And in other news, the whole nation thinks it’s a great idea to go “Dhinka Chika, Dhinka Chika, Dhinka Chika, Dhinka Chika, Dhinka Chika, Dhinka Chika, Ae, Ae Ae Ae..” J
I can’t think of anyone but Salman who can do the “Dhinka Chika”- I mean, Shah Rukh would probably make it way too stylish, while Aamir would make it perfect in every respect while Hritik would’ve made it a dancing phenomenon or Farhan would have probably sung it in his voice too. But it is Salman and only Salman who can turn street class lunacy into a national anthem for celebrating tomfoolery and still be proud of it. It borders on vulgarity but is not; it borders on taporigiri but is not and it borders on cheapness but hell, it is not.
I can’t believe that there was a time when people actually thought of writing him off. There was a time when Salman Khan was hated by the press once upon a time. And he was known more for his exploits on the wrong side of law and love. As for today, this guy consistently comes up with not just hits but blockbusters when the going is tough- the stupendous success of the movie Ready has shown his detractors that even a critically panned movie can become the third biggest grosser in history with the right choice of Khan. And movies are not only the space where he’s touched – even in the small screen, he has made his mark for himself. Bigg Boss and Dus Ka Dham are just Salman vehicles, where he’s just being himself. He’s known to help friends when they’re down, he’s known to think through his heart and he’s known for just being himself in front of a rolling camera. And if that aint enough, today he also shows the world what ‘Being Human’ is all about. Like he always said, “Ek Baar Se Dil Nahi Bharata Mudke Dekh Mujhe Dobaara.. Tan Tana Tan Tan Tan Taara” - Give him another chance n he usually delivers.
I have an ongoing argument with my friend who’s a huge Aamir fan. She says that a Salman can never be an Aamir. I highlight that the opposite is equally true. We have this discussion where I keep telling her that while 3Idiots boasts of a great script, some great performances and a great director which helped it claim the title of the biggest Indian grosser to date, the second grosser, Dabangg, has only Salman Khan as its selling point. And what a selling it has been!
As a kid, I had this rudimentary ‘CutnPaste’ method to determine a great actor: if you can cut an actor from one of his movies and paste it in another of his movies and if you see a difference, then he’s a great actor. Think Kamal Haasan – you simply cannot cut and paste him between any of his movies. His role in Chaachi 420 is so different from what he did in Hey Ram or even Hindustani/Indian – so he truly is a great actor (yes, very juvenile I know J). So from that count, is Salman a great actor? Well, Prem’s (his most popular screen name) versatility seem to span the action genre, the comedy crowd and romance, which in Bollywood parlance, is the entire span of emotions (J). But he did deliver some awesome roles in Tere Naam or as the brooding Radhe in Wanted and Chedhi Singh has no ‘conpyujen’ that only Salman could play Robinhood Pandey with such rustic finesse n glee . So Salman may or may not be the greatest actor in town but is he a great entertainer? Oh Bloody Hell Yeah!!
If you see the evolution of the man, he’s always been doing nonsensical but fun riots like ‘Dhinka Chika’ in ‘Oonchi hai building..’, ‘Janam Samjha Karo’ and a whole lotta other such numbers, but what has changed now is the absolute confidence he has in his moves – like Farah Khan said on choreographing him in Dabangg, ”U don’t choreograph Salman, he choreographs u” - Salman feels the beat of the music, evolves it into his own way and then brings out something that is distinctly his own making. In a way, Salman has always represented what Bollywood always stood for – while the other stars carved names for themselves as the thinking man’s actors, Salman represented the jatkas and the matkas of Bollywood and today his confidence in himself is a showing of Bollywood’s new found confidence in itself.
Munni’s basically family, he was dating Shiela and his character isn’t as Dheela as it is was once made of to be. He doesn’t have an IPL team yet, he doesn’t market his movies as innovatively as Aamir and yes, he is the son of a yesteryear bollywood big daddy. But he has his name stamped on four of Bollywood’s biggest all time blockbusters, has got oodles of star power and is the guy who first showed everybody else that taking ur shirt off to show off ur six pack is really the way to go.
While Shah Rukh is the King, and Aamir is beyond superlatives , Salman is just well, just Salman.
And yes, Prem.
And yes, a bloody safe bet.