Salman Khan- Top Ten Acting Performances

Ready hits screens this week. And it looks like Salman Khan bonanza over the next 4 months- with Bodyguard being ‘readied’ for an Eid release. This post is about what I feel are the top 10 performances by Salman Khan in his almost 22 year long career till now. He is indisputably a huge star- but few believe in his acting prowess- and that is not surprising coz of the kind of roles he pitches in with from time to time- but no one- who has even an iota of ‘samajh’ about acting- can deny that he is one of the most natural and charming actors to be born on the Hindi movie silver-screen- so here goes

Maine Pyaar Kiya/ Hum Aapke hain Kaun: Raw charm and simplicity exuded with such an understated aura- that few could say that Salman Khan was being an actor in these films. He was Prem- the ‘devar’, the son, the brother, the friend, the lover… It is a credit to the man that he could do such roles with such confidence- because any lesser actor could have been typecast in such family guy mould- and could never break away-

Veergati/Karan Arjun: Playing an anguished man at war with the world and with himself, Salman Khan excelled in an avatar that was poles apart from his alter-ego PREM. Sadly Veergati never got him the recognition he deserved- and in Karan Arjun he shared credit with another emerging superstar SRK. I am not sure about this but it might have been possible that Salman was shooting for HAHK and Karan Arjun at the same time- and if true this alone is testament to his ability to switch characters remarkably well.

Tere Naam: This came out when he was on an all time personal low. And what a performance did he put up for his fans to enjoy. Playing the brat, jilted lover in the first half and a mentally ill man in the other, he excelled. This character of Radhey claimed to have the shades of Salman Khan the person- and this actually led to him starting to put shades of himself in his characters- and that backfired in many movies.

Pyaar Kiya to Darna Kya: Now people might say- it was just a reguar romcom- decent- but what was the scope for performance- to them I would say- sucks to you :P- histrionics is not acting- and anyone who appreciates this fact might also appreciate this act of Salman- Suraj- very much carrying the entire film on his shoulders- he delivered one of his most entertaining movies- and also started a few trends- As the persevering lover, willing to shun all his wealth for true love, Suraj came across as an extremely likable chap- and the ultimate lover

Jab Pyaar Kisi se Hota Hai: Playing an alcoholic, rich, spoilt womanizer (repeated this act in some other lesser movies), Salman Khan portrayed vulnerability and love superbly, and the relationship he shared with his kid- was one of the most beautiful father son relationships seen in Indian cinema.

Dabangg: Now this one is special. Not just because it broke some box office records. But because it gave us India’s first rural, rooted, traditional, human superhero- while watching Chulbul Pandey mouth his one-liners, who can say that this beefy guy is the same one who was once ‘Prem’ of Indian Households.

Veer: Now this one didnt go as expected. Salman’s brainchild, he put in his heart and soul in the performance- although his look received a lot of criticism in many scenes of the movie where he looked haggard ( dyed long hair)- The story was a letdown- the romantic track was cheesy- and there were lots of things about the movie that didnt work- and sadly that led to Salman getting no praise for his exceptional portrayal of a warrior. If the result would have been as good as the idea on paper- I am READY to bet that Salman would have won the awards- he later won for Dabangg- for this movie.

Jaaneman: I cant imagine that the man who made this gem of a movie later made Tees Maar Khan. Shirish Kunder gave one Salman one of his best and most difficult roles- he was shedding tears for most of the second half (usually tough heroes don’t cry on screen). I am at a loss of words here- again the scenes between Salman and his little daughter are the cutest and most beautiful ones ever between a man and his kid in Indian cinema.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam/ Khamoshi: Both Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s films these had Salman playing lovable and naughty charmers- in both he was a musician.. and in both he had tough climax scenes to perform- now people may say that he overacted- but he acted in a manner that were extensions to his characters- the way Suraj cried in the climax is how Suraj was throughout the movie- I don’t know about acting gurus or crtics- but for me they were great pieces of living the character- if SLB would have thought of them as shoddy acting performances- he wouldnt have let them come out the way they did…

Last but in no way the least-

Andaz Apna Apna : Both were idiots- but he was the duffer- he was the sidekick- he was the loser- he lacked wit- he lacked charm- he got overshadowed and he got beaten- But wasnt that how it was supposed to be? I feel what Aamir did in AAA, almost any good actor could have done- but what Salman did in AAA- few could have even attempted- AAA has to be his most underrated ‘acting’ performance- sadly…

The ones that almost made it- London Dreams, Saajan, and Judwaa.


  1. Sahil19
    May 1, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    But I don’t agree with certain poster saying entertainers are not good actors. An actor is looked at the way he excels in comic scenes playing different characters, or emotional scenes, their expressions, that is what makes them good actors and actors who entertain through their talented performance. But there are some actors who don’t have great talent but get lucky due to good looks and dancing ability.

