Salman Khan is a force of Nature. Who would have thought that the lanky youngster, who made his debut in Biwi Ho To Aisi (1988), would one day be regarded as the gold standard of box-office collections? He’s been destiny’s child in more ways than one, surviving court cases pertaining to black bucks and one involving a road accident… his popularity remaining albeit intact. The reality was that with every hearing, his fan following actually swelled.
He has worked hard to shed his bad boy image, of course. He started the Being Human charity and used his star clout to promote several causes. He also turned painter, showcasing his artistic side and donating the money he earned from the sale of his paintings to good use.
He’s the most eligible bachelor even at 50 plus, enjoying a bevy of girlfriends but never committing to anyone of them. And of late, he has told the press to stop speculating on his marriage. Likewise, he joked with film critics saying that they could give minus stars as ratings to his films – but his films and he have become critic proof. Ironically, despite him saying this, the content of his films is getting better than what was served to us a decade ago. They are no longer just masala flicks filling us with a staple dose of a popcorn entertainment. Rather they cater to a cause. If Bajrangi Bhaijaan spoke about bettering Indo-Pak relations, his latest Tubelight espouses better Indo-China relations and the needlessness of war. Even Sultan was a critique on the grassroots athletes, who want their 15 seconds of fame in our cricket-obsessed nation.
One thing he hasn’t lost even after all these years is his boyish charm and his enthusiasm for movies. He still is wide-eyed about cinema and his one ambition is to provide his audience with a paisa vasool experience. And he doesn’t want to change the dynamics of who he is while achieving that. You won’t ever see him playing a villain or a character with a negative shade. He’ll always be the traditional hero, relying on evergreen tropes to get his point across. At a time when contemporaries and younger stars are struggling to retain a brand identity, Bhai knows that he only has to stand in a frame for the film to be a hit…