A loving open letter to the most loved superstar in our country on his 5oth birthday!
Shah Rukh Khan – An icon who symbolizes romance on a larger than life canvas, spectacular entertainers on the silver screen and the euphoria of millions of fans across the globe scores his golden jubilee today! While most people see him as a superstar who has this peculiar habit of delivering blockbuster after blockbuster, there are elements of this firebrand that intrigue me way more!
Mr. Khan plays multiple roles in his real life as he does in the ‘reel life’ (and equally well, if not better) – An actor, a star, a producer, a businessman, a husband, a father, a teacher / motivational speaker (a more recent phenomena), a sports promoter, a pioneer for the visual effects revolution in Hindi movies and more. Most of us watch his movies at the cinemas, have a great time and go back home feeling that we have been served a dose of entertainment that is well worth the money we paid for it, but it's fascinating to look beyond the images that play out on the silver screen and take a peep into the efforts that go behind delivering those dreams to moviegoers.
The last few movies that SRK featured in were Ra One, Chennai Express, Happy New Year, Don 2 and Jab Tak Hai Jaan and in the next few months, we shall witness the release of Dilwale, Fan and Raees. If you analyse each one of these films carefully, you’d realise that with every release, the envelope has been pushed a great deal in the context of production, storytelling and performance! Likewise, each one of these films have been the results of brave decisions that not every actor / producer out there would take, like SRK did. If Ra.One became the showreel for indigenously created visual effects in India, Chennai Express gave a film maker like Rohit Shetty the scale and production values that opened up the market for his (even otherwise hugely successful) blockbusters up to levels that he had never achieved before. If Jab Tak Hai Jaan resurrected the charm of old school romance at a time when sex, sensationalism & skin show were the order of the day, Happy New Year brought back the advent of true blue multi-starrer spectacles! And if these were not enough, Dilwale promises to redefine entertainment, Fan is poised to be one of the best performances of SRK’s career & Raees has the potential to completely remould the image of SRK that has been built over 2 decades!
It takes an insane degree of passion to make films that announce the commencement of the Indian film fraternity’s march towards matching the standards of the best in the west. It takes a hell lot of bravery to play those gambles which can turn out to be jackpots that would be remembered as game changers in the pages of Indian cinema’s history. And most importantly, it takes a crazy wit and a supernormal level of self confidence to treat all of it as if it's just another day in the field!
To the most passionate, bravest & wittiest BAAZIGAR in the Hindi film fraternity…Here’s wishing you CHAMATKAR after CHAMATKAR…CHAHAT from the ARMY of DEEWANA's in PARDES as well as SWADES…all the JOSH & MOHABBATEIN in the world JAB TAK HAI JAAN…DIL SE! – a FAN.
- Akshaye Rathi
( Akshaye Rathi is a film exhibitor & distributor. He tweets from @akshayerathi )
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