The Top 50 Films I Saw This Year

THESE ARE LIMITED TO ONLY THE FILMS I SAW THIS YEAR AND NOT JUST THE ONES THAT RELEASED IN 2020

I would like to begin by saying I hope all of you are doing well in these tough times. I would like to give a good reason as to why I haven’t been writing here but all I have is laziness to offer! I hope to change that in the coming days – I’m starting this with something like a recap of my year. Since the 1st of Jan this year, I have seen 312 films from all parts of the world. So, here are the top 50 films that made the biggest impression on me. They are split into 3 categories: Indian, foreign and English. The list is in no particular order and I would love to hear what you really liked this year too. I will also mention wherever applicable, the place where you can watch them. Here goes:

INDIAN:

  1. Andha Naal (YouTube)
  2. Jogwa (YouTube)
  3. Mughal-e-Azam (YouTube)
  4. Maqbool (Hotstar)
  5. Munnariyippu
  6. Ayyapanum Koshiyum (Prime)
  7. Kammatipaadam (Hotstar)
  8. HIT: The First Case (Prime)
  9. Unda (Prime)
  10. Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year (Prime)
  11. Thoovanathumbikal (Hotstar/Prime)
  12. Anand (Hotstar)
  13. Pushpak (Prime)
  14. Jewel Thief (YouTube)
  15. Garm Hava (YouTube)
  16. Uthiripookal (YouTube)
  17. Kaamyaab (Netflix)
  18. Yavanika (Hotstar)
  19. Devasuram (Prime)
  20. Monsoon Wedding
  21. Lootera (Prime)
  22. Namakku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal (Hotstar)
  23. Dil Bechara (Hotstar)
  24. Aparajito

FOREIGN:

  1. Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (Prime)
  2. Princess Mononoke (Netflix)
  3. The Lives Of Others
  4. I Lost My Body (Netflix)
  5. Train To Busan (Netflix)
  6. Moolaade
  7. The Platform (Netflix)
  8. Ugetsu
  9. The Circle (Hotstar)
  10. Nights Of Cabiria
  11. Poetry
  12. Bacurau
  13. Wadjda (Netflix)

ENGLISH:

  1. Uncut Gems (Netflix)
  2. The Lighthouse
  3. 1917
  4. Malcom X
  5. Good Boys
  6. Dark Waters
  7. Little Women
  8. Honey Boy (Prime)
  9. The Gentlemen
  10. Breaking The Waves
  11. Secrets & Lies
  12. The Half Of It (Netflix)
  13. The Wind That Shakes The Barley

Hopefully we get to the movies soon but stay safe till then. Here’s hoping for a good end to 2020.

Until next time, bye.

Thank You For The Magic

How do you mourn the loss of someone you’ve never met? If they are someone like Irrfan Khan, it is difficult to come to terms with it. I never knew him personally but as with millions of others, I feel a deep connection. He felt like he was one of us. This was due to the person he was as well as the roles that he played. His death feels more personal than most celebrity deaths. I wanted to pen down a few thoughts yesterday but I couldn’t find the words. I don’t think I know where I’m going with this but as with life, I just hope that the journey is beautiful.

Irrfan was known worldwide for being one of the best actors of his generation and that is a fact. In the world of cinema, pretty much everything is subjective but ask around and most people would agree that he was among the best. But what made him such a good actor? I’ve thought long and hard about this and I’ve narrowed this down to three things. The first is his voice that seemed to flow like a body of water. Sometimes it used to gush like a waterfall and other times it was as still as a pond. But no matter whether he spoke in English or in Hindi, his words carried a power that most actors can only dream of. It never felt like he had memorized his lines, it sounded like words that were formed then and there. The second factor would be the way he walks. A good way to notice this is when he takes up roles where he has to play someone older.

