A Long Note on SRK: NG Reflections!
I remember writing -A Very Short Note on SRK! That was when Ra.One was in nascent stage.Today,as heard the film is near about completion and screen-test would be run amongst children[primarily Aaryan and his friends].
I don’t know how does the man feel after having woken up from slumber and discover everyday that he is the biggest superstar of contemporary Hindi Cinema . That newspapers carry an article on him,negative and positive both…that Bal Thackrey is himself interested in demolishing him over any trivial issue that might have irked him…that every other day a new star is born and SRK is deemed to be dethroned or out of the race or mauled or bulldozed or finished. Now ask me,how do i feel when everytime the man proves it eveytime that the battle is far from over!!
The man has lost much of his energy,energy being the prime driving factor behind his success. The kinetic [by his own admission,he is kinetic,not potential] energy that he exudes now is just an archaeological remnant of what used to be in his efflorescent days!! Still,its remarkable that he carries each and every role with a fervour unmatched. What has actually transpired is that SRK has metamorphosed into a much better actor..one can compare him to Sachin of 90′s-aggressive and dominating to Sachin of 2000′s-calm,poised,relaxed and more mature. Everyone has a favourite pick.I maintain i loved SRK of 90′s more! The maturity in acting,that is still refuted by many, has been at the expense of his energy. Now SRK seems to have sacrificed his energy and has solidified it into a less energetic yet highly emphatic acting.It’s more like maintaining an equilibrium and sometimes with age on the wrong side,one needs to sacrifice attributes that would certainly not help in the long run any more. Logically,SRK is at a juncture where he has reached the pinnacle of success,zenith is below him,and nader is out of question.But still one can clearly see the man evolving or trying to evolve.Now that’s certainly a sign of longevity when you sustain to innovate and evolve,where success does not gratify you and closes any doors of excogitation.
You might have noticed the Suniel of KHKN,to be loving and charming.Paradoxically the Rizwan or the Suri seems as much charming and loving as Suniel,just that the frame of reference with respect to age,persona and repertory has changed completely. Now drawing comparison with any other star in particular would be disservice to the calibre of both stars. He has carved out a niche for himself.He has poignantly poised himself on a pedestal from where one and last flight of the falcon would just take him beyond any comparisons with contemporary stars. Recently,he has been on wet ground,a bit shaky,a bit hesitant to go for the kill and that is natural keeping in mind the quality of competition he faces.He is apprehensive,might be in between the horns of dilemma,might be anticipating,might be formulating,might just be scripting something that always has put him ahead when any competition has presented itself to him. SRK,going by his recent interviews has become less aggressive.Some say,the new found humility is because of stiff competition he faces.I would rather comprehend that sometimes age imparts that humility to you.Of Course being a public figure,he is choosing words carefully but the hypocrisy factor is limited to what one can behold on daily basis in normal social frame of reference. He has become more spiritual,as is evidenced by his interviews,remembers his parents always indicative of thae fact that he might just be asking them for the strength to sustain where everyone seems to be calling his day finished. They say,fighters never give up,i say…SRK is the perfect example.
I have iterated that he is shaky and nervous,but that’s just a matter of moment.If you look at his next ventures,barring one with VB,all are genres alien to him. He still loves taking risks.He might not enjoy the same confidence of audience as Aamir does but speaking in the same vein,he enjoys the love and adulation of audience more than any contemporary star at present. He might not promise a quality movie,but he does promises to enthral you whenever he is on-screen.He might not be a trademark of versatility,but still has managed to re-create magic over and over again with probably the most number of romantic outings that any star has done in past two decades.That’s a job far more tougher than being versatile.He might not have registered a single 100 crore+ movie on the domestic B.O. front but certainly,as i again iterate,has poised himself perfectly on a platform where 1-2 movies grossing huge would make him far from competition,as a long list of hits support him at the back. He might not have innovative marketing strategies but he neither needs one.His RNBDJ grossed 86 crores,just 2 weeks after the biggest terrorist attack on Indian soil highly indicative of the fact that,his name spells something more than quality of cinema,something beyond versatility in acting,something incomprehensible,something enigmatic. You can define anyone’s success,but defining his becomes a job impossible,highly impossible,keeping in mind that every detractor has a set of fixed points against him and still he has not failed in excelling and surpassing himself time and again.
