Monday Morning Questions! Shahrukh Week!

Happy Monday of Shahrukh Week!  Question time!  Shahrukh themed question time! (previous weeks here and here and here and here and here)

As always, you can ask me anything you want, from personal questions about my film preferences (what is your favorite Shahrukh movie?), to specific questions about facts and background you might on the films (What was Shahrukh’s first movie?) to general discussion questions (why is Shahrukh The Best?).

Your questions this week don’t have to be Shahrukh themed (although that would be fine with me!), but just to make this into a fun challenge, I am going to try to make my answers Shahrukh themed 🙂  Kind if similar to when I was in grad school and I tried to start every paper with a reference to Amitabh, for good luck.

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35 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions! Shahrukh Week!

    • Fun questions! Thanks!

      1. Worst film: Hmm. If we are just talking about the films in a vacuum, then probably Yeh Lamhe Judaai Ke, the movie from really early in his career that was finally released in 2002. It was so bad that he didn’t even go back to do the dubbing, they had to use someone else’s voice.

      But if we are talking worst film in terms of biggest missed opportunity, the film that had a chance to be something more and failed, I think I might say Jab Tak Hain Jaan. Not because it’s bad all around, but because it has so many good parts that ultimately don’t come together into a satisfying whole. Shahrukh’s character is wonderful, Anushka’s character is pretty great too, Katrina’s ultimately just doesn’t make any sense. The plot is about 50% good and 50% so ridiculous it takes me out of the movie. The visuals are just gorgeous, unbelievably beautiful. But they feel empty, because the emotions they are supposed to be supporting just aren’t quite there. Feel free to disagree, but that’s how it felt to me.

      2. Co-star with least chemistry: Hmm. I think I might say Pooja Bhatt in Chaahat. It’s not bad, like you say, he could romance a cow. But she feels so much older than him, even though they are about the same age. She’d been acting since she was 16, and I think she was just tired of it. Especially in this kind of boring love interest role. She just feels sort of checked out. This was one of her last roles, and she switched to producing and directing shortly after.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You have been given a chance to interview SRK for 30 minutes at a live event in the US. What questions would you ask him? Alternately–you have the opportunity to meet SRK privately for 10 minutes. What questions would you ask him?

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    • Oh man! That’s a hard one! And thanks for being so specific, I would totally ask different questions at a live event, in the US, than I would in a private interview, or a live event elsewhere!

      1. 30 minutes at a live event:
      Why do you think you are so popular with the NRI audience?

      What would it take for you to be interested in doing a Hollywood project?

      Do you think you are more popular abroad than at home, or is it the same?

      What is your favorite city, outside of India?

      What is your favorite non-Indian film?
      (That’s not that many questions, but he always gives such detailed answers, I think that might be enough, right?)

      2. Privately for 10 minutes: Do you think there is a greater purpose to your stardom, a reason God has given you all of this?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s Halloween. Horror and spooky movies aren’t really common in Hindi cinema. Last Halloween I watched Darr which was more creepy than scary. Are there any scary Hindi films that are decent to watch? I’m leaning towards watching Hisss tonight because it looks like campy fun.

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    • Ha! I already wrote a theme post on this, going up later today!

      There are a few horror classics from back in the Golden Age. Mahal, a sort of re-imagining of Rebecca or The Innocents. It’s not all slasher and jump scares, more psychological mystery. Bhoot Bungla, which has an excellent title song, is a horror comedy classic.

      Ek Thi Daayan got surprisingly good reviews, it’s a recent Emraan Hashmi horror movie about a witch. Bhoot started a bit of a horror renaissance, it’s a Ram Gopal Verma movie from a few years back, no songs, no budget, just scares. And basically anything Bips has been in for the past 10 years, she is the real scream queen of India right now. The Bhatts keep churning out sexy scary stuff with her. Oh! Ragini MMS2! Sort of the extreme scary/sexy film. Sunny Leone, and a story that involves ghosts and a sex tape.

      I want to suggest a Shahrukh movie, to keep the theme going. Hmmm. I guess Chamatkar? It’s not a spooky movie, but it is a ghost story. And I guess Om Shanti Om, the last 20 minutes are really a ghost story more than anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Has he ever really tried to quit smoking? It hurts me to see him with a cigarette, because my father died a horrible death from emphysema, and because his own father died of cancer. I know it’s hard to quit, but jeeez.

