Growing up Shahrukh Khan (SRK) was my most favourite Bollywood Actor. But a large part of my admiration had to do with him being the numero uno actor in the 90s and his anchoring gigs at award shows. In retrospect, I may not consider him a brilliant actor but some of his performances have been truly top notch. So here is Whims and Quirks with Top 5 Movie Performances of the superstar of my generation, Shahrukh Khan. (Also, I joined twitter because of him.)
1) Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Director – Nikhil Advani
Kal Ho Naa Ho is my favourite SRK movie and also in my opinion his most accomplished work. His character Aman in the movie is on the outset a happy soul and an agony aunt, but at the same time is facing multiple internal conflicts.
For a change, SRK gets a layered character to portray that experiences myriad of emotions in the movie. I have always been critical of the movie as a whole, as I adore the comedy parts and find the emotional scenes a bit over dramatic, but no one can deny that SRK did a splendid job. He gets a lot of scope in the movie to test his comic timing and is pitch perfect in all his comedic scenes with Saif Ali Khan, Sulbha Arya, Sushma Seth, Lillete Dubey and Delnaaz Irani. In the dramatic parts, he does go over board here and there, but definitely connects with the audience.
All in all, keeping the complexity of the character in mind and SRK’s execution (especially in the comedic scenes), Aman is my number #1 on the list.
2) Baadshah (1999)
Director – Abbas – Mustan
At the time Baadshah released, SRK was on top of my favourite list along with Govinda as I had watched movies only featuring the two of them (they were a sellout at home video parlours in the 90s). Also Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), his last release, was an all time blockbuster.
Baadshah was SRK’s only release in 1999 and surprisingly did not do well at the box-office. I too watched it only years later on TV and completely loved it. The movie is based on a small time detective who gets involved in a high profile case, unintentionally, and how he solves the case in the end. The movie is hilarious, one of Abbas-Mustan’s best work and so is SRK. He does complete justice to his character of Raj in this comedy of errors. I love SRK doing comedy, I think, he should try this genre more often. Moreover, the movie title is still synonymous with the actor as he is often referred to as the ‘Baadshah of Bollywood’.
3) Devdas (2002)
Director – Sanjay Leela Bhansali
At number three is a movie that I completely abhorred as a kid (I did not understand it probably back then). But when I rewatch some of the scenes today, three things stand out for me, apart from the obvious art direction and choreography. They are, the screenplay, Ananya Khare’s performance as Kumud and SRK’s rendition of Devdas. The actor does complete justice to the intensity of the character and makes the audience empathise with him throughout the movie, despite Devdas being a flawed character. Also his drunk scenes are executed really well.
4) Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006)
Director – Karan Johar
Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, I feel is one of Dharma Production’s and SRK’s most underrated movies. The movie did not do very well commercially, mainly because of the bold theme (adultery) and the large scale of production, and Karan Johar does become very indulgent in the second half and after a point the movie kind of drags. But here too, SRK gets ample scope to show his range as an actor, and is again splendid in his comedic scenes. Additionally, I love his chemistry with Rani Mukerji in the movie. Unlike his other performances, SRK downplays the dramatic moments in this one and doesn’t go overboard at all, which is a welcome change.
Keeping everything in mind, SRK’s subtle portrayal of Dev is at number #4 on my list.
5) Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham (2001)
Director – Karan Johar
Rounding off my Top 5 is another Dharma Movie performance, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. Again the comedic scenes are brilliantly etched out by Karan Johar (I think he should write and direct an out and out comedy once) and three actors for me stand out in this ensemble- Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and SRK. Also, SRK’s chemistry with both these ladies is awesome as I simply love his banter with both Kajol and Kareena in the second half. His one liners in the movie make me chuckle even after repeated viewings. The movie on the whole (like most of Karan Johar’s films), does become completely hammy in the dramatic scenes (which are long and in plenty), but I still watch and love some of the funny scenes from the movie, for the laughs and of course SRK’s comedy.
Honourable Mentions : Anjaam, Chak! De India, Chennai Express
Authored By – Abinash Gupta
(Disclaimer – I do not own the rights to the images displayed on the page. The rights remain with their rightful owners. The images are sourced from various public online sources to provide references to Shahrukh Khan.)