Think about The Namesake and The Lunchbox, both are different films featuring different characters but Irrfan brings a sense of familiarity with them. With Ashoke in The Namesake, you feel a man who understands the weight of responsibility on him but wants to solider on. In The Lunchbox, we see a withered and resigned man who seems to have given up. It is one thing to bring this out through words and body language but the fact that we can sense this through walking, is a testament to his remarkable talent. And third is the gold standard by which most actors are measured against, reacting.

Whether he was being subtle or going a little over the top, Irrfan always seemed to find the right note for the required reaction. Take the above picture from The Namesake, this is a father teaching his son a valuable life lesson. But the smile does not indicate that he has achieved something, its just an acknowledgement of what he has done. And given what we know of Ashoke so far, it seems like the right reaction. This was a magical quality that Irrfan had and that permeated through every role he played. Whether he was being the badass Roohdar in Haider or the melancholic Pi in Life of Pi and even the student leader Ranvijay in Haasil, Irrfan made all of them feel like different people.

Today as we are reeling from the news of Irrfan’s passing away, the cinematic community gets hit with another hammer blow in the form of Rishi Kapoor’s passing. Two legends taken away from us without giving us any time to grieve. But as we know, the legacy that these stars have left behind is not the money they made but the love they inspired within us. Their work made us root for them, root against them, hate them, love them. Now and forever, they will always be a part of our lives. I’d like to finish this tribute with an excerpt from a poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye that seems apt on a day like this

“When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die”

Until next time, bye.

Dear Maeve Wiley,

WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD

When I thought about writing this, I was wondering what made Maeve one of my favorite characters from the recent past. There are so many things to admire about her. And she is without a doubt one of the best aspects of the show Sex Education. But what makes her so special? I think I’d like to talk a little bit about this. Meave played by Emma Mackey is a fiercely independent girl who stands up for herself all the time. Even when others talk bad about her or try to bring her down, she doesn’t back down. Her intelligence is another reason that makes her such an appealing character.

It is who she is and who she wants to be that makes her fascinating. We know a lot of about her, the way she has grown up etc. But we also get a glimpse of what she wants when in the second season, her dream house is revealed. What makes that heartbreaking, is how ‘normal’ it might seem but to someone like Maeve, normalcy itself is a dream. Added to this is the fact that the she is still not together with Otis and that makes us feel bad for her. But knowing Maeve, that is the last thing she will want.

Maeve is absolutely the kind of girl that I would like to have in my life. She will accept you for who you are but will still call you out. That fearlessness makes her so endearing. It is interesting to see where she goes in season 3 especially as the annoying Issac has made himself a part of her life. What about Maeve? Will she get the ending that she wants or is that something that will never happen to her? The way she has been written so far in Sex Education has been impressive and I hope that it continues.

This is different to what I usually write as it isn’t a review or analysis in any form. It is just me trying to pay tribute and show my appreciation towards a memorable character. If you have seen the show, you’ll understand why she is liked the way she is. And if you haven’t seen Sex Education yet, consider this as a plea for you to go watch it. To Maeve and to the writers, thank you for bringing such an incredible character to life. Time to go and think of that dream house with this dream girl.

Until next time, bye.

15 Great Movie Friendships Of 2019

NOTE: This list only has films that I have seen in 2019. Apologies if a particular film isn’t on this list.

Instead of writing a review, I thought of doing something a little different this time. So, today I’d like to celebrate friendship and showcase some of the best from the year gone by. The following list is in chronological order. Let’s begin

Billi & Nai Nai – The Farewell

Lulu Wang’s touching portrayal of a family dealing with illness finds its soul in these two.

Jimmie & Montgomery – The Last Black Man In San Francisco

A story about identity finds itself held together with two different kinds of people who nonetheless care for each other.

Michael & Andy – Paddleton

This low-key film shows us that true friendships sometimes means just being there for the other person.

The Brothers – Kumbalangi Nights

They might be at each other’s throats but when the time comes, they’ll have the other person’s back.

