Iconic Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan just celebrated his 53rd birthday amidst much fanfare. Followed by the birthday celebrations, the theatrical trailer of his much awaited movie, ‘Zero’, was launched worldwide. As of now, the trailer has received a favorable response, with 28 million views in 19 hours and counting.
However, as one wise man said correctly, ‘All that glitters is not gold’. The past three years has been nothing less than tumultuous for this ‘romantic superstar’, and apparently ‘Zero’, directed by ‘Tanu weds Manu’ series and ‘Raanjhanaa’ fame director Aanand L Rai, is his last chance to regain his stardom in time.
Beginning as an energetic, youthful actor, who was willing to take risks, Shah Rukh Khan was once a trendsetter. Famous for his role as Lieutenant Abhimanyu Rai in the popular show ‘Fauji’, Shah Rukh Khan became famous with his grey shaded roles in movies like ‘Baazigar’, ‘Darr’ etc. To add, he maintained his image of the boy next door with movies like ‘Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman’, ‘ Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ to name a few.
However, it was the success of his 1995 movie ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ that typecast him as a larger than life romantic. Followed by movies such as ‘Dil to Pagal Hai’, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ , ‘Pardes’, ‘Yess Boss’ ‘Duplicate’ etc., which were released on the same genre and parameters. Shah Rukh Khan was officially anointed as ‘the King of Romance.’
However, the unquestionable charm started to subside in 2015, when Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’, which was released around the same time as ‘Dilwale’, not only stood steady as a rock to the challenge of SRK’s romantic flick ‘Dilwale’, but also carved a niche for itself, earning Rs. 356 crores worldwide on a budget of Rs. 145 crores. The sordid saga just didn’t there. His next feature, Maneesh Sharma’s ‘Fan’, was a mere average grosser, earning Rs. 240 crores worldwide on a budget of Rs. 85 crores.
Initially, when an SRK movie released, irrespective of whether someone else released their film or not, the superstar would win the economic game hands down. But except for ‘Dear Zindagi’, which was a critical as well as a commercial success, SRK has nothing to be proud of in the past 3-4 years, with his last movie ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’ turning out to be a domestic flop, a rare phenomenon for SRK.
On of the most prominent reason behind the slow and steady decline of SRK, is his reluctance to return to his versatile mode. The notorious era of Bollywood, where getting typecast would come to one’s rescue has long gone. One needs to accept all kinds of roles in order to ensure his survival in showbiz.
Experimenting is the need of the hour and actors as young as Ayushmann Khurrana, Varun Dhawan, Rajkummar Rao etc. are experimenting in all kinds of roles, succeeding in most of them. It is because of the improvise, adapt and overcome mantra, that Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar could resurrect their careers. Unfortunately, SRK looks in no mood to accept the change in the mood of the audience, which is why even ‘Zero’ trailer, even though favorable by statistics, has evoked a tepid response from the Indian audience.
As an ex fan of this once great actor, it hurts to see him in the place where he is now.