renowned face on TV. But when he stepped into the film industry, the scene was dominated by goody goody chocolate boys like Aamir Khan and Salman Khan. Even Amitabh Bachchan was romancing women half his age when Shah Rukh entered the rumble. If you place that scenario now, it would be impossible for any actor to stick his granite in the movie foundation as a bad guy. Shah Rukh chose Darr, Baazigar and Anjaam before he became the on screen love God. With those characters he created a "love to be hated" image that set him apart from the contemporaries. He was noticeable. He was different.
Now you might think that Shah Rukh Khan was a brave and courageous man to try that out. But, in reality, Shah Rukh is an ace strategist. He had the with before he laid the smack on the ice flooring. It is simple. If you go against the wind, either you would find unseen paths and discover something new or get blown away. He had nothing to lose. He did not have a superstar image back then, neither did was he looked upon as competition. He chose a path that looked tougher, but was more result driven as no other actor cared about doing grey shade characters back then. The result is infront of you. Those movies are still counted and enlisted in Shah Rukh's best performances.
God has gifted this man with amazing marketing nerves. 2 or 3 negative roles were enough to prove that he does something that others don't. He was well aware of the cliche stalking him from vicinity. Just like a true marketing ace, he switched modes.
Aditya Chopra felt that Shah Rukh is a must for DDLJ, as Raj would open many doors for Shah Rukh to establish himself in the big league. The character of Raj had everything that the audience would like. A son, a friend, a lover and most importantly- a great guy. This image makeover did wonders to his career and I don't need to mention anymore. The movie is still being screened at Maratha Mandir to packed houses!!
Hence, Khan got tucked tight, and brought himself in a pool where sharks were ready to swallow him from lungs to limb. With the right directors, the right films, the right co-stars and the right promo, SRK became the king of romance he is today. But what made him the phenom he is now??
The success of a product is directly proportional to its visibility. Same goes with SRK. He was, is and I hope will be seen everywhere possible. His PR is not just a team. It is an army handling his public image. When you hear people going woo-hoo for the man, even a piece of log would lay its attention. Shah Rukh through out the past 15-16 years has had the best of media attention whenever and wherever he wanted to. Be it the clash with Salman Khan, the miff with Ajay Devgn, Aamir calling him a pet dog, press conferences, anything. Everything has worked in his favor. He made the nation and primarily girls love him. And when Indian women love and adore someone, even global hatred seems "Paani Kam". Hence, public image intact, and SRK cruising along as per his will and wit. He knows very well where to start and where to stop. That is one of the roots of his survival at the top, or rather dominance.
Those who call Shah Rukh Khan a bad actor are mere blind haters. The man has given timeless hits. Films like Swades, Chak De solidify his mettle as not just a romantic, but intense actor. Negative roles don't need a mention again. He is the best at it. Shah Rukh Khan does a set of comedy that other actors would make a heap of over acting. Imagine Aamir doing Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or Salman or Saif doing Om Shanti Om. He has created his own style. And yes, he went overboard in several movies, but boss, "Overacting woh hi karta hai, jiko ACTING aati hai."
SRK is a man of classics. He makes his movies worth remembering. Be it the romantic sagas, the remakes, the sequels or even the supporting roles. His screen presence is not a revolution. It is an evolution. Almost 3 decades old, Khan has managed to do everything and anything to please to audience worldwide. This inversely gathers huge collection for his movies not just here, but abroad too. His fan base and the way he handles them, impeccable!
Khan is not the best looking man on this planet, neither is he the best dancer, nor the best actor. But he is a gifted guy, who despite of all the no-please-not him factors has made a place in the books that has greatness written all over him. He has formed a legacy. He is a brand; very expensive and highly cost effective.
But everything has its price. Whatever he has earned was not for free. Not even his fame. Fame in the idustry is highly perishable. Takes an eyeblink to lose. Over the years Khan has done things which are off the hook. But how long do people see the same things? How long can he be the lover boy who gets the girl out of all odds? How long can he be the Rahul who is still in his teen?
Lets be honest. SRK is 47. He is by no means young anymore. Leaving aside Chak De and Swades, Shah Rukh has mostly refrained and avoided intense movies. Why? Because he thinks that it would not please the target audience. He is not trying something different, rather than selling old stuff in new packages. His Guitarist character in Jab Tak Hain Jaan did no god for him. He looked kike an overgrown Uncle who was till fancying his long lost youth. Neither did any of his recent releases. Don is however an exception to some extent. The grey shade suits him. Ra.One was a blunder, and that can be forgiven unless he repeats it.
Shah Rukh understands this more than you, me or anybody. But the fact is, the stem that he grew is now a tree that nobody is willing to water. Shah Rukh sooner or later has to make one final switch. Romantic flicks are not meant for him anymore. Those craters on his face are visible despite of priceless make up. He has to move to something different. You have to agree, he looks much better with that stuble he is sporting nowadays. Maybe something intense is in the pipleline.
Lets face it. After My Name is Khan, which too was not a blockbuster, Shah Rukh has not done anything that exemplifies his stature. Rather than over hyping every movie of his. I agree, he is a superstar, a fantastic actor. But that would be of no help if he stays stuck. There was a time where he was a distant number one, and now, Salman and Aamir are quite ahead of him. Be it movies, or box office collections.
Chennai Express, I hate to say, is his defining moment. If this movie bombs, Shah Rukh Khan would really struggle to get back to the spot he belongs. He has flirted with his career recently doing similar roles. Remember Rajesh Khanna, India's first superstar? he ended up doing b-grade roles. So did Mithun Da and even Amitabh Bachchan went to the lowest when luck ran out.
I am not saying that Shah Rukh is out of gas. But he is caged by monotony. He has to pick up roles and films that take him to the next level. Rahul is gone. Let Ranbir do those roles. Suits him more.
Very few people know, I disliked Shah Rukh Khan when I was a kid. It was Darr and Baazigar on Zee Cinema that made me his fan. And Since 1994, I have seen all his flicks - first day, first show, with family, friends, bunked even exams. That is the level of emotion and craze this guy generates. As a loyalist, I want Chennai Express to achieve blockbuster status. As a cinema lover and someone who appreciates this man's credibility, I hope he surprises us all again, and proves that "Daastan - E - Shah Rukh Khan ka koi end nahi, Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!!"