MC Sher & Murad – Gully Boy

There is a strong case for having Moeen and Murad here but MC Sher’s guidance and friendship is what transforms Murad into Gully Boy.

Zak & Tyler – The Peanut Butter Falcon

This is simply one of the sweetest friendships I’ve seen in a long time, it is the definition of feel-good.

Amy & Molly – Booksmart

A hilarious coming-of-age film that beautifully showcases the bond between these two and gives us memorable moments to boot.

The Bean Bag Boys – Good Boys

This is pretty much Superbad for a new generation but the adventures these three get to, is going to be the among the funniest you have seen in a long time.

Rick & Cliff – Once Upon A Time In Hollywood…

Rick Dalton’s career may be going up and down but he’ll always Cliff Booth by his side.

Ephraim & Thomas – The Lighthouse

Through the film, they move away from being friends but for a brief period, they are the merriest of buddies and that is a joy to behold.

Carroll & Ken – Ford v. Ferrari

The two men push each other to reach greater heights giving us some exhilarating and touching moments.

Losers Gang – Chhichhore

The losers teach us a valuable lesson that life is not just about winning, there is more to it.

Destiny & Ramona – Hustlers

From being a mentor to a friend, these two go through the whole roller-coaster of emotions and take us along for the ride.

Frank & Jimmy – The Irishman

This has to be the most unexpectedly touching friendship from last year as we see these men grow from strangers to BFFs.

Schofield & Blake – 1917

When it comes to friendship we do certain things even if they do not make sense, we just do them because we care.

Until next time, bye.

Arjun Reddy to Adithya Varma – What’s In The Story?!

By Mahima Nandakumar
It is not the first time that a South Indian film is getting remade into other languages, especially if the film has achieved an unprecedented success with a debutant filmmaker and a (then) non-star hero. The crowd that rushed into theaters to watch ‘Arjun Reddy’ despite it being certified with an ‘A’ can easily green-light some prominent proposals for remakes. The first ‘second version’ was from the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga himself, this year’s blockbuster, ‘Kabir Singh’. We will also be witnessing a superstar’s son debuting with the same subject as ‘Aditya Varma’. Now this wouldn’t be a big surprise because, as mentioned before, it’s not the first time this is happening but what’s surprising is that neither of the first two have had a quiet release; the bigger the scale of the movie, the bigger the controversy and still, we are getting a third edition of Arjun Reddy! Don’t worry, this isn’t another roast-review of these films but we are here to look at what makes this particular story so appealing among the masses, the question here is not ‘whether the movie is morally right or wrong’ but ‘whatever it is, why is it so compelling?’.
Every story’s hero and villain are decided by it’s narrative, it depends on whose side of the story the filmmaker is presenting in front of the audience. Arjun’s life, from the time we see it, boils down to one relationship – his relationship with Preeti. The makers have used every technique to make the romance look as passionate as possible, the music and the performances have helped tremendously, and this passion has managed to make the audience Arjun’s ally. It creates empathy towards the character. There are a few more characteristics that make Arjun Reddy desirable like his unapologetic personality, his unwillingness to change himself for the society, he is shown as caring and to his credit, he is sincere about his concept of love. And it is not the technical aspects we connect to but it is with the emotions, no emotion more than pain attracts us. Once the movie has shown how deeply Arjun loved Preeti, his pain becomes the viewer’s too. One thing to note here is how this is Arjun’s and Arjun’s story alone, maybe if we were shown parallels or other characters’ point of view or how they are affected by his behavior, we may have totally different results. Like aptly titled, it is Arjun Reddy and not Arjun-Preeti, the girl’s side of this world is not even promised in the first place. That is a brilliant decision while making this movie because the filmmaker can only get away with his viewers being on Arjun’s side. Basically the narrative is structured for you to like Arjun.
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Thrillers and horror movies never go out of fashion because that is the only place where we are ready to put ourselves in a dangerous situation without being physically present there; those extreme moments of fright can give us a thrill we won’t experience in real life. Something similar to this is true with our movie of discussion too. Arjun Reddy is on extremes if every emotion and everything he does. To a normal person, it is almost impossible to lead a life as his and that makes watching him do these things exciting. When he acts like the rebel he is, it is the reflection of what many of us want to be but can never be. When movies present it’s audience with situations that are ‘uniquely familiar’ it pulls crowd, the premise might be familiar that can provide a bit of comfort and still is uniquely presented. Love it or not, one can’t ignore the fact that this screenplay had some never seen before moments in it. Also it overturned expectations with a happy ending. Traveling in the shoes of Arjun Reddy, even after all that suffering, ends up being a satisfying experience.
A well written love story will work any day, now whether you fall on the side where Arjun/Kabir is called a glorified misogynist or on the side where he is hailed as a great lover is your problem. But the box-office numbers and the upcoming remakes show that the movies have worked pretty well. Vijay Deverakonda’s rise to stardom is another evidence to the movie’s success. Yet, by the end of the day, it is about the story; no matter what the hero’s behavior or the lack of heroine’s point of view says, but if the emotions make it’s way to the hearts – the movie works. Cinema definitely has a responsibility towards the society and every conversation movies trigger are important but it is also important to remember that it’s just a movie. It takes a lot of thinking to arrive on a conclusion whether the movie(s) sends the right message or not and that may defer with each perspective but we have tried to narrow down some elements that can be attributed to why this story managed to create the impact it did and that’s not endorsing the content but analysing it. Aditya Varma hits the screen this Friday, we can watch if the magic happens again or not, if another star takes birth from the same soil or not and of course, if the controversies follow or not!

