Shah Rukh Khan loves being called King of Romance, Badshah of Bollywood, No#1 etc etc. But one thing he loves more than being called any of them is ‘himself’.
The King Khan, no doubt, is obsessed with himself.
But now Mr. Khan’s obsession is peeping out of the 70 mm silver screen, especially in the last decade.
In Om Shanti Om (2007) and Billu (2009), he practically played himself.
In Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) and Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012), he went back to his mindless romances and got more bad reviews than good.
Fortunately for him though, the box-office has been kind to him, courtesy his loyal fan base and his business acumen which have proven better than his acting skills.
Critical acclaims fail to reach him, despite his ‘good friends’ in media and ‘trade analysts’.
Dilwale was the biggest disappointment of all time. The movie released along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and lost the battle by a long run. This, despite the fact that Khan, using his influence, even managed to get his home production released in around 1200 more screens than the competition.
Initially, his business sense prevailed and SRK managed to maintain a good lead over Bajirao. However, slowly and gradually, the margin faded away.
Team SRK was tasked to ensure that both the movies were not compared in media houses.
But even that did not prevent from Dilwale losing to Bajirao.
However, at the end of the day, the movie created a new record in terms of money lost by the distributors, which amounts to Rs 50-60 crore.
Nevertheless, we all loved Shah Rukh in the 90s – the one who defined romance and proved that even a negative character could be a protagonist in a movie. It was not long ago when Facebook walls and Twitter posts were choc-a-bloc with comments by his fans after Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir decided to stop running“ DDLJ”. The movie was back in halls in a matter of week.
Still, would it be possible for any cinema hall to run any of SRK’s movies of the last decade even for a year? Doubtful, I’d say.
We have lost the SRK we all loved during the last few years.
The King has failed to reinvent, be it himself or be one with the content. The characters and roles that he essays, one cant help but notice that Shah Rukh Khan can’t get over himself or his past success.
His recent movies have anecdotes of his earlier success stories. However, one cant really be sure if SRK would like to use anecdotes of any of his last five movies in times to come, provided he manages to survive the tide in the coming days.
No doubt, SRK finds his name missing from the list of the top five grossers of all time:
1. PK (2014): Rs 735 crore
2. Bajrangi Bhaijaan(2015): Rs 626 crore
3. Baahubali: The Beginning (2015): Rs 600 crore
4. Dhoom 3 (2013): Rs 536 crore
5. Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (2015): Rs 431 crore
His admirers, even the closeted ones, are excited about ‘Fan’, or so it appears from the response the trailer and first look of the movie have generated.
Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘good friend’ critics have welcomed the ‘unique concept’ and fans believe that ‘Fan’ would be a hit and they have good reasons to feel so.
#1 he is no more playing a lover boy, #2 the movie is from the YRF banner, #3 It’s about them – the fans, who have been supporting him through thick & thin.
However, if you poke a little further, these fans might as well admit that they are apprehensive that the movie might fall flat. It has happened in the past and could well happen again.
The irony that the fans fail to notice is that SRK is yet to get over himself in ‘Fan’. This strange obsession that the megastar has with himself is getting on the audience’s nerves and could prove detrimental for his already shaky career.
The movie, which is slated to release on April 15, revolves around two characters – superstar Aryan Khanna and his look-alike fan Gaurav Chanana (both played by SRK himself).
While the journey of Aryan has resemblance to Shah Rukh’s own, it will be crucial for the audience to identify Aryan’s character with that of SRK. Besides, Gaurav has some shades of SRK’s ‘Darr’ character.
The fan following Shah Rukh has built over the last 25 years is at stake with this movie opening Friday. Since he has time and again asserted, “I am the last of the stars.”
The writing on the wall is clear for Mr. Khan — perform or perish.