Shah Rukh Khan is the most famous person in Bollywood, and even though he is 57 years old, he is still the biggest sex symbol of Bollywood. His dance, romance, and shoot-em-up heroics on screen made him the movie version of a changing India.
A rare symbol of unity across India’s numerous geographical, linguistic, and religious divides is “King Khan,” whose moniker reflects decades of box office dominance.
His most recent film, Pathaan, defied boycott requests from Hindu extremists and drew raucous audiences, filling theaters to capacity.
Fans regularly make the pilgrimage to his Mumbai mansion’s gates and wait throughout the day to see a man who takes full advantage of his status as a public figure.
Being a star makes me very happy. In an interview from 2013, Khan stated to AFP, “I can never get tired of it.”
“I love the number of people who love me, the crowds that gather, the controversies, my responsibilities, my success—even my failure—and the number of people who love me. The life is exciting.
Khan was born in New Delhi to a Muslim family, not an established acting dynasty.
His early TV roles demonstrated his natural charisma, but it took him several years to break onto the big screen. After his riveting performance as an obsessive stalker in Darr, he ran the risk of being stereotyped as a villain.
However, the biggest Indian movie of 1995 propelled him to international fame and resonated with the country’s profound social transformations.
Khan portrayed a Londoner in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge who falls in love with another diaspora Indian while traveling through Europe.
They decide to wed despite her father’s wishes, who has promised her a different man in India.
It came out in a decade when the country’s economy and urban middle class were becoming more liberal. Young people were living better lives than their parents while breaking the rules.
With the exception of a Covid interruption, the film has been shown every day at one Mumbai theater for the past 27 years, making it one of the most popular Bollywood films.
Namrata Joshi, a film critic, said that Khan pioneered a new type of “romantic family hero” in Indian cinema, replacing the angsty young man archetypes that reflected the nation’s angst in earlier decades.
She stated that “many see SRK embodying… the spirit of post-liberalisation, feel-good, ambitious, and assertive India.”
Khan’s self-deprecating humor and striking looks established him as India’s most popular heartthrob.
Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh, which was published in 2021, discusses the intimate desires of contemporary Indian women through their shared admiration for Khan and his sensitive masculinity.
The 1998 film Dil Se., in which Khan pursues a mysterious woman through India’s most stunning natural landscapes, has done more to bolster this persona than any other film in his extensive collection.
Even by Bollywood standards, its stunning choreography, including Khan’s serenade to dozens of dancers atop a moving steam train, is still fondly remembered today.
‘So much love’
Khan’s face on movie posters turned into a virtual license to print money, and over the next two decades, a string of hits made him extremely wealthy.
The Indian Premier League cricket team Kolkata Knight Riders and a film production company are among his assets.
A number of personal and professional setbacks have occurred in recent years, including the 2021 arrest of his son in a drug-related case that was later dropped.
Like other actors from India’s Muslim minority, Khan has been criticized more and more by Hindu nationalists.
The most recent of several highly anticipated Bollywood films that were the subject of a boycott campaign was Pathaan, Khan’s return to the silver screen after a five-year absence. Pathaan was an action thriller about a secret agent.
In the end, Khan’s fame won out over his critics, and ticket sales for Pathaan broke the opening day record for India.
Afterward, Khan lavishly praised the fans who contributed to the film’s success.
He declared, “There is so much love from all sides, and we can never show enough gratitude.”