What do you do with a star like Shah Rukh Khan? Blitzkrieg.

Posted: October 29, 2011 by moifightclub in bollywood, cinema, film
Tags: , ,


Make him fly, make him cry,

make him stretch his arms, let him spread the charms.

And then give a latex suit. Aha, try that again.

It wasn’t very long ago when i had accidently discovered a picture of Shah Rukh Khan in my sister’s diary. Floppy hair, dimpled smile, casual attire – a working still from Darr which she had cut out from the newspaper and saved it in her diary (Do kids still write diaries?). And then there was a time when i would come back from school and would religiously play the entire soundtrack of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge few times before settling down for lunch. Unlike others, I was never a die hard DDLJ fan but i enjoyed it till a teacher dissected it for us one day in college and said, he’s a sissy hero. Mama’s boy is here, he can’t run away with the heroine, he wants to impress her mom and dad. And over the years, SRK managed to do it in a better way – wooing the daughters, moms and mother-in-laws at one go.

Everyone loves the story of an outsider making it big in bad and bloody bollywood. But the problem with being big is that you start playing it safe – when bigger things are at stake, the mantra is give them what they want. In the last few years, if you have seen the kind of films SRK has done, it’s easy to predict that all they wanted him was to spread his arms, smile, nod his head and be the Prince Charming. Even the ham-fest was excused beacuse he could sweep you off your feet. Not us, ask your mom, sister, sister-in-law. It’s not that difficult to find a SRK fan.

His off screen personality is an advantage. He can speak at World Economic Forum and a jhopad-patti gathering with equal ease. Unlike other dodos of bollywood who have nothing much to say, SRK is spontaneous, can tackle any question and he just doesn’t get tired. And when the off screen personality becomes so huge, it’s difficult to imagine him in any character. Brand endorsements, appearances at events, tv shows, band-bajaa, 24 hours bollywood news, documentary on his life – he does it all and then uses the smartest trick to disarm his critics – self-deprecating humor.

The question is how much of SRK can you digest? Seems we can take it all and want some more. And if that’s the reason, why play around with your brand equity, SRK?

But if he doesn’t try anything new, we will say, enough of spreading those arms. If he does, it’s a mess. Remember Paheli, Ashoka, Swades to name a few which all turned out to be big duds at the box office. So is that the reason why Ra One is lets spread the arms, do the chamak challo and let’s try something new along with it? Maybe.

Problem is what do you do with a star like Shah Rukh Khan? Make him wear the latex suit, make him fly, and do endless jokes around the crotch? The only way to claim the throne?

But crass & crotch was never his mantra. He has often said in his interviews that he is not comfortable doing intimate (kiss/nude) scenes because he knows his audience is ma-behanbhabhi-family audience. And that’s why i failed to understand what forced him to go for such extreme shift of gear and in such bad taste. I am fine with everything on screen but when you target the kids, you don’t play around with the crotch, gay jokes, condom-condom and booby key tricks. Do Aryan-Suhana approve of this humour? If yes, great. The man who taught us that it’s all about the dil, when and how did crotch became the ‘main part’? Disturbing signs indeed.

Apart from the role of eternal lover who can stretch his arms and let the music play, the only roles which has been able to cash in on his brand value are of two kinds – the irreverent and the menacing one. Main Hoon Na (without the Indo-Pak bit) and Om Shanti Om are desi comic book films filled with irreverent fun. Nobody takes nothing seriously and what a fun it turned out to be! It might be bit too early to say that Don is all about back to Darr-Anjam days, a sleeker version, and without the streaks of a violent lover – he is bad because he is bad. The idea of turning our dil-ka-hero into a superhero-with-a-hart was a great idea but then you don’t mess it up so badly – comic book meets family entertainer meets super powers meets sufi alaaps meets sci-fi meets god-knows-what. Even Spiderman has family issues, right? First things first, sack the writing team, SRK. Four writers and they could not design a conflict for the Super-hero?

