When will Shahrukh Khan kick the hero bucket?

Tue, May 28, 2013 5:52pm UTC by 27 Comments
When will Shahrukh Khan kick the hero bucket?
Yash Raj Films

Shahrukh would do well to look at the experiences of his illustrious predecessors and see how they successfully transformed their careers from leading men to character artistes

The writing is on the wall, or rather, the writing is on his face. Shahrukh Khan, who we all thought would remain an eternally young romantic hero, is ageing. Age lines are appearing on his face faster than a wall cracking during an earthquake. Some digital smoothening was done for RA.One and Jab Tak Hai Jaan but in his real life public appearances like during the Indian Premier Leagu (IPL), the ravages of time are clearly visible on his face. The question is, just how long can SRK continue playing a young romantic hero? He was impressive as the gruff, bearded army officer in Jab Tak Hai Jaan but unconvincing in his younger avatar.

To look at Shahrukh’s future let us examine the past of two of his predecessors, namely Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan. Shahrukh will turn 48 this year. Dilip Kumar was 48 in 1970. He had no releases that year. In fact, his last release was Aadmi in 1968 and his next films Anokha Milan and Dastaan were in 1972. Gopi was his sole in 1973 and the following year, he had a guest appearance in Phir Kab Milogi and a starring role in Sagina. The box office failure of Sagina prompted Kumar to try for a comeback with a vengeance and the result was the 1976 release Bairaag where he essayed a triple role. Sadly for him, the film bombed and the star realised that his star was on the wane. He took a break for five years and came back strongly with Kranti in 1981, playing a role more commensurate with his age.

Amitabh Bachchan’s career graph follows a similar trajectory. He turned 48 in 1990. Bachchan’s star was already on the wane by then. Aakhree Raasta (1986) was just about okay at the box office. And then came Gangaa Jamunaa Saraswathi (1988) that was a disaster for all concerned but his reputation was partially redeemed by Shahenshah (1988). 1989 saw him win acclaim but not box office with Main Azaad Hoon and then came the twin box office duds that were Toofan and Jaadugar (as an aside, please do watch them again – they are not as bad as the audience of the time made them out to be). Thus, in 1990, the Bachchan aura had all but vanished, but the year proved to be a comeback for him, with Agneepath winning acclaim if not box office and the execrable Aaj Ka Arjun proving to be a hit. The success of Hum in 1991 was severely offset by the tanking of Ajooba, Indrajeet and Akayla.

The Bachchan magic was back with Khuda Gawah (1993) but took a beating with Insaniyat (1994), Mrityudaata (1997), Major Saab (1998), and 1999 releases Lal Baadshah, Sooryavansham, Hindustan Ki Kasam and Kohram. The lone hit amongst this carnage was Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998) but the success of that was due to the David Dhawan/Govinda combination rather than any lingering vestige of audience love for Bachchan. Bachchan was 57 when he finally decided to hang up his hero boots. No stranger to playing older roles (he was playing much older characters as early as 1976 in Adalat and Kabhi Kabhie), he assumed what is now his current persona in 2000 with Mohabbatein and Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC).

Shahrukh would do well to look at the experiences of his illustrious predecessors and see how they successfully transformed their careers. Bachchan did not learn from Kumar and made several ill-advised career choices in order to hang on to his leading man status, unlike the older man who realised quickly enough with just two flops that his time was up. Amongst the Khan triumvirate (Saif Ali Khan doesn’t count, as usual), Aamir Khan, also 48 now, seems best equipped to seamlessly move to older roles. Salman Khan, who will turn 48 this year, is not really cut out for character roles, as he doesn’t have the acting chops for it and will continue his heroic roles for as long as the box office will support it. It is Shahrukh who has to make that tough transition.

The only man in India who continues to be a Superstar despite being in his sixties is, of course, Rajinikanth.Subscribe to me on YouTube

  • g_ray

    I think the writer has gone crazy.

  • Raaga

    U guys have not work than writing stupid stuff not shahrukh u should quit as a reporter shut up n see SRK is goin to go on on on and neva stop ppl r go watch him soooo plzzzzz done waste your energy writing all dis crap

  • Vegainko

    47 years for a movie that’s not the age. What is this nonsense? How many examples in Hollywood – when the actors who have been for many years played a romantic role? Colin Firth, Vivienne, and many others … This is a stupid article. SRK now anyway … looks like a boy

  • Maya

    Salman doesn’t have the”acting chops”? And SRK does? Wth? Have you not seen Tere Naam, Phir Milenge, Dabangg, Kyun Ki, Jaan-e-Mann, Baghban, MPK? Even in these masala movies Salman does comedy, romance, action, all in one film. Dabangg, ETT are based around his charisma & star power but more than that, he portrays characters & does a damn good job of it too. He has more versatility than Shahrukh who is rejected in any role that doesn’t require a near 50yr old to play a 25yr old loverboy.

