MUMBAI: Versatility is his second name. Actor, producer, director Aamir Khan is a name to reckon with in the Hindi film industry. As the star turns 44 on 14 March, 2009, Businessofcinema.com traces his journey and his success formula in the film industry.
He was first seen on the big screen as a child artist in Yaadon Ki Baaraat and then in Madhosh in the early 70s. As an actor, while Aamir gave us his first film Holi in 1984, he came to the forefront as the young chocolate boy hero in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, which released in 1988 and gave an instant fillip to his image.
Since then, there have been some great, some good and some bad films that the actor has appeared in. However, the start of this decade saw Aamir being rather selective about his roles. Since the year 2000, he has been seen in only 8 films as opposed to his peers like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar who have more than 25 films to their credit in the last eight years alone!!
Aamir is known to do one film at a time since he likes to get into the "skin of the character" and changes his looks and moulds his body language according to the demand of the script. His latest release Ghajini is an example of the how the actor totally gets involved and almost assumes his character’s persona! And the success of Ghajini is testimony to the effort that he puts in.
Moreover, directors like John Matthew Matthan, Ashutosh Gowariker, Vikram Bhatt, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Farhan Akhtar have given one of the biggest hit of their career with this actor called Aamir Khan! Be it Sarfarosh (John Matthew Matthan), Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker), Ghulam (Vikram Bhatt), Dil Chahta Hai (Farhan Akhtar) or Rang De Basanti (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra), these were all cult movies and had Aamir in the lead.
While Gowarikar gave us Swades with Shah Rukh Khan and Jodhaa Akbar with Hrithik Roshan, the euphoria around these can’t be termed to be in the same league as that for Lagaan. Similarly post Dil Chahta Hai, Akhtar churned out the much forgettable Laqshya starring Hrithik Roshan and then Don starring Shah Rukh Khan, which was incidentally a remake.
Most of director Vikram Bhatt’s films like Aetbaar, Awara Paagal Deewana, Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage to name a few, never really matched up to the 1998 Aamir Khan starrer Ghulam. Matthan who directed Sarfarosh in 1999, gave a flop called Shikhar in 2005. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra gave a dud like Aks starring Amitabh Bachchan before he came up with a Rang De Basanti starring Aamir. While RDB was universally liked, Mehra’s latest with Abhishek Bachchan – Delhi 6 – has met with bouquets and brickbats alike.
However, one director who doesn’t seem to fall in the same league but is all the same working with Aamir is Raju Hirani – the name behind cult films like Munna Bhai MBBS and Lage Raho Munnabhai. Hirani and Aamir have come together for the first time in 3 Idiots, which is being produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. With a strong legacy behind them both, it is beyond imagination, what these two will churn out. Expectations are skyrocketing and the wait is definitely worth it.
While Aamir has been selective about the films that he signs as an actor, he is even more selective about the films he produces. He started his banner – Aamir Khan Productions – in 1999 with Lagaan. The actor then signed a two film co-production deal with PVR Pictures, which gave us Taare Zameen Par in 2007 and saw him debuting as a director along with the very popular Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na directed by Abbas Tyrewala in 2008. The forthcoming film under his production banner is Delhi Belly being directed by ad man Abhinav Deo, which stars Imran Khan and Shenaz Treasurywala. Another film is also being considered for production under the banner.
Those who have worked with him, swear by him and those who haven’t would give an arm and leg to do so! As Aamir turns 44 today, Businessofcinema.com wishes him success galore and all the very best in life!