Cracking The Code of “Mass Cinema” with Porinju Mariyam Jose!

By Mahima Nandakumar
It’s a grand setup, a few people on screen and a hall-full in the dark are waiting for him to appear, shadow of a mass bgm is making it’s way in; and with a BANG! – there he is, Kaattalan Porinju! This introduction is followed by an exceptionally choreographed fight sequence and that was enough to energize the entire room of audience for what came ahead in the movie. Yes, this is not a new scenario, we might have seen it over five decades played by various actors. But to be honest, even in 2019, if the sequence is done well, it works like a charm!
Lately, the phrase “content is king” is adapted by all major film industries. The fear of people not buying tickets has crawled into every filmmaker’s heart. As we witness the changes, we understand that the people are no longer buying any of the old selling tropes. This change paved a new path for writers with unique vision and filmmakers who are brave to experiment. Occasionally a Pulimurugan or a Baahubali creates storm across the regions but we don’t see much of the conventional cinema in a smaller scale becoming a success. And that’s where veteran director Joshiy’s latest film ‘Porinju Mariyam Jose’ is staying on ground and making waves! This creates room for discussion and thoughts on the future of “Mass Cinema”.
‘Porinju Mariyam Jose’, in it’s core, is the same old story but the makers have made it highly engaging, with brilliant performances and a fantastic technical team. The new bottle for the old wine is really attractive. But what is it about this film that made it more endearing and entertaining than, say a ‘Madhura Raja’ or a ‘Kalki’? The answer, metaphorically speaking, is in Porinju’s style of fighting; Porinju firmly stands on ground and faces his opponents, he’s a strong man but not superman, he’s one of us, but a little larger than life in dramatic context.
And so were his legendary predecessors, be it Aadu Thoma or Aanakkaattil Chackochi, be it Mangalassery Neelakandan or Narasimha Mannadiyaar, they were all relatable, they never lost their nativity. It was easier for the common man to feel like he himself was committing these heroic acts. In the need to become big, bigger, huge and massive our heroes didn’t just lose their human nature but became something else that we couldn’t even name! In many of those bad films, neither did the hero nor the story world connect with us; more tragically, not even with each other!
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The key to understanding the perfect balance between larger-than-life and relatability is to create a story world of which the hero is a part of and not vice-versa. The conflict, the chacteristics and every other element should emerge from the story itself. Porinju Mariyam Jose succeeds in doing that. Even while being the the story of the three titular characters, it brings in their surroundings, their lifestyles, their people and their problems. Even the main conflict arises from this. That way, even if you are familiar with the subject, you are able to connect to this version of it. And with the superiority of the director’s craft, it visually becomes a treat.
The meaning of the word ‘commercial’ is something that’s intended to make a profit and that’s different from making a movie with the intention to appeal to a larger number of audience. When you consider the numbers, the more footfall is equal to more money but the goal should be to make a movie that audience from all social circles will equally enjoy. With the movie in hand, who knows this better than Joshiy! The idea that art cinema is good and commercial cinema is bad, is not true.
Some might argue that it’s the conventional narrative that they have a problem with, and that makes sense. But even that doesn’t mean that to have a conventional story as a basement is such a bad thing if the filmmaker has something new to offer to that particular story. Mass films are missed, a regular cine-goers’s experience isn’t complete if he/she isn’t receiving that regular dose of energy-rush. Porinju Mariyam Jose, currently fills that void but the hope is to see more filmmakers experiment with this league of cinema as well. We belong to that group of audiences who would walk into a single screen with a whole set of band instruments, and it is a true shame if they are not often given a movie to celebrate!

