Happy 28 Days to Shahrukh’s Birthday! 28 Romance Movies, Part 4

Well, this has been a fascinating journey!  I’m kind of tempted to do another series on, like, Shahrukh action films or something. (part 1 here, part 2 here, part 3 here)

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

Finally a good balance between the darkness and the light.  Or is it?  Anushka inspires both in him, somehow.  The light sweet Suri, but the darkness of him thinking he has to become Raj for her.

In the end, the lesson is that honesty and trust will win out.  Raj, he was never really real, and Anushka was never really real with him, not letting him know she was married, pretending to herself that she was still a free and happy girl.  It was boring Suri who knew the real Anushka, and it was the real Suri that she had the real connection with.

 

Dulha Mil Gaya

He only has a small role in this, but it is a role he had to play.  The man who is wise and powerful, but still a slave to love.  Only, a knowing slave to love this time.  He knows he is hurting himself, but knows he is strong enough to accept the hurt.

And the one he wants, the one who is hurting him, is stronger than him.  He doesn’t want someone to rescue, he wants someone who can rescue him, who can make him happy, who can be wise and strong and important just like he can.  There needs to be an actor here who has the strength and maturity combined with controlled weakness, which is perfect for a Mature Shahrukh.

 

Don 2

This wasn’t supposed to be a romance.  Don 1 wasn’t a romance, not really.  Shahrukh was drawn to Priyanka, but that’s all it was, a mild curiosity.  But it was Shahrukh Khan, after all, the chemistry ended up over-whelming everything else.

And Don 2 is about giving in to that chemistry.  Shahrukh may have an elaborate plan, but it keeps getting confused by his feelings.  And his feelings keep getting confused by his plans.  It’s also a new version of the heroine who is a match for the hero.  But it’s not a heroine who is a match for the hero, not really.  That’s why he doesn’t stay with her.  He likes her, but he wants something more, someone who won’t be conflicted about her feelings, someone who makes the choice to give in fully.

 

Chennai Express

Now, this is a very interesting romance!  In this one, for the first time in a long time, the heroine is the stronger one.  Deepika sets the plot in motion, leads Shahrukh through it, and he does everything for her.  Until the very very end, when he finally grows to meet her.

And Shahrukh is playing a new version of his loser weakling.  His Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa hero if he never really grew up, if he just stayed the same shy tricky inexperienced person until he was 40.  It’s a very different kind of hero, especially for a romance.  We can’t see why anyone, let alone gorgeous intelligent confident Deepika, would be interested in him.  Until, just like Deepika, we suddenly see his hidden depths.  Before, he was always confident with a brokenness hidden inside.  This time, the broken is outside, and the goodness is hidden.

 

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

This is a Shahrukh Khan romance without Shahrukh.  Well, without him present for most of the film.  But he is what sets the tone.  The man who isn’t afraid to be weak, isn’t afraid to need a woman, that is all Shahrukh.  The anger, the bitterness, the love that drives you to madness, that is all him too.

But the mature Shahrukh, the mature Shahrukh is beyond that.  He has gained wisdom through all his failed romances, the sorrows that are lined in his face.  And so he can pass his wisdom on to the next generation.

 

Dear Zindagi

Another Shahrukh Khan romance without Shahrukh.  He is there to guide our heroine through her own love stories.  A romance Sherpa, as it were.  Which is the most believable version of him today.  We can no longer believe the Shahrukh who has never known love, the innocent whose heart is woken by the heroine.  Instead, we believe him as someone who has grown past his broken parts, learned about love, and know is ready to pass on that knowledge.

And we also need a heroine who can match him.  Which this film does not provide, not really.  Alia does not have his maturity, his wisdom, his experience.  She is a child while he is an adult.  Any romance between them would be ultimately unsatisfying.

 

Jab Harry Met Sejal

And finally, the culmination!  Well, so far.  Shahrukh’s broken young man who has grown broken, warped over the missing bits.  Who meets his match, someone with her own broken bits, who is strong enough to face down his bitterness and lashing out.

This is the same romance he has been making all along, but striped down, with all the comedy and family and distractions removed.  A broken weak man who tries to hide his weakness until the woman reveals it.  And, after she shows it to him, she also shows him a strength he didn’t know he had.

