Monday, January 5, 2009

Why Aamir’s got it right

I saw Ghajini last night, and I’d seen Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi a couple of weeks back. And hence, this piece—one of the many that compare the two Khan clans in which the Indian film industry seems to be divided.

I’ve always been more of a Shah Rukh fan than Aamir. It’s not like I hated Aamir or anything, but just that I’d gravitate towards watching more SRK movies, and even appreciating them. Never saw Sarfarosh in its entirety, haven’t seen Andaaz Apna Apna the whole way, and I guess I missed out on another couple of them over the years. On the other hand, I have seen almost of all of SRK’s movies. I stood by him, finding little tidbits of very good acting when everyone around was writing him off and heading towards other heroes, more often than not, the other would be Aamir.

And now, after all these years… I am truly leaning towards doing the same. Not because I think the SRK-brand of acting has turned bad…but because the SRK brand is just not moving forward. It seems to be suspended in this vacuum status quo where he’s this perpetual loverboy alternately in college and a middle-aged man who wants to be “macho”.

It’s just that I believe that at least Aamir is trying to do different things. Challenge himself and the audience with new storylines, scripts, characters. Tare Zameen Pe easily holds the spot of one of those rare iconic movies of the 21st century to come out of Bollywood. Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti and even Aamir’s character in Ghajini (his acting was the only thing that saved the movie, though) are all testaments of his willingness to experiment with different things. He knows he’s got his fan base in place, so instead of just basking in their adulation, he’s trying to take things up by several notches.
This is in stark contrast to Shah Rukh, whose last couple of movies have been Om Shanti Om, Don, Heyy Baby, Main Hoon Na, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and, of course, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Admittedly, the role of Surinder Sahni was very cute and well played, but his counterpart Raj Kapoor was equally, if not more, obnoxious. Billu Barber, SRK’s next movie, doesn’t raise my hopes on it being very experimental either. But it’s not that he hasn’t done many different movies. I mean, I love Devdas and Chak De! but those weren’t exactly great risk-takers were they.

I know SRK has always said that whatever he does, he does to entertain people and make money, but I do believe that he should have some faith in his fans and take some risks, do some experiments. I find it hard to imagine that as a creative person, he is actually satisfied doing similar roles and doesn’t want to do anything new. (Making fun of oneself in movies, again…repeatedly, can’t be counted as new.)

I don’t want to compare, but… Aamir’s doing it, and doing it well. Why don’t you give it a shot. I for one would love to see some more facets to your acting personality, considering I already love the ones that exist.


  1. Agree to most of the things u have said in the blog...agree that Aamir's role saved Ghajini...but do u seriously think there was anything else to the movie???
    First, the villain, on whose name the movie has been named, looks like a second rug Sambha kinds…
    Second, Asin did not impress me one bit by her acting in the movie…yes she looked fresh and that was it…
    And last but the most important miss of the movie, I would say, is that the director did not exploit Aamir’s talent at all. I mean the only moment where Aamir was visible, was the scene, where he screams on a hospital bed after all the numbers are erased from his body.
    But I am sorry to say that was not Aamir’s best performance. And that was purely because of the director’s fault. Have you seen U, Me aur Hum? Watch that movie for the scene where Kajol stares at the lizard in the drawing room, while the kid is drowning in the bathtub and the dog keeps barking and you would know what I mean.
    As for the experiment part, I love Aamir for that. Loved Taare & RDB umpteen times. But for Ghajini, the movie…it just doesn’t hit me. For once, I was disappointed to waste 150 bucks on an Aamir movie…

  2. I agree that there weren't many things in Ghajini to see... but aamir was good (and yep again.. that was the only thing that was worth watching), asin looked like a juhi/kajol wannabe, and as for the rest of the cast... i guess they just had to take all the tamil actors since it was murugadoss' movie in the first place... so they don't particularly gel with the typical 'bollywood' idea of what certain characters are meant to look like...