MUMBAI: Salman Khan had an easy way into Bollywood. He’s, after all, the son of famous scriptwriter Salim Khan. But when he debuted in 1988 in ‘Biwi Ho To Aisi’, no one thought he would make it far. After all, his voice was dubbed with someone else’s in his very first film.
But then came Sooraj Barjatya’s ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, and history, and a new actor, was born. In fact, Sooraj Barjatya has been a constant in Salman Khan’s 25 years in Bollywood. From ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ to ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun’ and ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ to the director’s next in 2015: they have forged a great partnership.
In fact, this romantic hero was Salman Khan’s first identification. The hit films in his early career came with these roles. Of course, he dabbled in comedy, like ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, and in action, like ‘Karan Arjun’. But the romantic tag remained well into the late nineties and early noughts.
With films like ‘Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai’, he bolstered his chocolate-boy roles. He also featured in perhaps the best films of his career in ‘Khamoshi: The Musical’. Towards this time, directors also realised that Salman Khan had immaculate comic timing. So David Dhawan was instrumental in casting him in ‘Judwaa’ and ‘Biwi No. 1’. Then there was his own brother Sohail Khan’s ‘Hello Brother’, which to some extent became the early template for his later larger-then-life action-comedy persona films.
If Salman Khan had captured audience’s attention by now, he’d also won awards. With ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, he’d won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut and was nominated for Best Actor too. But he won his first Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for an extended cameo in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ where he almost stole the show towards the end.
His films at the start of the noughts were not huge hits, but he hit back majorly with 2003’s ‘Tere Naam’. His hairstyle from the film – the famous long-hair middle-parting – became so famous that everyone would emulate it.
Then began the comedy era of Salman Khan. Be it ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ to ‘No Entry’ to ‘Partner’, Salman Khan showed his lighter side to the audience making them laugh as hard as possible.
In 2009, came ‘Wanted’ and with that started the over-the-top action and gravity-defying stunts. Salman Khan became the poster-boy for such films and has not stopped since. The most famous type is of course Chulbul Pandey in 2010’s ‘Dabangg’. But it looks like this larger-than-life persona will not stop as Salman Khan has ‘Jai ho’ and ‘Mental’ coming up in 2014. Maybe Sooraj Barjatya’s next film in 2015 will get Salman Khan back to earth.
Salman Khan is the quintessential Bollywood superhero. Action, comedy, romance, he can do all – in a way that very few can. His fans eagerly wait to see what else Salman Khan has in store for them from this jubilee till the next.
Cheers to Salman Khan’s 25 years in Bollywood. It’s been a fun time at the movies.