Growing up, despite the physical boundary between India and Bangladesh, the great cultural influence of Bollywood and its "King Khan" is undeniable.
There's nothing left to talk about Shah Rukh Khan's charming appearance, his dimpled smile, his dreamy eyes. Also, let's not forget his iconic 'arm open pose' that makes everyone go gaga over him.
We have done it all as SRK's fans! From obsessing over his every new film and seeking comfort in his songs. We have mimicked his dialogues to romantic partners and even danced to his songs at weddings.
Khan is often accused of lacking versatility in his acting career but his vast filmography tells a different story. On Khan's 56th birthday, we present you with our top five picks of his underrated excellent films. In these films, Khan proves his acting abilities more than his most loved and popular ones.
Kabhie Haan Kabhie Na (1994)
Kabhie Haan Kabhie Na, the coming-of-age rom-com directed by Kundan Shah is an underrated work of Khan. Here he portrays one of the sweetest roles of his career as Sunil. By conventional standards, Sunil is a no-hoper. He is head over heels in love with Anna (Suchita Krishnamurti) but Sunil's band-mate Chris owns her heart. Desperate, Sunil makes some mistakes he should not have done.
Sunil, however, does not shy away from owning up to his mistakes. He is imperfect and flawed, but his happy-go-lucky role has a certain level of warmth that will make you root for him. Props to the film for following a non-traditional and more realistic ending that films of this genre tend to ignore.
Dil Se (1998)
Mani Ratnam and A R Rahman's piece of art Dil Se is a cult classic. Seeped in socio-political commentary, Dil Se tells a doomed love story with an unforgettable soundtrack.
Amar is a program executive in All India Radio who meets Moina (Manisha Koirala). Soon he becomes fixated on her despite her constant rejections. On the surface, it might seem like a glorification of toxic relationships. But, Dil Se does an admirable job at embedding political messages. Amar represents the central region of India and Moina stands for the minorities in India.
While Khan was unconvincing in some scenes, he manages to give a sensitive performance as an infuriating, vulnerable Amar. In essence, Khan has more than "Chaiyya Chaiyya" to offer in Dil Se and it deserves a watch.
After watching Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham for the zillionth time, it is quite difficult to accept Khan in any role where he is not making a slow-motion helicopter entry or not dancing in shiny sherwanis. Swades, crafted by Ashutosh Gowariker, has none of it. But it has Khan as Mohan- an Indian expatriate working at NASA. The film projects Mohan's endearment towards the peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of rural India.
Mohan comes to India to meet his foster mother. Slowly, he develops a deep affection for the village community despite its many flaws. Driven by a sense of responsibility, he decides to give up his dream of working in the US to serve his people.
There are a handful of films that can stoke patriotism in the audience as Swades does. And in this film, Khan succeeds in something that he often struggles to do- 'doing less!' And that makes Swades one of his finest works.
Chak De! India (2007)
In the Mount Rushmore of Indian sports films, Chak De! India still reigns supreme. Before the 'overly-patriotic sports films' trend consumed Bollywood, Shimit Aman gifted the industry with this spectacular film. "Chak De! India'' is a fictional story about the Indian women's national hockey team.
Khan did absolute justice with his role as Kabir Khan, a coach with a past, who is in search of redemption. The film explores India's warped Islamophobia and gender politics. And it succeeds in breaking down the larger-than-life persona of Khan.
Kabir Khan's ruthless methods of coaching seem unconventional to the girls at first. However, they soon realise the essentiality and effectiveness of his teaching to make the team unstoppable. The iconic '70 minute speech' of Khan is bound to give you a shot of adrenaline. You are sure to cheer for the man when he finally vindicates himself through his team's victory.
My Name is Khan (2010)
People can keep fantasizing about the iconic duo of Shah Rukh-Kajal in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Kuch Kuch Hota Hain, and K3G all they want. But the film that illustrated their most powerful delivery is 'My Name is Khan,' with the direction of Karan Johar.
The film deals with a highly sensitive topic following the unfortunate consequences faced by a family due to 9/11. The relationship between Rizvan, an Asperger's patient, and Mandira, has its share of weals and woes. But it is also heartbreaking to an extent to sit through it.
It is rewarding to see how mature Khan has grown as an actor from his "Rahul, naam toh suna hoga" phase to "My Name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist." Arguably, this remains the best performance of Khan on big screen.