  2. danish
    May 1, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    if u dont like salman’s acting in tere naam, u dont know a thing abt acting. his mandir scene where he says ‘ bhagwan bahut dard hoa raha hai” was at par with dilip kumar’s devdas and bachchan’s muqaddar ka sikandar.

    1. ragingbull
      May 1, 2012 at 9:53 PM

      Here we go again !!!

  3. ragingbull
    May 1, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Danish my friend you are a great entertainer, in fact we can call you Salman Khan of NG :)

  4. danish
    May 1, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    @ragingbull – and wen u say that u try the same trick that u try with salman. u are trying to undermine my writing talent and reduce it to ‘entertaining’. a genuine compliment to salman wud be “he is the best actor’ and to me wud be “he is a good writer’ so as for now keep ur patronizing compliment to urself.

  5. ragingbull
    May 1, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    I still think you are a great entertainer & the comment “Salman in Tere Naam at par with dilip kumar’s devdas and bachchan’s muqaddar ka sikandar” is probably the best icing on the cake ……cheers !

  6. danish
    May 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    @ragingbull – to icing ko chaato aur aish karo!

  7. ragingbull
    May 1, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    @danish – Yeh cake aur icing khaane ke liye nahi sirf tafreeh/entertainment ke liye hai jo bharpoor ho raha hai.

  8. danish
    May 1, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    @ragingbull – to lo na tafreeh, kisne mana kiya hai?

  9. mujtaba
    May 2, 2012 at 12:33 AM

    sallu acting karta kab hai , jo uski best acting ko chose kar rahe ho..

  10. assmasala
    May 2, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Salman was miles ahead of midget in AAA even though midget’s perf in AAA was flawless, but i think he was trying to steal the lime light frm sallu , Sallu allowed it but still he made a better impact!

  11. Sahil19
    May 2, 2012 at 2:00 AM

    forget about salman or aamir, shakti kapoor was the most famous character in AAA. :D

  12. ragingbull
    May 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    @danish – Woh tou main ley hee raha hoon, uske liye permission thodi hee na chaahiye.

  13. Samwal/ VED-Z
    Samwal/ VED-Z
    May 2, 2012 at 3:03 PM



    1. DABANGG
    2. TERE NAAM
    3. JAAN-E-MANN
    7. –
    8. –
    10. -

  14. Samwal/ VED-Z
    Samwal/ VED-Z
    May 2, 2012 at 3:05 PM




  15. dhaanu
    May 2, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    In no particuler order –

    10 – Suryavanshi – Bad film but Salman had good screen presence and made you believe all the hokum that was going on in the film.
    9. Maine Pyaar Kiya – Salman played the perfect young man in love. Damn good performance for a man who was playing the lead role for the first time ever.
    8. Hum Saath Saath Hain – While I did not like Salman much in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, he was much much better in this one. The hurt he expressed without raising his voice in the scene where he meets his mother after getting to know about the separation is brilliant. Pity the film shooting led to the Black Buck incident which messed up his private life further.
    7. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam – He was the life of the film. If you remove the Salman scenes from this film, the film is very gloomy and dark toned. Whenever his character crops up, the scenery lights up. His final scene with Helen and his father’s spirits made me tear up.
    6. Dabang – Salman is Salman in this film. However here there were some scenes where he had to dig deeper and do some complex acting. The scene where he sees his mother’s dead body is good.
    5. Hello Brother – Salman is hilarious in the film. Alas, the rest of the film sucks.
    4. Khaamoshi – Again, remover Salman and the film becomes gloomy and dark toned. Bhansali knew how to tap Salman’s exuberence. Pity both do not work together these days.
    3. Biwi No. 1 – Salman plays the lovable adulterer. Do not know how many other actors would look lovable and sypathetic after cheating on his wife, that too a sweet Karishma Kapoor.
    2. AAA – Has to be there. Salman is too good here. His character is different from Aamir. While Aamir’s comedy in this film was more verbal based, Salman’s was more phsical. The fight scene with Shakti still makes me laugh out loud.
    1. Baaghi – Salman fans always seem to ignore this film. I liked Salman as the lovestruck rebel here. The scene where he first visits the brothel is really good. Salman perfectly shows the awkwardness and gives out the “I should not be here” vibe without uttering much dialogues.

    While Salman was good in Veergati and Tere Naam, I find the above performances his top ones. Tere Naam and Veergati were strong author backed roles where expectations were high. In the above, most of them were multi starrers where Salman shone like a beacon and stamped his presence. The solo films I have picked were his new ones since expectations were less considering his less experience but still he gave good performances.

    And yes, I consider Salman as an actor. He is more of the old fashioned cut where you had a specific style which connects you to the audience. Raj Kumar used to say “jaani”in almost all films but no one dared to call him a non actor.

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