  • raj

    You r just writing against srk.As an online media you should not be bias.

  • Frank Ocean

    I personally think that Shahrukh Khan and the other actors will be fine! They don’t need to worry about aging because we all age! It’s inevitable! Shahrukh Khan should stick to acting and continuing entertaining his fans! I’ve been a fan of his movies and hope he continues success in his life. Continue

  • toby

    can’t see any bollywood actors young/old threatening Khan’s stardom/popularity at least for more 8-9 years. Bollywood media favorite young actor “you know who” seems vastly over rated.

    on side note,
    “Saif Ali Khan doesn’t count, as usual” lol

  • Don

    Let him fail first. Then u can say anything you like. He has not had a box office failure since 2006. His films are earning well over 100 crores and he is still the overseas king.

  • Tanveer

    I think he needs to retire, along with Salman and anybody else who is over 45.

  • arun

    Shahrukh Khan is still the most bankable actor of today with only 1 flop that was 8 years ago so saying he has to do character artistes roles because of his looks is a joke an as for Rajinikanth have you seen him in real life he realy looks old an that is why he put on a lot of make up to look young but you don’t say anything about him because he’s not that big worldwide unlike shahrukh khan and amitabh bachchan

    • csi

      You go bro..

  • Ang

    SRK is not doing any form of plastic surgery unlike Aamir Khan who did after making Fanaa. Salman is too buffed makes you wonder if he and Aamir use steroids because they too buff like the ones on WWE here in the US

  • Priya

    What the helll is with this article , The three khans of bolywood are the controllers of box office! Nobody tells tom cruise of his face lines and wrinkles or for the fact brad pit, they ARE ALL AGEING BUT THey can ACT! Which is why they are still popular and make most of the money! People need to realise how import commerce truly is for ANY industry especially Bollywood if it wants to survive the next 100 years! what is with this website and writing anti-shahrukh articles, it seems to be a trend

  • Aisha

    The last flop SRK had was Paheli in 2006 (Please do not count Billu Barber as it was an extended guest appearance and other such films). Since Paheli, he has had 2 block busters (OMO and Chak de), 3 super hits (RBNJ, JBHJ and Don 2) and 4 hits (KANK, Don, MNIK and Ra one) – how do you say his time is over?

    If you look at the last twenty years in Indian cinema, SRK has been the most consistently successful actor (other Khans have been in and out), has won the most awards, has had most international recognition and popularity and has made the most money (he is the richest Indian actor alive 600 Million dollars – second best is AK with 230 million).

    Yeh Budha nahi tu Budha hay!

  • meena

    i think he looks better and better each year.

    the curious case of shah rukh khan.

    • Raj

      10 on 10 correct! Mysterious, no?

  • Navin

    You don’t know MAMMOOTY man.Well he is ABOVE 60

  • md khayyam

    it is may beast actors and i love king khan

  • Carol

    Better sooner then later he see for himself he´s aging and thats very fast. Better he quit acting before he do the first flops.

  • Leili

    looks is important for the start, when u love someone u always see him/her the way he/she looks best.that’s the case for SRK and his real fans..and to his credit,despite of ageing he still looks better than his unseen younger years!

  • ganesan

    Why u people’s always trying to show our Bollywood actors very old…it’s too bad to restrict them…see rajini&kamal sir both are aged but they still rocking…onething SRK is always evergreen young handsome man of the world…there is no one in the world to replace him …he is god of entertainment unlike all other …he still have 11+ years to act as a mainlead…

  • ganesan

    Pls never ever say SRK,SALLU,AAMIR to get rest or to play pivotal roles..they are the only reason where Indian cinema now stands…they are still need to make this large for their diehard fans…they each need to get Oscar…picture abhi bakki hai mere dosth…if u had them,then don’t make news about them that makes big issues…why u spotlight their age ,see his talent..he is huge huge actor like kamal&rajini…they only 48+…but both rajini&kamal60+…

  • ganesan

    Age is not the thing to limit SRK …he is always 25+ actor only for diehard fans…his charisma,enthusiasms,charmingness,skill&talent…he is undisputed god&king of the world where true fans never ever turn to unlike him…he have more potential to give 10000000 of DDLJ,SWADES,DARR,BAAZZIGAR,KAL HO NAA HO,CHAK DE,JAB TAK HAI JAAN,KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI….never ever underestimate him…he is god …

  • mask

    humne aaj jab taak hai jaan dekhni hai.aap rustic full bearded look me hi aache lagate ho.jaan.

  • Sushant Sharma

    SRK just trolled these guys with Chennai Express – Biggest Blockbuster of Bollywood :)

  • natesh

    please dont stop sharukh to do a lover boy in his upcoming movies

  • ved

    king & rajinikant


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