By VEDANT KABRA
Imagine living in a palatial house.
Imagine being chased by people wherever you go.
Imagine cameras chasing you everywhere.
Imagine living with the conundrum of signing your autograph on a cheque.
The inner and outer world of Shah Rukh Khan.
As you read this article, that man is laughing his way to the bank – 3rd super successful film in a row. Super successful because Ra. One, Don 2, and Jab Tak Hai Jaan never catapulted him into the league with the other two Khans (its not funny how you never envisage Saif when someone says Khan) have been residing for a while.
What is the secret of the other two Khans, which the apparent KING has not been able to crack? Aamir doesn’t command the frenzy Salman does – yet his films rake in more moolah than ever, each time they hit the screens. Aamir doesn’t command the adoration and admiration that Salman has (and which exponentially rise with each single release). The two seem to be doing reasonably well, and after an entire decade of PRESIDING over the affairs of the big leagues, the king of polls, the stuff every teenage girls’ dreams are made of has seemingly lost his charm, and well.. his ability to draw crowds, mass hysteria and all that jazz.
I’ve witnessed a street full of Kolkatans eager to catch the Qishi tennis ball (the worst kind this world has produced) Shah Rukh was throwing into the air when he had first come to Kolkata as principal owner of Kolkata Knight Riders.
And here I am, at his ‘home ground’, munching on popcorn inside a dark theatre. It’s a comedy (apparently) but I hear giggles in emotional (apparently) scenes as he plays the 20 something year old (AGAIN) embracing a 20 year old (by virtue of excellent photoshop and VFX skills). The joke’s on him. (Really?)
Dilwale opened with another biggie, and although it EXPECTEDLY RAKED IN MORE THAN it’s more than just worthy competitor (I hated Ram Leela, and I had no intentions of watching either of the films but I succumbed to the incessant requests of SRK’s target audience – my 12 year old brother).
Bajirao Mastani had a diluted target audience. Definitely not the holiday family audience. And SRK – with all it’s big cars etc. managed to pull those 12 year olds into the theatre who are accompanied by the parents (which is also testament to his AMAZING marketing skills which were not put to display this time around – perhaps he too had lost faith in this film – but who knows, for he sold his broadcasting rights etc and recovered every single penny he had invested) Reach out to one, 3 will follow and lo – your pockets are now heavier.
Is it because of 3500 screens? Or protests? Or what? that the film has managed to technically tank at the box office? (Now when I say tank, for a Shah Rukh Khan film, it essentially means him earning lesser profits than usual with audience approval at an all time low.)
Maybe it’s time Mr. Khan realised that the audience doesn’t care about the familial values and the entertainment at 100 miles per hour and patriotism that he has been trying to preach through his last outings. His co stars have always said that he wants to spend more on films because the audience is giving him time.
Well, sorry sir, but we love the mindless comedies Mr. Shetty has been making but believe it or not, you have single handedly thrown him off his game. Chennai Express, Singham 2 and now Dilwale – compare it to Bol Bachchan, Singham and Golmaal 3. You’ll know what I’m talking about.
This trend of banking on poor scripts, puerile humour, senseless action and slapstick comedy was originated in the south (Mr. Shetty hails from the south) and it is okay when he does such films with Ajay Devgn. For no other reason, but that he is good at it.
You simply aren’t.
I ENDURED 3 150+ minutes this evening, with the occasional respite peppered by Varun Dhawan, Varun Sharma, Sanjay Mishra and Johnny Lever. I was happier watching them. Yes, those eyes still speak a 1000 words when they’re moist and they’re almost 3/4ths open, and I would root for you when you embrace the heroine EVEN WHEN YOU’RE THE VILLAIN because DRAMA IS YOUR FORTE.
Stretch your arms out and you’ll know what it’s worth.
EVERY BODY WOULD CHOOSE THAT OVER WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING.
Entertainment has been misconstrued severely in the past 6-7 years or so. You’ve not outdone yourself in any film, you haven’t made the effort to outreach your previous outings in any sense of the word in any of your films.
You have done nothing. And you aren’t the Shah Rukh Khan I knew.
The one I knew DARED to make a Ra.One because it was cool, it seemed huge when it was conceived and well.. different. And something no-one had attempted before. Never mind the brickbats.
Had better sense prevailed, you’d have incubated fresh ideas for the script (but that’s passable ONLY in this case).
I was more entertained by Devdas, Veer Zara, Chak De India than I have been by Chennai Express, Happy New Year and Dilwale (combined and multiplied by 1000). My parents love your recent films because they’re the cheapest forms of escapist cinema. But, I haven’t heard them mention Chennai Express to me the way they mention Veer Zara. We never watch endless reruns of Happy New Year, but we have watched Chak De in its totality, not missing a single advertisement on Set Max. There was a palpable excitement while watching your movies – a close second to the adrenaline rush I get while watching Hrithik’s movies. But that’s a thing of the distant past.
Commercial cinema will make the walk to the bank rather exciting.
Your original brand of cinema (Darr, DTPH, VZ etc.) will engrave your name in history.
Lest you don’t want that – thus rendering my entire argument/assertion invalid.
Im glad Dilwale didn’t do too well.
For art’s sake.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.