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One of the most intriguing experiments of 2018 is going to be the Aanand L. Rai – Shah Rukh Khan film Zero. The title announcement dropped on January 1st giving us a glimpse of an Indian superstar as a vertically challenged man – i.e. a dwarf (the word has been deemed politically incorrect). I’ll admit that the visual of Shah Rukh as a four-foot tall bon vivant took some getting used to but I immediately wanted to applaud his and Aanand’s ambition and leap of faith. You might argue that role should have been played by a vertically challenged actor instead of India’s biggest romantic star digitized to look challenged but you can’t accuse Shah Rukh of playing safe.

Meanwhile, our other superstar Salman Khan delivered yet another blockbuster Tiger Zinda Hai, which turned out to be the most successful Hindi film of the year. As Tiger, Salman does what he does best – play the superhero without the cape, the saviour of men, women and children, a spy who tames wolves with his bare hands and takes down armies – essentially James Bond and Iron Man rolled into one irresistible, morally upright, patriot superman. We’ve seen him do this before and yet we go back repeatedly to partake in the same celebration of not just good over evil but specifically Salman over evil.

insist that Shah Rukh reinvent himself but we reward Salman for playing the same role again and again? Aamir Khan isn’t part of this conversation because he’s never had a persona. He is the shape-shifter who becomes whatever the role needs him to be. Shah Rukh and Salman have both successfully nurtured images for more than two decades. But while Salman’s superman still has an overwhelmingly strong connect with audiences, Shah Rukh’s romantic hero seems frayed with time and overuse.

What makes one formula so much more durable than the other? In 2016, right after the release of Sultan, I interviewed director Ali Abbas Zafar – who went on to direct Tiger Zinda Hai. I asked him about the struggle of working with a superstar – how do you pander to the myth of a larger-than-life actor but also evolve it? Ali said that it was a ‘huge struggle.’ He said: “From the level of the scripting to the level of shooting, the biggest struggle was to keep the star power of Salman intact and yet to rediscover a superstar. There is a certain expectation that automatically comes from you as soon as there is a Salman Khan, Aamir Khan or Shah Rukh Khan in the film. And with all those expectations you still need to have your voice in it. You can’t lose your own voice, what you believe in.” Ali ended by saying that when a director does manage to achieve this difficult balance between his own artistic voice and the load of the superstar’s myth and somehow manages to satisfy the actor’s fans, he should not be proud. “One should only say, bach gaye.’

Has Salman’s persona endured better than Shah Rukh’s because the former has found directors who can find the balance, who can both pander to fans and evolve the myth just enough to make the film seem new? In the last five years, Shah Rukh has taken bigger risks in terms of material. He has worked with directors like Maneesh Sharma and Rahul Dholakia who don’t fall into his comfort zone. But the films that emerged – Fan and Raees – seemed compromised. The director’s voice seemed buried under the commercial compulsions of a superstar project.

Aanand L. Rai is one of the most distinctive and successful storytellers in Hindi cinema. His films – even the ones he produces like last year’s Shubh Mangal Saavdhan – have a wonderful homegrown sensibility. I hope he finds that elusive balance. I look forward to Zero. And I hope at the end of it, we can all say, bach gaye!
Source Link: http://www.filmcompanion.in/amp/the-superstar-conundrum-why-has-salman-khans-myth-endured-longer-than-shah-rukhs?__twitter_impression=true
asked in Movie Discussions by Mega Star (246k points)
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5 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

Salman Khan started as romantic actor,then went the comic way and drama moments in between,then the present avatar of larger than life images but he never stucked to an image . Even in his early phase he switched roles and is comfortable in all genres though he may not be excellent in some.Dabangg was a concoction of varied acting attributes he possesses.Even after Dabangg he occasionally do a Ready, Bajrangi Bhaijaan,Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Tubelight in between.
There is no myth for Salman Khan so far in totality and also he has the most loyal fan bases who accepts him unconditionally what he offers.

answered by Assistant Director (47.6k points)
selected by
+3 votes

Here we go again. She's a Salman hater and SRK worshipper and this may hurt but people follow KRK's reviews more than hers

answered by Location Manager (5.4k points)
+1 vote

There is a simple reason, Sallu's superman image is not even a decade old, while SRK's romance image has been there for atleast 22 years now. Before that Sallu was Prem for a while, then in limbo for a while, then he rediscovered himself.

SRK hasn't found a new image, and he hasn't needed to. If romance is done well, he can still excel in it.

Ultimately it comes down to the type of movies.

Just look at WOM. Dabangg best of 2010, Ready best of 2011, Bajrangi Bhaijan best of 2015. Quality just hasn't been there for him, that's the main issue. When he did come back to full fledged romance, it was the worst movie of the year, so...

answered by Unit Manager (34.1k points)
0 votes

SRK has been guilty of making movies which are neither entertaining nor content rich, except a fan perhaps....which was a pretty good movie. From hny to Dilwale to raaes to jhms all of them were muddled up.

SK know some his strengths and limitations. He knows he isn’t any method actor. He is an entertainer and he has stuck to that and given his fans what they want. That for me is the reason why he is ahead of SRK. Let’s hope all of us proved are wrong about Zero (including me).

answered by Producer (103k points)
0 votes

One main thing in Salman's films that isn't in SRK films is heroism. Most of Salman films in recent times are centered around good vs evil. Whereas SRK has tried to tackle different genres of movies and has failed. CE is the last film where SRK played a common man and evolved into a hero. He hasn't made a film on good vs evil in awhile, but he's more than willing to make a vfx heavy film that will show off his studios work, with not a good script that also fails his studio. IF SRK really wants to make him comparable to Salman in the box office numbers he needs to make a film he needs to make a film on heroism, and he can make that film a VFX heavy film and show off his studios work as well. Best example is Baahubali films which are vfx heavy and are centered around heroism.

answered by Costume designer (1k points)

fan evil vs good,
raees also same.
Only Aamir is doing different movies......