And then get out of that cocoon of friends and family friends and friends of families. Yes, they will always wish the best for you but they might not be the best in the business. Time to try out new partners. Remember Chak De India – Before the film’s release nobody believed that people will come to watch 13 unknown heroines with SRK in scruffy beard. So why not a Vishal Bhardwaj, Raj Kumar Hirani, Dibakar Banerjee, Sriram Raghavan, Imtiaz Ali, Anurag Kashyap or may be someone completely new. May be they have some better ideas to Un-shahrukh the Khan and that too without the latex suit. Or may be a better latex suit for you if you decide to go for the sequel. It’s easy to appreciate the effort, the intention, and the grandeur of some of the sequences but nothing beyond that. Even the story idea was good but that’s about it.

Do it Khan, do it. Do it before it’s too late. The new generation accepts and discards super-heroes everyday. My 2 year old niece is already glued to tv for a robotic cat called Doraemon. This week she took baby steps in bollywood nursery as i showed your pics to her and now she can easily spot Sarook Kaan. After watching the film, as an afterthought i taught her the Rockstar move. Now every time we say Rockstar, she does the kiddie version of headbanging by violently shaking her head in all directions and ends the performance by removing her unkempt hair from the face.

  1. Varun Varghese says:

    You missed Dibakar Banerjee….I imagine him directing SRK in a Delhi based serial killer movie with a dark-humour undertone, ya SRK will play the killer! Nice Post. And ya the biggest irony of this blog is that here in the ‘leave reply’ section, the spell-check doesn’t approve of the word MOVIE. Oh the word ‘blog’ also..intentional?

  2. Varun Varghese says:

    @moi the Movie and Blog thingy has to do something wd this laptop, even fb & twitter showing it..I started thinking something else. Nevermind. Ya I found DB’s name🙂

  3. haven’t seen film bt your write is quite appealing. hope that SRK will listen you🙂

  4. ladynimue says:

    yet to watch the movie but kinda knew whats going to be there ,, reviews prove me right .. and yet i some how am amused SRK did a different thing ..

  5. darkndusky says:

    So sad to hear abt the sickkk humour in the movie….Its the same kind you see in most Karan Johar movies….highly sickening and nothing remotely original about.
    Cute and contemporary was “Return Of Hanuman” . “Aasman Ko Chukar ” was so much better than any chammak challo dipped in “Fair and lovely” can ever hope to be.

  6. fantastically written, and this not coming from a fan boy makes it even more epic. Good work. Someone needs to send this to Mannat. #FanBoy

  7. Om says:

    Here are Samit Basu’s thoughts on RaOne. Do you agree?

  8. George says:

    FAnBois ..lol
    srk can’t act to save his life.. rofl

  9. Dialoguebaazi says:

    There is a vast difference between what he talks in his interviews and what he does in films..He said he is not comfortable doing nude/sex/kiss scenes,but he did so in Maya Memsaab,KANK etc.Crass is not his mantra but all his films by his friends have gay jokes,sexist jokes,body part jokes..Only Shimit Amin,Farhan and Ashutosh has refrained from using cheapness(he said cheap is what Shahrukh is and he defines cheap during RNBDJ promotion).

    He was always spontaneous and composed in his interviews and hardly has goof-ups like other dodos from bollywood in his interviews.But in recent times he got the complete geography of south India wrong and he even said people all over the world doesn’t watch Asian films,They watch only Bollywoood films among Asian films other than Hollywood.This statement is really funny considering so many of the Hollywood flicks are remakes of Asian movies.He seems to be getting desperate in interviews these days justifying overdose of him and RaOne promotions in an uncharacteristic manner,He even forgot to use his self-depreciating humor.And even the standards of his humor has gone down.

    The point is from all these it appears for the first time he is having problem of coming into terms with the brand shahrukh or his stardom which is in the decline as far as BO go.It’s almost as if “he has become too big for his own shoes” and stopped thinking about making films and he would rather makes “Packages with SRK brand” and sell it just like some of the south Indian actors or a Salman Khan.and the dialogue “Safar Khan Ek image hai,Main safar khan keliye kaam karta hoon” really seems true at this moment.But for all us(haters and fans alike) he is at his best when he doesn’t have to try too hard cause he still can be the vulnerable lad we saw in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa

  10. Totally in agreement with you brother… Nobody could have put in better words, but you…. I am a SRK fan !! But am too tired of watching him doing the same act again and again, making the mockery of himself. How I wish SRK read’s this blog-post… And yes, he needs to get out that friends circle of his… Who are just not doing any good to him… I would love to watch in a VB or DB film.. Both can bring out the best in him… And as You said can “Un-SRK” him. Thanks for the post !!

