Planet Bollywood
Salman Khan- The Dashing Phenomenon!
- Pankaj Kumar Sinha           Let us know what you think about this feature article

In 1988 there was a debut of a young actor in a Supporting Role in the Farooq Shaikh & Rekha starrer Biwi Ho Tho Aisi. The young actor was Salman Khan, son of legendary writer Salim Khan. He could easily have debuted as a hero in a big film. Salman khan chose to struggle and create his own niche in the film industry.

Today Salim Khan is more known as Salman Khan’s Father. Salman Khan rose to stardom with his next film Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), directed by Sooraj Barjataya of Rajshri Productions. The movie was a big blockbuster. This romantic film also began the new era of love stories in Bollywood. Salman’s shirtless body act began with his first movie. He’s always had a well toned body. He continued his success in the box office with romantic flicks such as Baaghi (1990), Sanam Bewafa (1991) & Pathar Ke Phool (1991). Then came a dip in his career for the first time. His movies were becoming flop in the box office. The first turning point of his career was Saajan (1991). This love triangle with Sanjay Dutt & Madhuri Dixit was another blockbuster in his career. Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri earned a lot of critical acclaim but Salman’s character Aakash Verma earned more fame. His casanova act was well liked by the masses. For his fans, no one plays these casanova characters better then Salman Khan.

Dabaang (2010) and Bodyguard (2011) may have earned more moolah but many observers and fans believe Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun (1994) is the biggest blockbuster of Salman Khan’s career. If this was released today, it would have earned more than any of his current blockbusters and arguably more than any other Bollywood film ever. This is still one of most loved movie in Indian cinema and it is repeated countless times on TV. The characters of Prem & Nisha have become household names. After watching this film, you feel that you are watching the characters around you in the family.

Andaz Apna Apna (1994) was another film which did average business at the Box Fffice but today it stands out as one of most loved comedy films from Indian Cinema. The duo of Aamir Khan & Salman Khan as Amar & Prem respectively were the USP of the film. They both shared great chemistry in the movie. Fans would argue that this movie seriously deserves a sequel. What happens to Amar & Prem’s life 20 years later? It will be interesting to say the least! As an actor, Salman Khan has never been rated well by media and critics. But he has been good across all filmi roles such as romance comedy and action. Whenever he got a challenging character, he has done good job of it. Possibly his weakness are performing intense emotional scenes. But saying that in some films, he has delivered good emotional scenes as well. Ultimately, the director is the best person to take good performances from his actors and thus some film makers have not used him as well as others.

In my opinion Veergathi (1995) was Salman Khan’s best performance as an actor. He gave a very intense performance in his first action film. His one liners in the film were really good. Today Salman Khan’s one liner dialogues are one of his promotional strategies. His punchy dialogues are loved by his fans. Unfortunately, Veergathi (1995) did not fare well in Box Office. But Salman Khan’ next action flick Karan Arjun (1995) was another milestone and it was another blockbuster film. It was first time two superstars Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan did a movie together. That was the beginning of a fierce rivalry. Salman Khan was nominated for best actor by Filmfare for this film but following this film, he had another dip in his career. His movies were not doing well at the box office. His personal image was becoming that of a bad boy by the media. Salman khan’s reaction was to shun the media. It is only now that his relations with the media have improved. On other side, Shahrukh Khan, with his sense of humor, used the media well to his advantage and it was a factor in augmenting his career and reaching the top position in the industry.

Salman played his first double role in comedy flick Judwaa(1997) directed by David Dhawan. The movie did great business. After that Salman did a lot of films with David Dhawan. Some of them include super hit films like Biwi No. 1 (1999), Mujhse Shaadi Karoge (2004), Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (2005) & Partner (2007).

Arguably Salman’s golden period in his career was between 1998 to 1999 as nearly all his movies performed consistently at the box office. Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) rose him to Superstardom. His shirtless song “O O Jaane Jaana” became a national anthem. His physique was the best in the industry. He was ranked as the 7th most handsome man in the world. The health and fitness industry in India has grown after the release of this song. Between 1998-1999 Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai (1998), Bandhan (1998), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Biwi No. 1 (1999), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) & Hum Saath Saath Hain (1999) were laying golden eggs for the producers at the box office. Salman Khan was the protagonist for most, if not all these films.

But then post this period, Salman Khan had another dip in his career. He was also going though lot of personal crisis. This phase continued for a while and in the process, he lost some fan base. He was also the most hated person by the media. There was a lot of criticism from all corners of his life. In between, he had only hit in Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (2001). Salman Khan was struggling and hiding a lot of pain inside him.

Then came Tere Naam (2003) and it was a big hit and finally got him some critical acclaim. His performance as an intense lover was well appreciated by critics and his fans. His character ‘Radhey Mohan’ was very close to the heart of Salman Khan. He does a lot of films for his family and friends. Sometimes that has not been good for his career. With Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan, he formed the famous Khan trio ruling the box office. His popularity was on par with the other two Khans but his movies weren’t doing as well. For example, out of three films per year only one movie would be a hit and the other two flops. This continued for the next five years. As an actor, Salman Khan was appreciated in movies like Phir Milenge (2004) and Kyun Ki (2005). He dared to try something different but Box offices were not kind to these films e.g. Salman Khan Tryst with Hollywood ended in disaster with Marigold (2007).

Salman Khan's career was going downwards. Then came television show “Dus Ka Dum”. He rocked as a host. His popularity increased manifold. Salman Khan was a charming host. As a host, the thought of Salman doing better than Shahrukh Khan in Television added further fuel to their rivalry. Salman Khan also hosted another big show called “Bigg Boss”. Salman hosted both the shows for two seasons. His popularity was gaining. He also started his NGO called ‘Being Human’. Salman Khan is always known to have a golden heart. He’s always helped the needy. By now Salman khan had become more media friendly. He was joking with media people. Media also loved this new change in Salman Khan. It helped his film career as proven by his next films. His undercover cop act in Wanted (2009) was loved by the masses. It was big blockbuster. He became the new action king and things were going to get a whole lot better...

Dabaang (2010) is the biggest turning point of Salman Khan’s Career. His character ‘Chulbhul Pandey’ became very famous. This was his career best performance. This movie became one of the biggest blockbusters in Indian Cinema history. He also won countless awards for the film. For the first time in his career, Salman Khan was rated as No. 1 in the film industry. But Awards and No. 1 position don’t matter to Salman Khan. He is undoubtedly the new king of Bollywood.

His latest movies Ready (2011) & Bodyguard (2011) were also blockbusters. Bodyguard is the highest grossing movie of 2011. This adds to his list of other films that were the highest grossers of their years including Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, Biwi No. 1, No Entry, ,i>Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Dabaang. After Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan has the maximum highest money grosser movies for the year in his Career. Salman Khan has completed 25 years in Hindi film industry but still continues as a leading solo Hero with biggest productions houses.

His next releases are Ek Tha Tiger, Dabaang 2, Kick and Sher Khan. He has also signed movies with Sooraj Barjatya & Subash Ghai. Salman Khan has been a dashing phenomenon of Hindi Film Industry. He is the new King Khan of Bollywood. Only Salman Khan can turn an average film into a hit or blockbuster at the box office. His fans don’t come for storyline or content of the film. They come to watch their idol ‘Salman Khan’. We all wish many happy returns of the day to Salman Khan for his birthday on December 27!


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