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    • I don’t know if he has ever really tried to quit. I know there have been plenty of interviews with people like Farah talking about how much they hate his smoking. And I think I remember him talking about how he isn’t allowed to smoke in the house, and I don’t remember seeing him smoking around Aryan and Suhana and AbRam, so he seems to be trying to limit second hand smoke at least. Which means on some level he must know how bad it is for him.

      He has so many unhealthy habits, like working with broken collarbones or only sleeping a few hours a night, it feels like he just doesn’t care about his body. This is just me wildly extrapolating, but I’ve always felt like his father’s death is why he smokes. And drinks and works 20 hour days and generally just doesn’t slow down. Like he has some kind of sense that he will die young as well, and rather than trying to prevent it, he is just going to work flat out and get everything he can out of the time he has left. And if smoking can give him the shot of energy that takes him through film shoots and injuries and everything else, why not?

      I know he was a serious enough addict that he spent the last of his money on cigarettes instead of food the first time he came to Bombay, at 21. And I think I remember reading somewhere that he started at 14. So I’m guessing quitting would be more on the “lock myself in the house for a month and stop working while my body eats itself alive” side of it than on the “oh, just have some nicotine gum and be a little cranky” side. Obviously, he should still do it, but I could also see that being part of the argument, that he can’t afford to quite working and quite parenting and quite everything else to just focus on breaking the addiction, and nothing less than total focus is going to do it.

      On Mon, Oct 31, 2016 at 12:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I only really know what Shahrukh has said, I guess he could be lying, but it seems unlikely. He isn’t making his father into a major hero or anything. He was a follower of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, who was disliked by the British and the eventual Pakistani government (since he was against partition). Shahrukh says that his father used to attend protests and speak sometimes. He was arrested a lot, to the point where he fell behind in his studies and was failing school. So his family sent him to Delhi to get away from the movement and the police. And he was in Delhi when Partition happened. He chose to stay in India, and later he wasn’t allowed to get a Visa to return because of his record as a Khan follower, not until the 70s.

      So his contribution was the same as many thousands, if not millions, of others. Showing up and providing passive non-violent resistance at protests. But it’s still worthwhile, it was only because so many people showed up that the world finally paid attention.

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  4. Q2: do u think indian films are being westernized now? why majority of big star films are about foreign lands? human trafficking in bulgaria,rich peoples relationship problems in london,bank robberry in US….?
    why are they hesitant to tell stories about india?

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    • Thank goodness, I think it is getting a lot better than it used to be. Kapoor & Sons, Dhoni, Pink, there’ve been a lot of really interesting movies with Indian settings just this year. And Band Baaja Baarat set off a whole trend of lower budget rom-coms with a strong Indian setting.

      But as for why they are mostly overseas, this started with DDLJ, and it’s got a very simple reason: overseas money. The overseas audience wants to see themselves onscreen. What’s interesting is that the “overseas” audience is changing, it’s not just London and New York and Toronto any more. For instance, Don 2 in Germany, reaching out to Shahrukh’s massive non-Indian German fanbase. Or Airlift, or Happy New Year, reaching out to the Arabian NRI audience.

      That’s the big reason, there are two other smaller reasons. First, the audience likes feeling like they are seeing something new (this is true for the American audience as well, James Bond in Istambul, Julia Roberts traveling to India). Give them a new setting, Swiss mountains or Turkish hotels, it’s exciting! This is the trend that started long before DDLJ, with Sangam and Silsila.

      And then the other smaller reason is that it is strangely cheaper and easier to film overseas sometimes than at home. The Stars aren’t splitting their time between you and 5 other responsibilities, you can film on the street without worrying about crowds, and all the bureaucracy and corruption you have to deal with in India goes away (not to say there isn’t equal corruption in other countries, but they are probably a little nicer about it if they want to keep outside business coming in).

      Anyway, like I said, I see this trend getting less and less now. The Indian multiplex audience likes to see themselves onscreen, so there are more and more movies about Indian based people. And the international audience no longer falls for the excitement of seeing themselves onscreen. The would rather see a good movie in India (Pink) than a bad movie set overseas (Baar Baar Dekho).

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  5. Six questions to you, a fellow SRK fan.

