Opinion | Why the News of Any Aamir Khan Film Gives Hopenewsbhunt


Aamir Khan has given some of the biggest hits ever since he first appeared as the leading man in Mansoor Khan’s bubblegum romance Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in 1989.

Aamir Khan has given some of the biggest hits ever since he first appeared as the leading man in Mansoor Khan’s bubblegum romance Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in 1989.

Aamir Khan has not been successful at the box office recently. Yet, few would deny that the 58-year-old megastar has what it takes to bounce back once more

Aamir Khan fans must be ecstatic. The megastar, who had taken a break from acting, will face the camera soon. Although Khan has not tasted success recently, he is, without a shade of doubt, among the most bankable stars in the Hindi film industry.

Famously selective, Khan has given some of the biggest hits ever since he first appeared as the leading man in Mansoor Khan’s bubblegum romance Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak in 1989. QSQT turned Khan and Juhi Chawla into national sensations in no time. More than three decades later, has his fan following diminished considerably? That is unlikely, if we consider that even Shah Rukh Khan had to deal with setbacks before his grand comeback with Siddharth Anand’s action thriller Pathaan early this year. Salman Khan is waiting for the release of a near-certain blockbuster: Maneesh Sharma’s action thriller Tiger 3. SRK’s September 7 release, Atlee’s crime thriller Jawan, is a definite blockbuster. If Jawan does eclipse Pathaan’s record-breaking performance, nobody will be surprised.

Despite being in their late 1950s — Aamir is 58 while Salman and SRK will get there soon — their mass appeal has not declined. If a Khan film with viewer-friendly content hits the marquee, it can get enviable attendance in the cinemas even today. The age factor is becoming increasingly inconsequential for the modern-day viewer, as was also exemplified by Anil Sharma’s period drama Gadar 2, which capitalised on the memories of its prequel Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001) and the appeal of the now-66-year-old Sunny Deol as Tara Singh.

The much-awaited news of Khan’s return was made public by trade analyst Taran Adarsh on the micro-blogging site X (formerly Twitter). Adarsh’s post reads: “#Xclusiv… AAMIR KHAN LOCKS CHRISTMAS 2024 FOR NEXT FILM…Aamir Khan Productions’ Prod No. 16 [not titled yet], starring #AamirKhan in the lead role, to release on 20 Dec 2024 #Christmas2024. Pre-production of the film is ongoing and the film goes on floors on 20 Jan 2024… More details to follow soon.” Which project is Khan working on? Who are his costars? These questions will be answered, hopefully, soon.

Khan’s last two films have been box-office disappointments. Writer-director Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Thugs of Hindostan (2018), a generously budgeted period adventure film, had two significant shortcomings: a weak screenplay and ordinary direction. Although Khan and Amitabh Bachchan delivered noteworthy performances, they could not save the film. Advait Chandan’s comedy-drama Laal Singh Chaddha (2022), the Indianised adaptation of Robert Zemeckis’s Forrest Gump (1994), performed poorly in India although it fared well overseas. The film had its share of strengths – notably Atul Kulkarni’s screenplay and Chandan’s direction – but the initially de-aged Khan failed to impress the viewer in the central role.

Simultaneously, Khan’s controversial statements at the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2015 returned to haunt him. Voicing his opinion on the so-called growing intolerance, he had said back then, “When I chat with Kiran (his then wife) at home, she says, ‘Should we move out of India?’ That’s a disastrous and big statement for Kiran to make. She fears for her child (son Azad). She fears about what the atmosphere around us will be. She feels scared to open the newspapers every day.” The actor’s statements received much criticism, and eventually led to the hashtags #boycottlaalsinghchaddha and #boycottbollywood that started trending on social media before LSC’s release seven years later. That might have also impacted the film’s performance at the box office.

Although TOH grossed an estimated Rs 335 crore globally, it tanked because its huge budget reportedly ranged between Rs 200 and 300 crore. LOC did not get the required numbers either. Considering Khan’s recent record isn’t great – in fact, the opposite is true – why will the news of his upcoming project give hope to the industry? The reason is Khan’s list of hits since the start of his career, which makes a strong statement of his

unquestionable superstardom.

Fans of Khan have learned to expect the unexpected from him. He is one of those rare stars who has consistently surprised with his choice of roles and films for a long time. He is a rural lad who leads his village cricket team in a must-win match against the British colonisers in Ashutosh Gowariker’s period film Lagaan: Once Upon A Time in India (2001). He is a teacher who guides his dyslexic pupil in the self-helmed drama Taare Zameen Par (2007). His character suffers from anterograde amnesia in AR Murugadoss’s thriller Ghajini (2008). In Rajkumar Hirani’s coming-of-age comedy 3 Idiots (2009), a lighthearted satire on the education system, he appears as a student of engineering — at 34. He is the antagonist in Vijay Krishna Acharya’s masala entertainer Dhoom 3 ( 2013), a loveable alien in Hirani’s satirical comedy PK (2014), and an amateur wrestler who coaches his daughters in Nitesh Tiwari’s biographical drama Dangal (2016). His range of performances manifests his versatility as an actor – and the desire for exploring new ideas.

Khan must have signed on the dotted line after a lot of introspection. Has he got it right this time?

The author, a journalist for three decades, writes on literature and pop culture. Among his books are ‘MSD: The Man, The Leader’, the bestselling biography of former Indian captain MS Dhoni, and the ‘Hall of Fame’ series of film star biographies. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect News18’s views.


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