Shah Rukh Khan is tough to write about thoroughly. How could it not be when seasoned authors have written pages about the renowned superstar? His work shows his skills; documentaries and fan-made videos show his appeal; and historical facts and figures bow in awe of a single man.
No, this is special in that what is written is personal—another drop in the ocean of adoration for the man who can have a discussion with his followers without speaking. The man himself, not the overwhelming devotion, has captivated every fan and follower.
Year of the King 2023
This year began with a term-defining comeback. Shah Rukh’s chiseled figure and untidy ponytail sparked a sensuous flame with Pathaan, which many fans may have been burned by. The King decided to wear sunglasses in 2023 and let his planned battle sequences speak, smashing box office figures with a tenderness that is unique to him even in an action avatar.
The subsequent steps of Jawan won over even the most ardent doubters, as Vikram Rathore won hearts and his son affected minds by broaching political issues. The aggressive Vikram said, “Deal with the father before threatening the son,” sending shockwaves around the world. Was it a coincidence that the line followed a terrifying Aryan Khan experience? One can be ignorant and call it an intentional coincidence.
Shah Rukh continued in Jawan, breaking records. Dunki opened on December 21, and early reviews call it a “timeless masterpiece.”
Hall of Fame
Most people accumulate milestones, feathers, and fortunes throughout their lives. Sometimes they struggle. Some are born with silver spoons. Each achievement is an outward piece that says, “This is my legacy.”
How do you praise an actor who has reached a milestone? How does one comprehend becoming Shah Rukh Khan, with the world’s eyes on him in jealousy or awe? How does one comprehend his effect, hoping, praying, and developing bridges to be in the same room as the superstar?
Cut from another fabric
In Pathaan, Shah Rukh’s 2023 film, a woman fights goons to save her character.
As Animal immortalizes every misogynist’s fantasy of overpowering, mistreating, cheating on, and dominating women, Shah Rukh presents Jawan, where an all-women prison saves a suffering India.
The star is determined like no other to correct negative film ideas and depict women as equals and key actors. Shah Rukh Khan films are always Shah Rukh Khan films. In a period of gender alienation and on-purpose insults, his message is warm.
Before everything else
Since childhood, I’ve loved Shah Rukh and most of his projects. I initially didn’t get it. I turned to Main Yahaan Hoon or Dard-e-Disco when I was depressed or wanted to laugh. I enjoy his films, although I’m aware of those that haven’t aged well.
Shah Rukh has survived when stars came and went and new names replaced old ones on neon signs and movie posters. After a series of unsuccessful films, many wrote him off.
As a fan, watching him dance to Jhoome Jo Pathaan after one of the year’s biggest singles or knowing that his film’s trailer played on the Burj Khalifa due of his stature is astounding. Given his global fame, there is an unnerving desire to gatekeep while understanding its impracticality.
However, it seems like the world is waking up to what I and his followers have known since we adored him. He is, and always will be, the last star. No one loves like him, and he remains the romance messiah in action avatars. He is and always will be Bollywood’s king, leaving a legacy as welcoming as his open-armed stance.