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What’s the problem with Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Chennai Express’?

By Shruti Saxena | Last Updated: Friday, August 16, 2013 - 19:36
Shruti Saxena
An Epitome

Being a diehard fan of Shah Rukh Khan, I couldn’t stop myself from imitating his famous dialogue, “Haar kar jeetne waale ko baazigar kehte hain”.

Yes, the ‘Badshah of Bollywood’, Shah Rukh Khan, is back with a bang. The superstar couldn’t have asked for more. His latest release ‘Chennai Express’ is running superfast at the Box Office, and has raked in Rs 100 crore in its first weekend. The film has smashed Box Office records, which no film has perhaps done so far. And, if one goes by what trade gurus have to say, the success of ‘Chennai Express’ has surely given a boost to King Khan’s Box Office numbers.

Displaying his exemplary marketing skills and taking a lesson from the new actors on the block, like Ranbir Kapoor, who recently tasted the success with his blockbuster ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, this time, Shah Rukh too made sure that ‘Chennai Express’ strikes a chord with his fans. To ensure this, he pulled out all stops, be it on-ground promotions at various malls across different states, making special appearances on TV shows, and most of all, releasing the movie on the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. The film is also being dubbed in nine languages - English, French, Spanish, Arabic, German, Hebrew, Dutch, Turkish and Malay to get wider viewership.

After witnessing a long lull at the Box Office and failing to impress fans with his quintessential romantic avatar in ‘Jab Tak Hai Jaan’, his superhero version in ‘Ra.One’ or Rizwan Khan in ‘My Name Is Khan’, the 47-year-old actor finally took to a safer route of commercial action-comedy, which is certainly not his trademark.

Yes, it is true that it is the romance genre which has made SRK popular, and he has been loyal to this genre for a long time. But, considering the present scenario, where movies like ‘Dabangg’, ‘Son Of Sardar’, ‘Bol Bachchan’ and ‘Rowdy Rathore’ have run to packed houses, I feel SRK is perhaps not at fault for choosing a genre that is any day a ‘hit-formula’ at the Box Office.

Didn’t many of you applaud when the witty ‘Chulbul Pandey’ of ‘Dabangg’ punched several hundred goons on the celluloid? Wasn’t the goofy avatar of Ajay Devgn in ‘Son Of Sardar’ worth not liking even a bit? The whole point is that risk taking is an essential part of any business, including the business of cinema.

Going by the current taste of Indian audiences, I feel, garnering mass approval by whatever means is the aim of Bollywood now. Thought provoking scripts like ‘Ship of Theseus’ are just not in and a breed of mindless comedies that promise to tickle your funny bone are the new fad.

Then why not applaud SRK in ‘Chennai Express’?

There is no doubt that King Khan has ruled the Box Office for almost two decades and has enjoyed superstar status. But, it seems that now he too wants to opt for ‘fixed success formulas’ by taking up films like ‘Chennai Express’, that are made with a pinch of action and romance pickled and peppered in.

As the old saying goes, it is always wise to flow with the tide. Then why criticise SRK? Though, being a great fan of SRK, I will surely miss the Rahul of ‘Dil To Pagal hai’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota hai’, but the Rahul (Khan) of ‘Chennai Express’, who has some energetic dance moves at display in the film and some ‘forced’ humour too, is not that bad after all.

First Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 18:59

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