For anybody who has been a part of Entertainment Journalism for a long time, writing about Shah Rukh Khan, especially on his birthday every year, surely happens to be a daunting task. What to write that hasn’t been published before? Anyway, the actor is all set for a grand celebration and indulge in double the fun. 2nd November, 2018 not only marks his entry into the 53rd year of his life but also the trailer release of Zero, where the actor veers into the space of experiment and give a euphoric cinematic experience to the audience.
But before we witness what he has in store for us with Zero, let’s dive into the 10 most solid performances of the actor:-
1. Chamatkar (1992)
Before SRK shot to super-stardom, we got a fascinating and endearing glimpse of the actor. Playing the role of a village simpleton named Sundar; Khan proved heroism can stem from ordinariness too.
2. Baazigar and Darr (1993)
The reasons why we are mentioning both the films together are simple- They released in the same year, had the actor portray a villainous character, and made him Shah Rukh Khan the star from Shah Rukh Khan the actor. If the Abbas-Mastan absorbing thriller was a revenge saga, the late Yash Chopra’s was a gripping tale of obsession and dread. And Khan essayed both the roles with palpable grin and potent menace.
3. Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1994)
Regarded as his greatest film till date, SRK played a musician, Sunil, who loves a girl named Anna. But there’s a problem, she loves Chris and Chris loves her too! The idea of a love triangle may appear to be tiring and tedious, but the late Kundan Shan infused mystique into the undecorated world of Goa, and also squeezed out the best act from its leading man!
4. Baadshah (1999)
This still remains of our abiding guilty pleasures. Unpretentious and unapologetic about its buffoonery and tomfoolery, this Abbas-Mastan comedy was far from great, but it was still great to see Shah Rukh in a role that required him to ham, and ham more, and make no bones about it. Before Baadshah, nobody knew the actor could pull off the genre of slapstick and that too with so much frolic and fluidity.
5. Devdas (2002)
Khan’s eponymous character was a metrosexual lover, which later turns into unkempt and battered when separated from the love of his life, Paro. The passion and the pain in the eyes of Khan made Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas an enchanting watch, if not a classic.
6. Swades (2004)
Years after showcasing the brand Shah Rukh Khan barely required breaking a sweat in his films; Ashutosh Gowariker brought the actor back on the screen in the form of Mohan Bhargav, a NASA scientist who rediscovers his roots during a trip to India. Shedding all the trappings of his stardom, SRK delivered a heartfelt and subdued performance, carefully handling the nuances of a man who always longed for the Indian soil!
7. Chak De! India (2007)
After Gowariker, it was Shimit Amin’s turn to exploit the often untapped acting prowess of Shah Rukh Khan, instead of opting to portray the stardom of SRK. Kabir Khan, the coach of the Women’s Hockey Team, was a man of a few words, but hell hath no fury than Khan enraged. He was volatile and vociferous, yet broke down before an entire stadium when India won the World Cup and grinned like a Cheshire cat when he returned to his hometown and reclaimed his lost glory. This was Shah Rukh Kahn at his best!
8. My Name Is Khan (2010)
Karan Johar, with this part moving, part manipulative drama, made us believe he could give us a SRK character beyond the Rajs and the Rahuls. We met someone we had never seen before, let alone met. His name was Rizvan Khan and he was not a terrorist. He was an autistic patient and thrived on simplicity and innocence. Constructing the narrative of the film against the backdrop of terrorism, My Name Is Khan could have easily derailed had it not been for our hero’s ardor and aura.
9. Fan (2016)
Arguably his most unfairly and undeservingly dismissed performance and film, Fan was a drama that stemmed both from a personal and fictional space. The actor played a double role; one was that of a Superstar called Aryan Khanna and the other of his fan Gaurav Chandna. With two drastically different roles, SRK blended his performance with the arrogance of a hero and the gleams of a fan. Post intermission, the gleam of the fan turned grotesque, but the arrogance of the star remained intact. Wish this film got its due!
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Anjaam, Yes Boss, Dil Se, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Main Hoon Na, Veer-Zaara, Paheli and Dear Zindagi.
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