    1. Do you think that SRK’s negative roles do make an impact on the current generation youngsters, considering that Darr was quoted in a similar situation in the past. If yes, whom to blame? the actor or director?
    2. Do you think SRK should collaborate, with any actress he has worked with more than once, frequently? I mean, is there any pair which deserved more number of films together?
    3. If you have watched Rajinikanth’s Enthiran, please answer this. SRK rejected this script when Shankar narrated it. If at all he acted in it, do you think he would do a really good job as the rogue robot (3rd phase)? And, whom would you choose as the woman between the scientist and robot if SRK did the role and the script was absolutely the same, scene by scene.
    4. What was the last film of SRK where you found his performance like “grab-the-paycheck-and-run-away-no-art-here”.
    5. If SRK works with filmmakers like RGV and Sriram Raghavan and is not provided the option to choose a neo-noir script, which kind of film would you like to see him in, if they direct it.
    6. I’m sure you might have been exhausted by now. Well, this is the last. If a Sherlock Holmes’ story has been “indianised” and SRK has been chosen to play Holmes, which actor would you prefer to see as Watson. Why?

    Waiting for your answers and tomorrow’s post too.

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    • 1. I think the casting director is to blame for the audience reaction to Shahrukh negative roles. Or whoever it is that casts him in the part. Whether it is Darr or Don or Fan, I find that the story the director is telling is about good and evil and right and wrong, and there is a moral lesson in the universe. And Shahrukh, as an actor, is doing his best to present that story, playing his character honestly. The problem is, he’s just so gosh-darn charismatic! No matter what he does, even if he is trying his best to be the “bad guy”, the audience still falls in love with him. He’s mentioned that was one of the problems with Fan, for instance, Gaurav was supposed to be the straight up villain, and audiences just didn’t get it. I understand Shahrukh’s desire to play different roles, and the producers excitement over casting him, but it just never works, audiences love him anyway. Kind of like Arnold in the first Terminator, he was supposed to be the bad guy, but he was a heck of a lot more interesting than Michael Biehn.

      2. Tabu! They were great together in Saathiya, they are age appropriate, she is a great actress who doesn’t get nearly enough roles. I would love to see a full movie of them as a couple.

      3. I haven’t watched it 😦

      4. Unfortunately, a lot of his recent films. To some degree. He is a professional, I never find that he is actually sleepwalking through a role and not trying at all. But I certainly get the vibe that a fair number of his past few films were less about being excited for a challenging role, and more about filling up the coffers of Red Chillies. Dilwale, Happy New Year, even Chennai Express (although I think that was an all around good movie, it wasn’t a challenging one). On the other hand, I think the good news is he made all those movies so he would have the money to pursue really challenging and commercially unviable stuff, like Fan and Raees and basically everything else he’s got coming down the line. Imtiaz Ali, Aanand L Rai, Rahul Dholakia, these are really exciting directors for him to be working with.

      5. Ooo, fun question! I want RGV to do another screwball comedy. Preferably with an industry setting. Mast, Rangeela, something like that. I would love to see Shahrukh in a kind of Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby role, where he is caught up in increasingly hectic circumstances and trying to find his way out of them. Maybe he is a scriptwriter who gets caught up with a flighty actress and they end up having to go through a series of elaborate lies in order to help keep funding for their movie? Something like that. For Sriram Raghavan, if he’s not doing a neo-noir, what about a love triangle? Take the same super complicated coincidence filled plots he usually does, but instead of being about crime and violence, make it about broken hearts and falling in love. One of those plots where two brothers fall for the same woman without realizing it’s the same woman and then misunderstanding and accidents and complications build and build.

      7. Byomkesh Bakshy! I love love love that movie, and I would never want Shahrukh to play the lead, but it is already kind of the Indian Sherlock Holmes. Just had to mention it. But if I had to make another Sherlock Holmes type movie, and this is my complete fantasy and I could cast anyone I want, I would have Salman play Watson. Watson, in the books and the more faithful film adaptations, may not be as quick as Sherlock, but he is a ladies man and a war hero and really good in a fight. I would love to see Shahrukh be the unlikeable irascible genius, and Salman be the charming action hero who puts up with him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 2. I too feel the same about Tabu; she’s very underrated. I also think that SRK-Madhuri didn’t get their due.
        3. Try watching it sometime; Rajinikanth is awesome as the robot. For a simple reference, I am leaving its trailer here with hardcoded subtitles. BTW, Rajinikanth made a cameo in Ra. One which was the robot in Enthiran.

        4. I agree that he is a committed actor. But, somehow I found his act in Happy New Year falling into this category. Should be honest, Farah cannot be blamed alone here.
        5. Would be fun to watch SRK in a screwball comedy by RGV; Indeed a great idea. Coming to Raghavan, I would like to see SRK in an unconventional romance, say Nishabd-kind?
        6. Salman is a good entertainer and an action hero. But Watson always gets shadowed effortlessly by Holmes. I am damn sure that SRK can bring the required eccentricity to the portrayal, but not all stories of Holmes can match the Indian milieu. I am thinking of The Hounds of the Baskerville. Any suggestion from you?