Why Robert Pattinson Deserves A Chance

Whenever there is news about casting in a superhero film, the reaction is varied and this is true of even the most celebrated casting decisions. Today, we absolutely cannot see anyone as the Joker apart from Heath Ledger but when he was cast, there was a lot of negative reaction. Now, there are reports that Robert Pattinson is in talks to take on the role of the Caped Crusader. The actor who is most commonly associated with the Twilight franchise is being thought of as the wrong choice by many. What I would like to do is offer a defense for the actor and give reasons as to why you should give him a chance.

To begin with, calling him the ‘Twilight dude’ is a disservice to all the stellar work that he has done this decade. Sure, his performance as Edward in those films will not make much of a impression on you but since then, he has transformed his career. By focusing on Indie films and working with strong scripts, he has shown how good an actor he is. He has worked with some of the best directors including David Cronenberg, Claire Denis and Werner Herzog. Those three alone present an enviable lineup to actors all over and Pattinson has been able to do that.

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The variety in his work has been astonishing to see and even I was skeptical of it at first. But over a period of around 8 years, he has shown that he is a tremendous performer who especially excels at roles that require intensity. In fact, given how much the actor himself dislikes the Twilight films, I was surprised to see him being linked to another franchise. But if I’ve learnt anything from his recent work, it is that he believes in the director and the story. And if this is where Matt Reeves has won him over, then we are in for a treat. There is still a chance that Pattinson will not be Batman but using his ‘Twilight’ work to criticize him is just shortsighted. And as films like Good Time have shown us, R Pat can act.

Until next time, bye.

The Marvelous 10 Years!