Anushka is the same heroine he has had all along too.  More innocent than he, but also more unhappy.  She needs someone broken who is willing to break through society to pull her out to happiness.  Like the widow Divya, forced to remarry.  Or the bomber Manisha, shown that love exists.  Or unsatisfied Rani, shown that she can be desirable and desiring.  The best Shahrukh Khan romances have always been this.

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15 thoughts on “Happy 28 Days to Shahrukh’s Birthday! 28 Romance Movies, Part 4

  1. OMG! I am loving this <33333. Thankyou!! After reading your commentary on all these SRK romantic films, I feel a need to binge watch all of them ❤

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  2. My husband lost his father when he was 14, and never lived at home again (he went to boarding school). There is something about being orphaned young that creates a brokenness, a void that has a profound effect. We met at 18, and I can honestly say I have been married to many versions of these men for 47 years, as we grew up together.

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  3. With the time difference between Chicago and Frankfurt I couldn’t enjoy the (temporary) end of your own journey with ShahRukh-romance until now. What I like the most is the fact that you trigger thoughts that may give another perspective one may not have had before.
    I see the romance in RabNe also as a kind of balance, only that this has nothing to do with darkness and light but with what love makes you explore of your own personality. Somehow I think that there is – on a certain level – a connection between KHKN, RNBDJ and JHMS as I think the characters of Sunil, Suri and Harry are the closest to the man ShahRukh is. And somehow I also see – still, after so many kinds of romances, with all the knowledge he has about the shades of love – innocence in his way to feel and give love. He just proved (to me) that he can convincingly play a grown-up and still being “the innocent whose heart is woken by the heroine”.

    I missed MyNameIsKhan. Would like to read what you think about the romance there. Basically. I would like to know your thoughts about every of his movies because there is none without an aspect of romantic love (even in Don where we get the aspect of erotic attraction and the liking for playing with danger).

    I know, I am a bit one-sided as my knowledge of Hindi or Indian cinema has got rather limited simply because of the lack of time to watch movies. But there is also HappyNewYear with the rather unsympathetic Charlie-character and Dilwale with a love that cannot die.

    When I look at ShahRukh-the-actor’s romantic-love-journey it’s like what he did in MyNameIsKhan: buckling the needed minimum of belongings and going “to repair almost everything”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In an afterthought…would like your takes on the action-oriented ShahRukh movies …the day will come and you could cover them all 😉 What do you think: Was Chamatkar his first one? (I know, it’s labled as a ghost comedy…but still…)

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      • With the whole “masala-film” thing, it’s hard for me to categorize especially 90s movies into one or the other. Even in Deewana there’s an action element. Looking forward to talking about Shah Rukh as an action guy, since he enjoys action so much. Have you seen the new Raees bloopers that RC posted? He’s like a kid when setting up the fight scenes.

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        • Well now I am committed to SRK in action! But probably that will be a lighter post, since action is generally lighter than romance.

          On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 11:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting idea, khkn rnbd and jhms as aspects of the real srk. They are such different characters in each, and yet I agree with you. Something about wanting love and not being able to say it.

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  4. Loved what you said about the romance in Don.
    I feel it’s best to retain the tension and not to have them be out of character and fall in love.
    I hope they retain this cat and mouse chase aspect to it, and strengthen Roma’s character a bit. I loved Lara Dutta in Don2, and how she returns for Don3. I was cringing a bit at the attempted romance between Don and Roma. I don’t consider Roma to be an equal at this stage at all, perhaps it’s the writing or the acting. She needs to have more smarts added.. and actually be given something more to do…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Don 2 could work for Roma’s character depending on what they do to/for her in Don 3. She seems to be at a crossroads, having found a new place working as a police officer with Om Puri as her mentor and whats-his-face as her friend, but when Don re-enters her life, it makes her question everything, throws her off. If she ends up dying a hero in Don 3, that would show that once and for all she was meant to be a police officer, she was a “good” guy. Or if she ends up making a foolish mistake, it would show that she never quite turned into the hard police officer she should have been, that softness was always there. Or if PC does join the cast, she could either be the police officer who finally takes Don down, showing that she has made her choice now and is on the right side. Or she could give everything up and join him, showing that her uncertainty in Don 2 was because her life wasn’t quite what she wanted.

      On Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 10:56 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. 28 ShahRukh romances and no Veer Zaara? No, that’s not possible. There are a couple of films in there that I’d rather visit the dentist than sit through a second time, but Veer Zara I have watched a million times. It’s simple, beautiful and totally works. Easy my favourite romance.

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