In a recent interview, Shah Rukh Khan was asked what film he’s gonna be seen in next and he candidly announced that there’s nothing “stunning, scintillating and exciting” to look forward to right now. Adding that he has decided to take a break before jumping into making another film that doesn’t excite him as a performer.
The superstar is currently in China where his last film, Zero, will be screened at the 9th Beijing International Film Festival. During the press interview rounds he said, “I haven’t decided what I will do next. I thought I will take a few months off and try and work on what I want to do because it’s very important for me to be most excited about it. I work 16 hours a day, so if it doesn’t excite you in the morning, you should not wake up. At my stage, when I have worked in over 80 films, have done some satisfactory roles and have made a career out of what I do, I should be like I don’t want to get up and go if it’s not going to be an absolutely, stunning, scintillating and exciting day as an actor. So, right now I don’t have anything that stunning, scintillating and exciting. If I have it, I will start working on it.”
Somewhere between My Name Is Khan and Chennai Express, some of the most ardent fans of Shah Rukh Khan had to re-evaluate their blind hero worship of one-third of the indomitable Khan trio. Some actually convinced themselves that SRK was at least trying to do something “different” with films like Fan and Zero and so everyone should overlook disasters like Jab Harry Met Sejal. Not that Fan and Zero weren’t epic debacles at the box office.
It has been written countless times how SRK has lost his charm. The 90s kids who swooned over his wit, now find themselves cringing every time the Shah Rukh is caught saying something awkward, especially about women, in his interviews. The fact that he chose to play not one but two raging misogynists in Zero as well as Jab Harry Met Sejal, didn’t sit well with many of his fans either.
While Aamir Khan seems to have mastered the formula of making commercially successful films that don’t sacrifice on content, Salman Khan has been capitalising on his larger-than-life roles and cashing in at the box office. Akshay Kumar has donned the hat of this generation’s Manoj Kumar with his highly successful nationalistic dramas, while Ajay Devgn seems to be intent only on raking in the moolah. None of them seem to have lost touch with their dedicated fanbases. In fact, one might argue that they are paying attention to their evolving fandoms. Even Saif Ali Khan has extended himself and started catering to the evolving millennial and gen z audiences, who consume content differently, with his turn as Sartaj Singh in Netflix’s Sacred Games.
SRK, on the other hand, is the only one among his contemporaries who seems to be floundering. He seems clueless about how to adapt and maybe this break is a good thing for him as well as his few remaining fans who are still rooting for him…for old time’s sake. Hey at one point even Amitabh Bachchan had resorted to making films like Laal Badshah in a desperate bid to stay relevant to fans who had started outgrowing him. That was before he embraced his age and had an entire image overhaul. Only time will tell if SRK actually succeeds or not.