Chennai Express poster: Is Shahrukh Khan asking for trouble?

The character the King Khan plays in his new film with director Rohit Shetty and co-star Deepika Padukone could spell trouble – remember how his Ra.One role offended sentiments of a large section of cinegoers?

Superstars live in the public eye, and their smallest actions have bigger consequences than they may intend. Something like that happened with Shahrukh Khan when he played Shekhar Subramanium in Ra.One – with his version of the South Indian character, SRK managed to offend the sensibilities of South Indian audiences. According to reports, many from the South Indian community were upset by the actor’s careless and stereotypical portrayal, which partly was responsible for the low ticket sales for the mega-budget film. Questions were definitely asked at the time of Ra.One release, as to whether Shahrukh’s comedy act was in poor taste.

But the South Indian lesson has obviously not been learned. It seems as if our favourite star may repeat the mistakes of his recent past with his new film Chennai Express, directed by Rohit Shetty and co-starring Deepika Padukone. The film, a hardcore commercial one, may see its commerce being affected if Shahrukh tries to latch on to the ‘Enna rascala’ stereotype of southern humour – the posters  show SRK dressed in traditional South Indian ‘doubles’ veshti, while Deepika wears either a half-sari (pavadai-davani) or also a shortened lungi.

Well, a joke is always fun, but we hope Shahrukh has the better sense to go for the subtle approach rather than the over-the-top routine this time, even though it is a Rohit Shetty film – and we all know how masala dhinchak those are! As it is, Shahrukh really needs to deliver a hit if he has to stay relevant and compete with the other superstars in his generation, all of whom never seem to fail these days! So good luck with the jokes, SRK. And here’s hoping that you are not the butt of all of them, this time around!