Blog: Why Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Rajinikanth Must Reinvent Themselves

Blog: Why Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Rajinikanth Must Reinvent Themselves

Superstars of Bollywood and Tollywood need to rethink their career at this point
Blog: Why Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Rajinikanth Must Reinvent Themselves

They are  the  biggest, the  best. Larger-than-life demi-gods of all things celluloid. The can-do-no-wrong brigade has  begun to falter. Not that the  chinks are showing in  the armour  yet. At  least  not  in Salman Khan’s armour. His latest film Race 3 has  not been  liked by anyone – critics or most of the masses. Yet the  film has made  over Rs 180 crores  in the first week. Take that.

So  should Salman change his ways?  Yes!  He must because the  status quo won’t support him for too long. He is not getting any younger. Judwaa is no longer Salman Khan.  It’s Varun Dhawan. Too many indifferent  performances in films  that  lack true  magic won’t help Salman’s  career. But then Salman can look over his shoulder at his peer, adversary, foe and friend  Shah Rukh Khan’s career and  decide  it’s better to flow with the status quo than the change the course of your career  just because  the critics think your latest film sucks.

It does. But then why did Race 3 make its mandatory 100 crores so quickly? Shah Rukh Khan’s films have lately gone into the experimental mode with near-calamitous  result. His last two films Fan and Jab Harry Met Sejal have proven  box-office  non-starters. In  the first he  played his own fan, in the second he played a fan of the Gujarati road movies where two unlikely  characters travel  together to  exotic destinations.

Somewhere  in his  quest for a new horizon, Shah Rukh’s  films are getting lost  in translation. But at least he’s trying. Salman isn’t even trying to change tracks. Even  Sultan and Bajrangi Bhaijaan which he is rightly proud of, were  performances steeped in populism.

The  only Khan who  really takes risks  is Aamir.  But he  knows what the audience wants. In that sense  he is not really taking risks. He’s pretending to.

Rajinikanth  is  the X factor of Hindi cinema. Never the same force  to reckon with that  we might have thought  of  him after seeing the mass genuflection  in the  South. Rajini is currently trying to find a  middle-ground between  his cinema  and  politics. It’s a losing battle  for both Rajinikanth and  Kamal Haasan. Their  viewership  won’t flock to see their favourite actor while he is busy trying to merge the role of the abhineta with the neta. They don’t want to see their iconic actors struggling to articulate their politics  on screen thereby messing up the sacrosanct entertainment-based  relationship between fan and star.

While  the Khans and  Rajinikant  grapple with their celluloid demons ,  the ‘Ra’ factor is creeping  up on them.  Both Ranveer Singh and  Ranbir Kapoor  have an extraordinary fan base. While Ranveer  Singh has Sanjay leela Bhansali to deck up his star-power, Ranbir who could’ve been Bhansali’s blue-eyed  boy after the bluesy-hued Saawariya is struggling  to find his voice. Sanju, where Ranbir plays  Sanjay Dutt, could well be Ranbir’s comeback film.

The only  star-actor who knows how to blend and  bend his star-power into shapes that herald  a sense of social commitment is Akshay Kumar. While the Khans  struggle to get their  groove back Akshay is  all set to  win the Olympics gold medal all over again for India in the film Gold this Independence Day.

That’s the clout the Khans  should learn to exercise. Make the nation feel good  about being Indian. Being human  will follow.