Every year, Salman Khan’s birthday isn’t mere a celebration within his friends in the film fraternity. It’s a festival for all his hardcore fans or should we call Bhakts! He has the most loyal fan following that immediately laps up to even some of his most mediocre outings like Race 3 and Tubelight. The Superstar who turns 53 today, is more than just a charismatic leading man. There’s a lot more to him than those perpetually objectified abs and scorching persona.
Here are 7 films of the Bhai of Bollywood that prove that the man can also ooze emotions to his characters and not just arouse enigma:-
1. Khamoshi-The Musical (1996)
This Sanjay Leela Bhansali directorial was a charming tale of a daughter who’s born to a deaf-and-mute couple. It’s unthinkable to tower above the likes of Nana Patekar, Seema Biswas and Manisha Koirala, Khan still held his own and delivered a fervent performance.
2. Tere Naam (2003)
It was alleged this volatile and violent love story was taken from the pages of Khan’s tumultuous relationship with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Khan replicated the nuances of his then bad-boy persona and unabashedly broke rules and bones as Radhe, who believed in his way or the highway. But it was the emotional arc of the character that had the viewers hooked to this otherwise problematic tale of love and longing. The climax still gives a lot of people Goosebumps.
3. Phir Milenge (2004)
How many of us would actually pay a ticket to watch Bhai as a HIV Patient who merely has a 20-minute long role in the film? Not too many. This drama that was adapted from the Hollywood weepie, Philadelphia, suffered from the curse of ‘Sank without a Trace’. But Salman was never as emotionally vulnerable before. We saw an actor and not a star. A highly underrated performance in an underrated film!
4. Jaan-E-Mann (2006)
A true-blue Broadway style musical, Shirish Kunder made a unique love triangle that was all about falling in love…again! The pre-interval portions saw the dominance of the other leading man, Akshay Kumar, but post intermission, Khan stole the story from everyone else. We guess fans didn’t want him to shed too many tears as they preferred him shedding clothes instead. Watch it nevertheless for the breath-taking visuals, soothing musical score and a yet another overlooked performance by its leading man.
5. Dabangg (2010)
The film that made Salman Khan the Salman Khan he’s today, Dabangg was an over-the-top, unapologetically doltish cop drama that saw the actor in the role of a corrupt and comical cop, Chulbul Pandey. It was the first time fans saw Bhai in a larger-than-life and magnetic character, and the actor seamlessly slipped into the role, channeling his searing persona and jocular demeanor.
6. Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)
After exhausting himself with tedious roles of breaking bones in magnanimous outings, it was time for the actor to revisit what he left far behind- A Tearjerker! This Kabir Khan directorial saw the actor as a simpleton named Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi, who religiously worships Hanuman. The duty to escort a mute girl back to her home in Pakistan seems a burden to him in the beginning, but it later becomes his duty. Harshali Malhotra and Khan’s scenes were some of the film’s most endearing and engulfing moments, and this still remains one of the actor’s best.
7. Sultan (2016)
Sultan still remains his most demanding role yet, both physically and emotionally! His breakdown scene after witnessing his embarrassing pot-belly is his best in years. But Ali Abaas Zafar also blended this eponymous character with shades of Salman, the man who cannot be defeated and the man who can charm any woman. This is one rare example where the actor’s stardom and the director’s vision combine and not collide.
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