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        • 2. Agree about SRK-Madhuri. Mostly because I feel like none of their movies together really fully exploited their jodi in the best possible way. I like Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam the least of all of them, but on the other hand, I think it was the only one that really figured out how to make them best relate, with Shahrukh as sort of the nervous passionate lover and Madhuri as the Golden Girl. Strangely, Anjaam also did that, and made it work really well. But their straight up big hit films together, DTPH and Koyla and Devdas, just didn’t quite capture them as a couple. At least, for me.

          3. I remember that Ra.One cameo! The opening night show I went to, Rajni got cheers and whistles, so I had to look it up when I got home to figure out who he was and why he was there.

          4. Yeah, Happy New Year you are right. It kind of felt like he was doing so much work as a producer, the acting part of it got a little lost. It also wasn’t really the right role for him. Too much focus on him as a cool young guy, not enough on him as comic relief, or as a wise elder.

          5. Oo, I don’t know if I want another Nishabd! Maybe another Cheeni Kum. Oh! Shahrukh and Rekha! They have such great chemistry at awards shows, but they’ve never co-starred, right? Unless I am forgetting something? That would be a really interesting pairing, for a more unconventional director to play with.

          6. Hound of the Baskervilles is such an action story, and also kind of a horror thriller. Let’s see, who might work well with Shahrukh for that? It would have to be an action person, but at the same time someone who wouldn’t over-shadow him, or seem more intelligent than he is. And someone he has really good chemistry with. Hmmmmmmmm. Arjun? Saif? Varun maybe? What might work best is a gender-blind casting. Shahrukh as Holmes, Deepika as Watson? Or Kangana? Or Huma Qureshi? Not a romantic relationship, obviously, but she is a hardened RAW veteran who follows him around and helps out and talks through the cases with him, and has her own romances on the side?

          On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 10:16 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I agree that a woman playing Watson’s part would bring a certain edge to the character when it is with Holmes. But, great care is needed in writing and filming the portions where Watson investigates about Selden, meets Stapleton and his ‘sister’, interactions with Sir Henry etc. Slight misstep would bring much troubles. But, this is surely welcomed. Especially if SRK’s role follows Holmes’ characteristics faithfully.

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  6. What is one movie that Sharukh rejected that you really wish you got to see him be a part of? Or a movie that you felt would have been much better if Shahrukh played the lead role instead.

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    • Ooo, that’s tricky! I can answer the opposite, a movie that I think would have been better if someone besides Shahrukh were cast. I think Happy New Year was crying out for a younger and prettier lead, someone like Shahid or Ranbir or Ranveer would have been much better in that sort of object of desire/straight man role. Shahrukh really had the least interesting role, it was kind of a waste of his talents. And he was much much too old for it (it’s supposed to be a son trying to make his way after the premature death of his father, not some 40 year old who should already be able to take care of himself), a different actor would have been better.

      Hmm, what movie has he rejected? The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Lagaan and the recent Rani Padmavati. Both of which were probably good decisions on his part, those roles wouldn’t work for him at all. Oh! I know! Before SOTY came out, there was a lot of buzz about Shahrukh doing a cameo. And then scheduling and stuff came out and it didn’t happen. But if you watch the “Radha” number, it’s really clear where he SHOULD have been included. In that part in the middle when it is just a lone male voice, and Rishi drumming. It would have been so easy to have Shahrukh suddenly appear and do just that bit of the song, similar to his appearance in “Mast Kalandar”.

      Along the same lines, Dhanak! Which is a beautiful beautiful art movie about small children, which you should watch if you haven’t already. They wanted Shahrukh for a cameo as himself at the end, but couldn’t get him. I would have liked it if he had been part of the film, because it has a lovely message and it would be nice if he had supported it. But on the other hand, it kind of makes the “Shahrukh Khan” character more mysterious the way they ended up doing it, with a stand-in who’s face you never saw. So maybe it was better this way?

      For movies that should have had Shahrukh and didn’t, hmmm. The thing is, for me, Indian films are so star-based, that most of the time the script is written so closely tied to the star persona, I have a hard time imagining someone else in a part besides the person used. Hmmmmmmmm. You know what I would love to see him in? A supporting part in something like Kahaani. Playing a regular cop or reporter or something. I could also see him working in, oh, a cameo in Neerja, or the lead character in Airlift, or even in Sultan or Ek Tha Tiger or any other big Yash Raj release. Or Dhoom 3. But those movies would have had to be completely re-written to make it work for him, instead of for the actors they ended up with. And I don’t know if I would even like the movie any more if that happened!