  11. Deja vu. 2 decades back, people wanted Amitabh to do the same thing. Use his brand to change things around Bollywood. But he could not. I doubt SRK would be able to. I was hoping that Chak De’s success would give him the confidence to do different things. But alas.

  12. Fatema says:

    Love the off-screen man and can’t stand him on-screen. One thing Ra.One needed was an overdose of SRK which is there in every film irrespective of whether it needs it or not. Ra.One needed it big-time and it just wasn’t there. #Fail#. Secondly, superhero movies are about universal values. If only the writers had figured that out a lack of conflict wouldn’t have hurt the film. Agree, so much effort and money and so much wastage hurts. And somehow this time round coz its SRK. Never cared for his success or failure but when u see crap like Houseful and Bodyguard get their undeserved day in the sun you somehow end up wishing that effort got its appreciation even if the results were poor.

  13. Sam says:

    Please somebody send this blog link to SRK… He needs it and need it badly… And we deserve to see him in a Kashyap or Bharadwaj’s movie

  14. felinei says:

    Why cry about retarded actors who cant get above themselves…imagine deniro , al pacino still doing taxi driver n scent of woman charachters all their lives in different movies….Ramu is right. one doesnt even need a director for directing the khan asses other then aamir, as they are all trying to become rajnikant. And i bet even Salmaan phenomenon will fade, maybe only some die hard eid fans will watch even crap stuff of his as charity feelings on eid day, but then even the iq of your audience tells a lot about you. Hope this Khans never work with true talents like AK, DB, VB as they dont have the balls too, and hope they grow really old before they realise this. Like Amitabhs arrogance was his downfall so shall this asses fall and maybe return as old farts in sidey roles.

  15. Akhil says:

    @dialoguebaazi That Zafar Khan line was actually said by SRK. Check Mushtaq Sheikhs Still Reading Khan which came before LBC.

  16. Shazia Malik says:

    Yep. Just had a huge ‘debate’ with my husband about Ra One (like we needed another one). So one question that’s been nagging me is why would SRK make a film like Ra One? a) To make money. b) To demonstrate that India is technologically at par with the west. c) To tell a good story.

    Wikipedia claims its already made 57 crores in three days (total budget being 175 cr) and I’m sure he’ll have no problem recovering the rest.

    And if great films were made just by hiring the best of the best any filthy rich a****** would be making masterpieces.

    If he wanted to tell a good story… well that’s another story. Of course the word ‘good’ and the idea of ‘art’ is subjective yadi yadi yada and that’s what my husband argued. My definition of ‘good’ might not agree with billions of others but there are some basic standards that stories must subscribe to. Kinda? Hopefully? I love Sharukh Khan and nothing will ever change that. The charisma this man oozes is unparalleled. And I wanted to enjoy him. And be carried away by the film. But I wasn’t. At every point I made excuses for the film. I tried to shrug off my prudishness at the airport frisking scene. Remember, ‘it’s a masala movie’. Laugh.***SPOILER BEGINS*** I was almost tempted to check facebook when G-One dies.***SPOILER ENDS***

    But why? If SRK can go to such lengths to make a film like this, why would you shortchange yourself on the story? Why? Why? Why? Bringing me back to my original question… why would he make a film like Ra One.

  17. Shazia Malik says:

    Oops sorry, I forgot to mention, ‘Spoiler Alert’ in the above post. My bad.

  18. vinjk says:

    wasn’t as bad a movie as portrayed by many reviews. yes, the jokes were all lame and kinda vulgar…plot was a lot similar to terminator2, HART from Ironman.

    but overall, i think it was decent movie, with really good CG and FX. I liked the idea of setting it in the gaming world.

    good effort

  19. Shelli says:

    If he wanted to tell a good story… well that’s another story. Of course the word ‘good’ and the idea of ‘art’ is subjective yadi yadi yada and that’s what my husband argued. My definition of ‘good’ might not agree with billions of others but there are some basic standards that stories must subscribe to. Kinda? Hopefully? I love Sharukh Khan and nothing will ever change that. The charisma this man oozes is unparalleled. And I wanted to enjoy him. And be carried away by the film. But I wasn’t. At every point I made excuses for the film. I tried to shrug off my prudishness at the airport frisking scene. Remember, ‘it’s a masala movie’. Laugh.***SPOILER BEGINS*** I was almost tempted to check facebook when G-One dies.***SPOILER ENDS***

