Part 2! Another 9 movies Shahrukh could make next, age-appropriate, different from what he has done before, and I at least would enjoy watching all of them! (part 1 here)
10. Shahrukh as Vampire, Bad
Why not, you know? It is Halloween month, Vampires are hot right now, and one of the first Vampire novels ever was set in India, Vikram and the Vampire (someday I am going to get around to reading it. Or you can! Available for free here). It’s a loose adaptation (Richard Burton, so we know how loose he is) of the Vikram-Vedha story. Anyhoo, I want to take the modern sexy vampire idea and us it with Shahrukh. Because he is sooooooooooooo sexy, right? Totally believable as an undead force that seduces young women. Only question is, is he a good or bad undead force? In my first story, I am going with “bad”.
So, Shahrukh the bad Vampire! We open by seeing him be all evil, striding through the forests, seeing a beautiful peasant woman, asking her for directions, and then suddenly grabbing her and sniffing her neck while she almost faints in ecstasy, and then he bites down and starts sucking her blood. And suddenly we start flashing forward through time, going from the Asoka era he is in now, to the early Mughal’s, to colonial times, to the Independence movement, and straight to present day. With awesome rock music style soundtrack in the background as he strides through each era, always in black and always in perfectly tailored plain clothing and a beard.
Finally, in the present day, we fade into a control room, Noble Cop Sushant Singh Rajput is explaining that a mass murderer is terrorizing the streets of Bombay. 20 dead in the past 6 months, all young women, ranging from a politicians daughter (the reason the special squad was called in), to a series of prostitutes who no one noticed. They have been investigating this using CCTV cameras and computer analysis and so on and now, after full preparation, they are finally ready to strike, they have identified his type of victim and predicted his next attack location, they have a police woman picked out who matches his taste (Jacqueline Fernandez), and Sushant has carefully planned hiding places for all the team, including scent protections and heat dulling clothing and so on, since analysis shows that the target has someway of tracking attacks through scent and heat. The attack almost works, Shahrukh barely escapes. In the aftermath, Jacqueline is now obsessed and in love with him, and receiving and giving him telepathic messages (and also a sexy imaginary love song). And Shahrukh is obsessed with Sushant and the Bombay police in general, the one police force who came closest to capturing him in all his years. He sneaks his way into Sushant’s life, hires his wife (Anushka) as his interior designer, goes to their house for dinner, all without Sushant realizing what is happening. Until finally he puts it together, just as Anushka (who has been torn and tempted by Shahrukh already as he pays so much attention and respects her professional goals and stuff, unlike her always-working husband) is meeting Shahrukh alone in his fancy penthouse for dinner. There is a last minute rush, and Sushant finally saves Anushka and kills Shahrukh. Or does he? A post credits tag shows Shahrukh apparently hale and hearty arriving in Goa.
(With the sunglasses and mesmerizing young women, his character could totally work as a vampire, couldn’t it?)
11. Shahrukh as Vampire, Good
Okay, now he’s good! Well, “good”, we don’t want him to be boring after all. Same opening in the idyllic forest, except this time we see an evil thief sneaking up on an innocent family, a sudden flash of him killing them and taking their food, and then back to seeing him still hiding in the bushes and Shahrukh’s eyes watching him. We put it together that Shahrukh can read intentions and know when someone is planning something terrible, and then will kill them before they can do it. We see him wrestle and then bite the neck of the evil thief. And then we go forward rapidly through time again with another awesome rock sounding song, as he kills bad people through out Indian history. Including a few British people, because why not?
And then I guess the plot plays out almost identical? SSR is in charge of a special task force, brought in after a powerful politician was killed on the street, and then tracked back a series of deaths that all seem similar meaning there is a serial killer on the loose in Bombay. They set up a trap, but this time the police woman bait is Anushka, SSR’s sister and fellow top cop. And there is no one else around to support her, because they have learned a trap doesn’t work if there are too many people around. She is supposed to subdue him, then call for back-up. Only, what they weren’t expecting, is that a real bad guy will see Anushka standing helplessly on a street corner and try to attack her. Shahrukh rushes in to save her, Anushka doesn’t understand and tazes him and puts him in handcuffs, then when the real bad guys show up, Shahrukh still fights them off despite his injuries, and Anushka feels so bad that, after a moment’s hesitation, she lets him go.