By Mahima Nandakumar
“There was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people to see if we could become something more…” think of Nick Fury saying this or Kevin Feige, it will make the same impact. And now as the world stands after End Game, we can say that they did become so much more. We are going to take a look at what Marvel did right to make half of the world’s population it’s family (yeah, they did also turn them into dust).
You don’t need an article to tell you the origin story of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is probably the most popular success story after Apple. And names like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Kevin Feige, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, Joe and Anthony Russo and many more have already taken it’s place in history. But one must analyze the progress they have shown since the first Iron Man movie; to achieve this level of success the MCU brought great brains and best resources together. The easiest example of this would be to look at the actors who we now recognize as a major superhero, many of them starred in B grade movies before beginning their journey with Marvel. The first and foremost ‘right decision’ they made is to invest in potential and not an already established and famous entity.
The MCU has been consistent in delivering great films back to back but that doesn’t mean that they get a 22/22 score, there are a few bad films. Iron Man 3, Thor The Dark World and Avengers Age Of Ultron aren’t really the fan favorites. But, even then they didn’t give up, they held on to these characters like they were actual people, like how you wouldn’t walk away from a dear one in the time of a crisis. They recruited people who could fix it and get the journey going. MCU always had a macro-perspective, which now, in the end of what Iron Man started, makes the whole picture so beautiful.
If you talk about Avengers End Game, it’s like talking about the whole 22 films. The End Game is a tribute to fans, it’s a tribute to everyone who worked on and off screen for these larger than life films. With End Game, the MCU did not deliver what we expected, it gave us more than that. It acknowledged the past works, it honored the original six avengers with a closure that no one could even dream of, the MCU basically stood in front of it’s audience and said ‘you have spent time and money on making this what it is today, so you deserve this ending!’. In a world where majority of people rely on movies to take off from reality, how many times do we receive that honor?!
They don’t demand respect, they earn it; they don’t take advantage of their fan base, they value them.
Last but not least, if you have watched at least 10 of the 22 films, you will be having your own memories and experiences with this universe and End Game is a must watch because that’s not just a movie but a story that you will share with your future generations. The next phase might be bigger and better, the ending is just a beginning for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and we enter with them into that world with 100% trust, but it will be impossible to forget these characters and movies for anything new. The sadness might stay for a while but so will the highs. And that’s the biggest victory of the MCU, they didn’t just present you with spectacles, they told stories that made an impact!
P.S : Man… I wish Kevin Feige ran the world!

Lucifer : Presenting A Film In All It’s Glory

By Mahima Nandakumar
Last night, every movie loving Malayali was at the peak of their excitement to catch the theatrical trailer of the Mohanlal starer Lucifer, directed by, probably the world’s most anticipated debut director, Prithviraj Sukumaran and written by Murali Gopi. This film had these waves of elation coming it’s way from the fans since the day the project was announced. And a project of this merit should receive nothing less than this. But Lucifer is special in another way too; be it the location stills, first look and character posters, teaser or trailer, there is a style in the presentation. Let’s look at how the makers of Lucifer have presented their project (please note, a movie that does not need to try hard at all to get it’s audience) in all it’s glory.
THEY MADE US FAMILIAR WITH THE PEOPLE.
The film’s title is ‘LUCIFER’ and it’s sure that the moniker is associated to the protagonist, and that name itself conveys something about the characteristic of the hero. With the character posters that followed, the audience have become familiar with the actors and their roles even before the films release. The film has an illustrious ensemble which adds up to the anticipation.
THE WAY THE TRAILER IS CUT.
Lucifer’s trailer is cut in a very effective manner, you see the story universe, the other characters, a main event (PK Ramdas’s death), a conflicted situation and then the entry of the hero. Also here the “GOD” is taken out of the picture, so it’s “Lucifer” ‘s kingdom. As Stephen says, the war is between Evil and Evil. We are very specially told about the world this story is going to take place. And that’s the success of the trailer. Furthermore, the trailer contains the action and drama that will draw fans in.
THE WRITER’S AND DIRECTOR’S MARK.
Prithviraj Sukumaran is a superstar himself, he has a large fan base and his knowledge and taste in movies is often acknowledged and appreciated by fans and critics; Murali Gopi is arguably the best screenwriter in Malayalam cinema today, he writes screenplays that have substantial impact on the audiences, so when these two minds come together, they are expected to deliver a product of certain quality. With whatever content the team has put out, it is quite clear that the film has a classy look that’s coming from a place of fine craftsmanship.
THE STAR THAT IS MOHANLAL.
In the trailer itself, notice the way Stephen Nedumpally is introduced, his importance in this space is made evident and then there are the classic Mohanlal frames like him folding the mundu and many action sequences. Stephen is an antihero, he is directly put under the Evil category and he confirms it himself. Mohanlal is presented as Lucifer and there has always been a strong impact when a star is introduced to the audience as the character, and especially as a character that can be celebrated.
The makers of Lucifer don’t play around with the film’s buzz, they are working on sustaining it and taking it higher. The film will hit the theaters in a week and, think about it, you know everything you need to know before paying for your ticket. That’s how you present a movie, especially one with a superstar, a line of great actors, a fantastic crew and another superstar helming it all. Lucifer should teach us a lesson or two in placing a mass structure in a substantial story.
Until next time, bye.