  20. Aman says:

    May be they shouldn’t do anything with so much preparation..Aamir’s Mangal Pandey,Salman’s veer and SRK’s RaOne were their dream projects and yet they yielded in mediocre products.One thing common about all these movies were the writing was poor..All three directors were known for earlier debacles..Kehtan Mehta,Anil Sharma and Anubhav Sinha probably are the last names you would think of when you are making your dream project..And the fact that Aamir and Srk hasn’t yet worked with VB,Anurag Kashyap,Dibakar Banerjee,Shriram Raghavan and even Imitiaz Ali really makes us think all they want to achieve now is king of Box Office status..And think about this a lesser known Khan has already worked with VB,Shriram and Imtiaz..

  21. My question is What you do with the actor called Shah Rukh Khan. I know, most of critics don’t agree with his talent. Some blast him as ‘One Expression Actor’ but he’s much much more than that. He has played obsessed lover twice, in fact thrice and all three times with different panache. He took risks in start of his career. He is the only mainstream actor to go through all mediums of acting. He made fans from all mediums. So, it’s safe to assume the two type of fans (Theater/Tv) are not the fan of Super Star Shah Rukh Khan, which means he has talent. Why every damn director, who is tagged as ‘Finest Today’ is running after him. They do think he’s magnificent. And he has proven it too, from time to time. With Baazigar/Darr, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (Even Yess Boss/Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman), Dil Se, Hey Ram, Swades, Kal Ho Na Ho, Paheli, Asoka and so on. He has range of exceptional actor and proven it too. The problem is, he hasn’t challenged himself enough after 90s. His love for stardom and masala audience is just causing him damage on this part, even that didn’t come out right with RaOne. I remember a very prominent Bengal Director saying, No one can match his screen presence and skills today’. Vishal wants to un-shah rukh him and praised his skills. Every one except for few but then why you see every tom dick and harry blogger/tweeter go on and say anything? Because he is not smart with picking movies like Aamir. When Aamir fails as an actor, he was miscast…when SRK fails, he hams. May be, i am biased but i find SRK better than Aamir (Seems obsessed here but well). Take last 5 Years, do the analysis and then for career.
    So, my question again in fact to the star himself, what to do with the talent? And the answer doesn’t seem promising for now.

  22. For all that Aamir is i really prefer SRK ,Because he is and always will be a movie star than an actor also because i always feel Aamir is to be to rigid an actor . So, When he works so hard to get to where he has,He is bound to be conscious of his choices and decisions to his maintain position . And in his career ,Especially of late rather than the movies he has done, It seems the movies he rejected has made a bigger significance in his life. Rajkumar Hirani wanted SRk to play in Munnabhai and Danny Boyle’s first choice was SRk ,But the circle around SRK was so huge ,Poor Danny couldn’t get to him.
    Now lets consider those movies and the actors who played those roles and what it did to their careers . Sanjay Dutt is still milking his career thanks to the stupendous success of the Munnabhai Series and Anil Kapoor acted in Slum dog Millionaire and went to the Oscars ,Got the publicity and landed in a plum role in the great action series “24” .
    Looking back SRK’s late career seems to be defined by the movies he declined rather than the movies he did.
    Even in down south a similar thing happened when Ajith the then established big star turned down a movie called Gemini in favour of a movie called RED .RED bombed at the B.O and Gemini became the biggest hit of that year ,Which propelled Vikram to Super Star status .
    The heavy duty marketing of Ra.One can be explained by simply as , For a person who almost single handedly ruled Bollywood for almost two decades ,Was shocked by the success achieved by movies like Gajini,3 Idiots, Wanted,Ready,Dabbang, Bodyguard ,Singham,ZNMD .All of which has individually achieved success on an unprecedented scale (Rs 100 CR+ Collections) .Hence he wanted to prove to the world , the industry , And most importantly to himself as to who is the real KING of Bollywood .
    But as you say it’s not late to make amends and take his rightful position back.But to do that he has to do what he did in the first place to get to this position . He really needs to let his movie do the talking than himself ,Even though how fun it is when he gets going.

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