Stuff happens, Anushka hides the truth from her brother and police force and starts her own investigation, SSR can tell she is hiding something and investigates too. Anushka tracks down Shahrukh at his “day job”, where he volunteers teaching slum children to paint. She wants to know more about him, he resists, but agrees to go out for coffee with her, to let her see his life a little. Slow, they start to have feelings for each other. But there is a deadline, because Shahrukh has been saying all along that he is getting ready to leave this city, it is “time”. Finally, Anushka asks him to take her with him, he resists, big fight, she storms off. Only to be caught by the evil politicians goons who have been trying to hide exactly what the politician was doing when Shahrukh killed him and SSR has been tracking it down! SSR has put most of it together by now, that Shahrukh is an avenger for good and all that, and after Anushka is attacked and near death in the hospital, he finally finds her notes and learns her discovery/suspicion, that Shahrukh is a vampire. SSR rushes to Shahrukh, begs him to save Anushka “no matter what it takes”. Shahrukh saves Anushka, SSR arrests the politician, and then Anushka finally wakes up in a beautiful room in Goa, where Shahrukh welcomes her to “the rest of her life”.
(Shahrukh and Anushka together forever as undead Vampires is a happy ending, right?)
12. Shahrukh as Priest
Okay, partly this is just to see Shahrukh in a priestly habit, but I also think it might be a kind of interesting idea for him! Let’s say, there is a Goa church that has become old and forgotten and riddled with conflicts. The scary conservative wealthy older couple is dominating everything, driving people away. And Shahrukh arrives, the cool and casual new Priest. He dresses in regular clothing, he talks normal talk, he plays Cricket in the street with the kids. Slowly, he starts to change things. Encourages an interfaith couple, because “God loves everybody”. Forces the school to accept more charity kids. Takes Sunday services outside on sunny days. It all reaches a head when he wants to organize a church float for the festival parade, and the wealthy conservative couple’s son is using the parade as cover to elope with an orphan from the charity school. Shahrukh figures it out in the middle of the parade, and instead of them eloping, he turns their marriage ceremony into part of the float while the parents have to scramble along all upset. Finally, after he sends the young couple safely off, Shahrukh confronts the conservative angry couple and gives them a whole lecture about how God is love and so on and so on and in the middle of it randomly a chunk of ceiling falls down and almost hits them (there’s been a running thing about the church roof needing repairs), and they take it as a sign, and Shahrukh is wilely and clever enough to go with it. Flashforward, the wealthy couple has given the money to fix the roof, the church is full, the charity school is booming, and both the early cross-religious marriage couple, and the finale cross-class marriage couple are there and pregnant.
(this kind of priest)
13. Shahrukh as Dentist
I am beginning to run out of professions! But I think this one will work. Shahrukh is a dentist, a boring respectable dentist. With a boring respectable life. He never married because he was too busy getting his siblings married off, and was never that interested anyway. Now, he lives at home with his elderly mother, and goes to and from work at his local clinic where all the patients trust him but don’t really respect him or anything, he’s just “Dr. Shahrukh, the dentist”. But then his wild younger cousin (Abhishek?) comes to visit and after a couple of crazy days when he is never in the house and the maid gets mad at him, he takes off leaving a note behind that says something like “sorry about the fuss, if anything strange happens it is just because I found it convenient to use your name and address”. And then a young woman (Anushka?) shows up at Shahrukh’s clinic and explains that she is his bride. He sent off a photo and lovely letters to her, and she sent some photos back, and then didn’t hear any more, and so she is stopping by the clinic he mentioned now that she is in town visiting relatives. Shahrukh isn’t sure how to respond, since he realizes his awful cousin must have just used her for the photos, so he kind of goes along with it in order to help her save face. Slowly, he begins to turn into the version of himself that his cousin presented. A dentist with a good job and a clinic, but also a cool bachelor pad (he drugs his mother and hides her in the bedroom), and a motorcycle (he trades in his scooter), and cool clothes and clubs and all of that. Only what he doesn’t know is that the girl is playing a trick too. It was her friend that was fooled, she offered to track down the jerk once she was in Bombay. And then met Shahrukh was was confused because sometimes he seemed like a typical bratty selfish playboy, but sometimes he seemed so sweet. And none of it really added up. Finally, she figures out the truth right before she is about to get her revenge (put his face on flyers all over the neighborhood), confronts him, he thinks she is angry because he was covering for his cousin, big huge dramatic crying fight, in the middle of which his mother comes out and tries to get involved and he tells her to “shut up!” and Anushka finally realizes he is her dream man, the man brave enough to tell his mother to be quiet, much better than all the “macho” types out there. And then they get married and she becomes his dental receptionist and they have sexytimes in the examining room between patients.
