Birthday Special: Shah Rukh Khan, changing the course of his destiny from Zero to Hero, since 1988


Exactly what else can be written about Shah Rukh Khan that hasn’t been said or discussed before? He is magical on screen, to say the least. And he will be, always and forever, irrespective. It’s a big day for SRK – not just because he turns 53 on November 2 but also because the trailer of his new film Zero is scheduled to release later in the day. Zero is significant for SRK at this phase of his career because it is meant to resurrect his box office fate considering the fact that his last few films haven’t performed as expected.

By the looks of the teaser and posters of Zero, it appears that the film will catapult SRK on the path of blockbusters in what can be termed as his subsequent rise after an ambivalent fall. This trend, though, has been a recurrent phenomenon in SRK’s career since he has witnessed peaks and valleys way too often but has effortlessly risen from the ashes soon after. His birthday, thus, is a good day to dissect and bisect his career graph because his journey spanning over three decades has been worth it.

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[caption id="attachment_146445" align="aligncenter" width="647"] SRK in a poster of Zero.[/caption]

Before making his debut in Bollywood with Deewana in 1992, SRK appeared in television serials such as Fauji, Dil Dariya and Circus in the 80s, which made him a household name but it was the first lot of his films which released in the 90s, that escalated him to the route of stardom almost instantly. Consider Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Baazigar, Darr, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa or Karan Arjun for that matter – SRK, within, two years, was already a star. Superstardom, though, arrived with the release of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in 1995, in which he was cast opposite Kajol. The film was not just a blockbuster but also made SRK’s and Kajol’s pairing as one of the most renowned jodis of Bollywood.

[caption id="attachment_118562" align="aligncenter" width="960"] SRK and Kajol in a still from DDLJ.[/caption]

After DDLJ, however, SRK witnessed a slight slump as he appeared in lesser-known films such as Chaahat and Army but it, of course, didn’t last since his subsequent releases - Yes Boss, Pardes, Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Duplicate and Dil Se… - fared exceptionally well. But it was Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai in 1998 that proved to be the DDLJ of this phase of his career – tremendous success is what SRK witnessed and even after 20 years of its release, is remembered for playing the super cool college dude Rahul.

[caption id="attachment_151006" align="aligncenter" width="800"] SRK in a still from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.[/caption]

After Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the downtrend followed in 2000 with the release of Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani and his consequent films faring considerably. But SRK did win the trust of critics with performances in films including Devdas, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Main Hoon Na and Veer-Zaara while with Swades’ release in 2004 – he was applauded for emerging over the image of a romantic hero.

[caption id="attachment_160666" align="aligncenter" width="647"] SRK in a still from Swades.[/caption]

After Chak De! India and My Name Is Khan though, SRK’s big-ticket films ended up as box office turkeys – be it Ra.One or Jab Tak Hai Jaan and while he managed to overcome the storm with Chennai Express in 2013, his next set of releases were fatal at the box office – be it Happy New Year, Dilwale, Fan, Raees and Jab Harry Met Sejal.

[caption id="attachment_160668" align="aligncenter" width="647"] SRK in a still from Chak De! India.[/caption]

SRK, in fact, hasn’t seen the face of a dhamakedaar hit for a while now but that actually doesn’t matter because his fans’ admiration for him is beyond celluloid. Consider the hype around Zero – even though his preceding films didn’t impress as expected, his admirers cannot wait for the Aanand L Rai-directed film to release in which SRK has been cast as a vertically-challenged man.

Yes, that’s true. He is turning 53 and what we are delighted about is the fact that he isn’t just limiting himself to spreading his arms and romancing in Switzerland – in typical SRK style – and instead, is experimenting with roles. Although he made an attempt with Fan and was somewhat successful, it would be safe to assert that Zero is his second attempt at offbeat films.

[caption id="attachment_160669" align="aligncenter" width="759"] Kajol and SRK in a still from Dilwale.[/caption]

After a short break following Zero’s release, SRK will begin filming a biopic on astronaut Rakesh Sharma around March 2019 – yes, he is working on a biopic – nothing remotely romantic but definitely, interesting because we’ll be lucky enough to see the other side of SRK. And we’re sure you are waiting for it as well.

Thus, we have a lot to expect from SRK starting now – as much as he expects from himself. It’s ironical, actually, that the title of SRK’s upcoming project is Zero – the film that will basically attempt to metamorphose his trying phase into a golden one. But that’s what SRK has been doing so far – altering the course of destiny every now and then, in a world that believes it is already written. Take a cue from him, maybe?

On that note, Happy Birthday, SRK. We love you!