Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is now in the best phase of his career. There comes a time in the life of an actor (better a hero) where he reaches the level of superstardom because his Box Office draw and mass appeal is so high, that every film of his becomes a huge Box Office success. These are the movies which create the popular charisma and star mannerisms among the hungry movie-loving audience making the actor a guaranteed success at the Box Office. Looking back at the past 5 years of Salman Khan, this elusive phase is finally a reality for him. Of course, he has given us superhit films like Maine Pyaar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Koun! and Tere Naam in the past, but the level of consistency he has reached is phenomenal and a true delight for the Bollywood superstar, or better still, a definitive Bollywood action superstar. His roles in the movies released in the past 5 years has established him as probably the biggest action hero of Hindi cinema in recent times. A look at the star’s career-graph would suggest that his onscreen persona has changed in phases over the years. Salman Khan found huge success with his second movie, Maine Pyaar Kiya and became popular as the quintessential lover boy with good looks.
His romantic image followed with another huge success of his career, Hum Aapke Hain Koun! The movie became a cultural phenomenon at the time and the song, Didi Tera Dewar Deewana became a blockbuster hit. After that, his career barring three hits went downhill, only to get rescued by the brilliant Tere Naam in 2003. His acting credentials were recognized by the audience in a major way as it featured Khan in the brilliant-yet-tragic role of an unfortunate lover. Next to come was what would become the finest phase of his film career. The dream run Salman Khan has enjoyed at the Box Office is great, keeping in the mind the uncertainty of the movie business. It all started with his movie Wanted (2009). Wanted was the remake of South film Pokiri and it set the tone for Salman’s later films to follow. Of course, next was the movie Veer which did not do well at the Box Office and the star needed a hit to confirm his stature once again. And then came Dabangg and changed everything and since then Salman hasn’t looked back. Dabangg was directed by debutant director Abhinav Kashyap and did wonders for him and the biggest entertainer of Bollywood. With these two movies, Salman’s onscreen charisma started taking a concrete shape of an action hero with a good heart who is also a bit of an endearing trouble-maker. Suddenly, Chulbul Pandey (name of his character in Dabangg) was everywhere and peole spoke his dialogue and tried to imitate his style enthusiastically.
Hit after hit, his next film was Bodyguard co-starring Kareena Kapoor, followed by Dabangg 2 and Ek Tha Tiger. In Dabangg 2, the actor yet again reprised the role of Chulbul Pandey while in Ek Tha Tiger, he brought an offbeat subject to mainstream commercial film by donning the role of a RAW officer. The interesting and funny thing about his movies is the absence of critical appreciation coupled with immense Box Office success. Seems that the Indian audience and Salman Khan’s fans just expect to watch their favorite superstar on screen, killing bad guys and romancing beautiful actresses in his own signature style. Perhaps he represents the aspirations of millions of Indian viewers who want to live the life of a hero, even for a moment, in a grand style. And when it is Salman Khan, the entertainment is guaranteed, for sure.
The star’s next movie, Jai Ho is releasing on Jan 24 and with this film again, he reprises the role of an action hero who lives his life for the people around him. Jai Ho is the remake of South superhit, Stalin which starred Chiranjeevi (Stalin was loosely-inspired by Hollywood film ‘Pay it Forward’). The trailer of Jai Ho is out and is already being loved by the masses. Come January 24, and the wait will be over and we all will get to watch the superstar doing what he does best on screen. Action and romance, albeit in his own inimitable style!