The superstar took failure on the chin. Long ago, to a question on nay-sayers, the actor had jokingly replied that he had only one thing to say to those who derided him If you like me, raise your hands; if not, then raise your standards. (Image: DC)
Shahrukh Khan, or King Khan as he is popularly called, means different things to different people. For some he is the quintessential romantic hero, for others, he embodies hope and aspiration. 2023 has been a year of remarkable renaissance for SRK, as he proved once again that he owns the screens, the box office and the hearts of his many fans. The actor has given the film industry two of its mega-blockbusters this year — Pathan (Jan 2023), and Jawan (Sept 2023); and hopefully the year will end on a high note with the much-awaited Dunki in December.
As Shah Rukh Khan turns 58 on November 2, a big bash has been planned to celebrate his birthday. A sea of fans regularly gather at a sprawling bungalow in Bandra, Mumbai, to catch a glimpse of a man who is best described as an emotion. If they are lucky, they get to see the ‘Badshah of Bollywood,’ maybe even striking his iconic pose with arms outstretched, inviting the adoring public for a hug.
He went through a hattrick of flops
Between 2016 and 2018, with Fan, Jab Harry Met Sejal and Zero failing miserably at the box office, his brand value came down several notches. According to statistics from Duff and Phelps, his brand value plunged from $106 million in 2017 to $ 55.7 million in 2022. He also lost his top spot amongst celebrity influencers.
In an industry where worth is directly proportional to success, and to how you are perceived as an individual, King Khan scored big. As cynics outnumbered well-wishers, the superstar took failure on the chin. Long ago, to a question on nay-sayers, the actor had jokingly replied that he had only one thing to say to those who derided him — "If you like me, raise your hands; if not, then raise your standards."
Was calm and dignified
He was dignity personified during the controversy surrounding his son in late 2021. His stoicism and silence indicated a man who was confident of his next move. Eschewing media interactions and over-the-top marketing and promotional gimmicks, his new mantra was ‘Wait and watch.’
And he didn’t disappoint those who waited. The 57-year-old actor re-emerged on the screen with a chiseled body and eight-pack abs, playing patriotic secret agent in Pathan. Says actor Ali Fazal: "We like celebrating people who are larger than life, and Shahrukh Khan is that. It’s hard when you are that famous, but he carries so many people and emotions with him so gracefully."
A few months later, in Jawan, he was a Robin Hood-like character, Azad, a man avenging the wrongs done to his family. Dialogues from the film such as "Rathore, Naam tho a suna hoga", the admonition to speak to the father before talking to the son, and the monologue advocating caution before voting, revealed a new Badshah Khan, an unstoppable one.
Sumit Arora, who wrote the dialogues of Jawan, says, "Atlee had a vision of showing Shahrukh Sir in a different light. We wanted a new shade to the actor we have all loved. The idea was to present a new avatar, making it massy with punchy dialogues. He is a kind man; throughout the process of the film he was involved with the writing."
His Jawan co-star Priyamani says, "He is pure charisma; so hardworking. He knows his lines by heart, not requiring any cues. Extremely down to earth, he carries an aura with him. I don’t think there is anyone who cannot not fall in love with him."
As he turns 58 on Nov 2, the teaser of Dunki will be released. The film, which marks Shahrukh’s first collaboration with Rajkumar Hirani, is based on the illegal immigration method of ‘Donkey Fight’. The actor is slated to watch the first look with his fans, who have already started his birthday festivities. The film, scheduled to be released on December 22, will showcase him in yet another avatar, informed sources say.