The Problem With Being Shah Rukh Khan

He is one of the biggest movie stars in the world but if you took a look at his career in the recent past, it doesn’t match up to his contemporaries. With his latest release¬†Zero¬†getting some not so good reviews, it made me wonder what has happened to SRK’s career. Is this a case of someone who has not adapted to the times or is it just a phase and something better is bound to come?

Let me begin this by saying that I am a huge fan of SRK but I will put my love for him aside and look at this situation in an objective manner. If we look at his last five films including Zero, it is a list that reads: Jab Harry Met Sejal, Raees, Dear Zindagi & Fan. Now, if we use box-office returns as a barometer of success then JHMS & Fan were not up to the mark. Though they grossed more than the majority of what the other films made, since it was starring SRK it was not considered to be good enough. His role in Dear Zindagi was more of an extended cameo but he did shine as an actor.

Out of the three Khans, SRK is in the trickiest position. With due respect to Salman Khan, fans know exactly what they are getting in his film and what he does seems to be doing well, bar a few missteps here and there. With Aamir Khan, who is probably in the best position, the audience expects a lot and more often than not, they get it from him. SRK on the other hand, seems unwilling to experiment as much as he should be doing. This is the same actor who gave us Swades and Veer-Zaara in the space of a month. Perhaps the failure of the former made him stay away from such films in the future. Though people now talk about Swades as a classic that didn’t get its due, the fact that this was not reflected in the box-office at the time, is a sad truth.

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Another factor that has to be considered is that the industry is changing and more importantly, the audience is too. Our exposure has improved significantly so what used to work a decade ago may not work today. This goes against SRK as he is an actor who had his biggest successes before the industry became crazy about the numbers game. Overseas, he is without a doubt one of the biggest draws we have. Domestically, his films don’t do as well as the other two Khans. Is this case of a lack of quality? If I had to offer my two cents, I feel that SRK looks at the success of films such as Chennai Express or Dilwale and wonders why should he do something different. After all, these films are getting the numbers that would be considered as being successful.

Maybe if Swades had released today, we probably would have made it a blockbuster and maybe that would have changed SRK’s opinion on what kind of films to make. I may be biased in saying this but he is probably the greatest on-screen lover that Bollywood has today. But is there something as too much love? And people who point out the difference in age between him and his leading ladies, should also wonder if a 53-year old SRK romanced a 53-year old actress, would it still be as big a hit? The problem with being SRK is that you are put in this position of being among the elite so anything less than what the elite make, becomes a failure by default. Is he not picking the right kind of scripts or is he not being offered these good stories?

I’m not a part of his inner circle so I cannot really answer that. What I do know is that this is a man who can act and if you want proof of that, you know what films to see. In some ways, SRK’s career has progressed in reverse. If he had followed the Aamir template, the previous decade would have seen films with Rohit Shetty and this decade we would have gotten something like Chak De! India. Aamir has been smart in bringing in his career shift at this point in time. This has allowed him to reach box-office heights that were previously unheard of. Now, it is time for SRK to make that shift, but is it too late? It is always tough to see one of your favorite actors struggle, and you want them to show the world that they still got it. We live an age where trolling is the norm and people take so much joy in seeing others fail. Recently, on a Facebook group, I saw a guy ask how SRK became so popular with no acting skills and a face like that. To him, I would like to reply with a line from Om Shanti Om, Picture abhi baaki hain mere dost.”

Until next time, bye