      Do you have a better answer? Is there a movie you have seen that you thought “Oh, this was written for Shahrukh and they just couldn’t get him!”

      On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 4:09 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I haven’t seen Happy New Year so I can’t really comment on that but I can understand what you mean. Some characters just don’t fit actors once they reach a certain age.

    There seemed to be many popular movies that Shahrukh rejected when I looked it up. Apparently he rejected Munnabhai, 3 Idiots, Jodhaa Akbar, and also Ek Tha Tiger. I feel like Ek Tha Tiger would have been really fun and interesting with Shahrukh in the lead instead of Salman. The other movies, I can’t imagine anyone else in the lead roles. You are right about the script being written in mind with the star’s image so even if the star is changed, the flavor and feel of the movie could turn out to be entirely different. Plus I haven’t seen Shahrukh in any other genre other than romance until now. I think Dilwale is the closest to an action movie in what I saw so far. But I am able to watch some movies and wish that Varun Dhawan was in it instead of the actual actor. This could be because I am a Varun fan or this could also be that Varun is still a young actor and there aren’t many parts that are written specifically for him yet.

    There are some movies that I watch and I feel that Shahrukh would be perfect in the hindi remake though. One of those films is Oopiri which I think would be perfect if Shahrukh and Varun were cast together. Shahrukh and Nagarjuna both have an image of being “Kings of Romance” so I often feel that Shahrukh would be perfect to replace Nagarjuna in a movie. Another one of Nagarjuna’s movies that I think would work for Shahrukh is a movie called Shivamani. It’s a masala movie directed by Puri Jagannadh but it has a really nice love story in it too. It’s not a great movie but it’s good timepass.

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    • Interesting, now that I think about it, I want Varun to be in a lot of movies too! Or Arjun or Shahid or Ranbir or Ranveer. I think the up and comers a little more interchangeable, you can kind of see a lot of them in the same kind of movies. Or their roles are more interchangeable? I feel like they each put their own spin on their parts, but it’s not as completely written for them as something like Munna Bhai would be. Like, I think I could see Ranveer doing a good job in the Ranbir role in Ae Dil. Or maybe even Varun. And anybody but Siddharth would have been better in Baar Baar Dekho. Maybe Arjun?

      On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 9:38 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think their roles are interchangeable in the sense that the roles aren’t being written for specific actors. Plus the younger actors seem a bit more versatile. I mean that you can’t take a movie and say this is the type of film that Salman would do or this is the type of film that Shahrukh would do. But at the same time, I do agree that every actor would put their own spin on their parts. For example, I feel like Varun would have done Sidharth’s character in Kapoor and Sons really well.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness! Tough one!

      1. My Name is Khan: Best Message, best performance, and for me personally, most powerful. I just sob and sob and sob. Like, have to pull over to the side of the road when the soundtrack starts up on my ipod shuffle because I’m too emotional to keep driving.

      2. Chak De India: Close second message and performance. But somehow not as emotional. Maybe I have a heart of stone, but it just doesn’t make me cry. Okay, maybe the ending tag when they go back to the house makes me cry a little. But not dehydration causing kind of sobbing like MNIK.

      3. Swades: Definitely the sexiest of them all. And another good performance and good message. But not the most controversial message. I love the little girls getting to go to school, and all the kids dancing together across caste divisions. But it’s not like the feminism or the anti-religious violence messages in CDI and MNIK. Although, I guess it does have the best soundtrack out of all of them.

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      • Oh, interesting, I feel similar here about MNIK and CDI (I’m yet to watch Swades though).
        Totally agree about MNIK’s performance and message. However, the films seems very dragged and starts getting too unrealistic towards the end. Anyway, it’s a very good film with powerful message!

        CDI is great as a film, can’t nitpicking about this, but it is surely less emotional than MNIK. Yet again powerful and fresh.

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        • S wades is really good, and it’s got the best romance of all 3. Not just swoony, but a different kind of romance, between equals, who talk about real things, not just romance.

          I agree, CDI is the better movie over all, but I give a slight edge to MNIK because when it is working, it is just phenomenal. But CDI is the movie I would show a newcomer to prove India can make good films, and Shahrukh can act.

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