With respect to the upsurge of Aamir,SRK seems to have lost a bit of relevance.I would definitely agree to that.He needs a ‘summer extravaganza’ or a ‘diwali bonanza’ to curb any further competition. But i would definitely not agree to the fact that he is not definitive any more. He is,just that he needs to prove it once again.Of course it’s saddening to see that he still needs to prove it,but on the other hand that imparts the audience a golden chance to behold the Golden Boy of Bollywood once again go for the kill. Knowing and having followed SRK,i can perfectly say that he cannot fail,because winning is what he has learnt and that too in a hard way. Ra.One comes at a time when,the ground seems shaky and the movie seems dicey. Yet,he is unfazed.He is just heating things up, apparently seems like a last valiant effort to regain a former glory…….No,for me this is not the case!It rather seems that he finally is breathing outside his comfort zone. Had he to collect a few more hits..he knows how the audience loves him and he knows it better than any one of us. He is driving on the faster lane now,he is pumping up the adrenaline,risking all,betting everything.If anyone realises it or not,but SRK has put all his eggs in this basket and is colliding full frontal with a response from the audience that no one can be definite about. Now,this is serious stuff.Rather than playing a stroke that he knows the best,he is hooking and upper cutting the ball…which is a definitive sign that SRK is far from over.He is very much there,just that he now needs to perform on a grand scale.No shame in agreeing to the fact that he now definitely needs to break some barriers.The barriers are not important here,the fact the whether he can break it or not becomes a matter of immediate interest here.
The major drawback that he had was to stick to his comfort zone. He has enjoyed immense success there. Literally made a career out of romantic roles,What is heartening to perceive,is that,he now treads an unpredictable path.I maintain post 1995,SRK fell into a trap of self-annihilation.He definitely rose to the topmost rung of the ladder,but in the process,lost the vigor gradually. People say,Swades,KHKN,CDI,MNIK are his best to date..i maintain Darr and Baazigar are still unmatched. That was SRK at his best!! Not afraid to take risks.When stars feared being branded as villain in those days when romance was gradually replacing action,SRK did three back to back roles with negative shades.Had he continued experimenting,SRK would definitely be at a better position today.Not that he is not,just that his filmography would read somewhat better. But inspite of this fact,he amazes me with his survival in Bollywood where actors who repeated themselves time and again were rejected by audience sooner or later.Perfect example-Sunny Deol..the screaming did not help for long. Now,if SRK,has managed to come this far with his so-called repetitive expressions[to which by no means i agree],it further confirms my faith that his success cannot be explained. You can question its merit,but not its reality.The best part is that he definitely has enjoyed a far richer emotional connect with the audience than any other star at present.
I am perfectly happy that he has left no space for mistakes. Perfection is not suitable to his persona.Infirmity defines him.He has his space where he goes back and thinks if things go haywire in real life. The thinking room is open 24*7. He might not be deified as Bachchan was,but certainly will go down in the anals of history as the last genuine bollywood superstar with Aamir and Salman closely at his heels.Infact,i feel that this trio defines the last golden pages of Bollywood,the book!! Thereafter,the taste has been bland and jejune.
Treading a path unknown,driving a new vehicle,facing stiffest competition ever,the man speeds off with his next two extravaganzas. It remains to be seen whether it’s a crash or it’s a perfect drive. Undoubtedly,the most loved and the most hated,he [as i previously said] has an emotional connect w ith his audience that is unparalleled and unseen in the contemporary era. With people recognising bollywood single-handedly via his name on foreign lands,with him being the most prominent face of bollywood to the world…the paradox is that the ‘Baadshah of Bollywood’ needs to thwart of fierce competition back home. The game is far from over,the detractors are far from quiet,the supporters are far from silent…all around him are either whispering,shouting,or screaming..the man walks in the middle unfazed,relatively silent,keen to prove something. Reminds me of dormant volcanos!!