(He does have nice teeth, so I feel like dentist is believable)
14. Shahrukh as Ghostbuster
I feel like he almost did this already in Chamatkar, but not really. So I can still use it. And it’s October, ’tis the season. So, Shahrukh is a ghostbuster! Not an old-fashioned one with the incense and prayers and seances, but a scientific one with electrical meters and things. In fact, his intro is explaining to a potential client that he won’t do all the things her great uncle the exorcist used to do. He will investigate and gather evidence, then present his findings and determine a solution. And in the brief intro case, he determines there is no evidence, their landlord is just to cheap to fix up the building, that’s why all the mysterious sounds were happening. But then he goes back to his office to find a mysterious old man, asking to hire him on behalf of his “mistress”. Shahrukh takes the job, even though he has no details, because he is offered an enormous sum of money for it. And we saw from previous phone calls that he is struggling to send enough money to his ex-wife to pay his kids’ school fees. He goes out to a remote old Haveli, is introduced to the owner (Rekha, obviously, crazily made-up). He starts investigating, slowly realizes it is a real haunting, and also that none of his usual techniques will work against it. There is a big showdown with the ghost, everyone pulls together, and Shahrukh defeats it. Only to realize his censors are still going off, which means……Rekha herself is a ghost! Her servants are all descendants of her original servants, and still devoted to her. They brought him in to defeat her rival ghost, her dead son who is still angry with her, but now that he has completed the task, the servants are ordered to dispose of him. Shahrukh tries to escape through the grounds, but can’t, tasteful fade out as he is caught. Fade up 3 months later to find another ghosthunter arriving on the grounds, with ghost-Shahrukh watching from afar and preparing his traps.
15. Shahrukh as Librarian
Total fantasy fulfillment, right? Or is that just for my friend who specifically requested this story? Anyway, Shahrukh is a librarian. He wears shirts that button all the way up and ties and waistcoats and glasses and his hair is all carefully gelled and precise. A new intern is hired, she loves books and is excited to make changes to the library and help people. But is disappointed that her supervisor is such a dull person, never speaks above a whisper, has no interest making any changes or listening to her suggestions, just puts her to shelving books. Until one day, a small fire starts in the back of the library. Our heroine passes out, wakes up in Shahrukh’s arms as he carries her to safety. Then he goes back in to stop the sprinklers from going off. By removing his glasses and waistcoat and tie and standing on a chair directly under the sprinklers, then taking off his shirt and using it to stop the sprinkler, while his hair gets all wild and wet. Naturally, our heroine (let’s say Jacqueline) is now in love with him. She makes herself over to please him, becomes just as perfect and dull and quiet as he is. Until he gives her her mid-semester evaluation, and tells her he is disappointed. She came in with so much enthusiasm, such freedom, it was refreshing. Now, he is sad to see that she has no more new ideas, no more excitement in life. He wants that earlier girl back. Encouraged, Jackie not only changes her personality/look back, she waits until the library is closed for the day and does an elaborate song and dance trying to get his attention. And it works! He finally asks her out for coffee. He is shy at first, but she draws him out, he admits that he fell in love with books as child, and although it is embarrassing to admit it, his favorite books are still children’s stories. He mentions his favorite book, an old Victorian copy of Richard Burton’s Thousand and One Nights, Jacqueline hasn’t read it, he offers to lend it to her. They go back to his apartment, he gets it off the shelf, flips through to show her the pictures, and then reads a bit in a beautiful deep voice, and she suddenly kisses him. He is surprised, but then gives in, let’s her push him back on the bed and strip his clothes off. The next morning she wakes up to find he has made her a perfect breakfast and neatly folded her clothes and run her a hot shower. She goes to work ecstatically happy, and waits for him to appear (they left separately to prevent gossip). But he never shows up! She waits and waits, and finally asks the library supervisor, who says it was very strange, she got an email from Shahrukh resigning. Jacqueline is devastated! She tries to recover, but as the years go by, she can’t forget him. Finally, after a time passing montage, she uses her awesome library science skills to track him down. He is running a library in a remote Nepali village. She takes her annual leave and hikes there to find him. Still in his full formal shirt and tie and waistcoat, but with a little bit of grey at the temples. He flinches when he sees her, but agrees to talk, because he owes her an explanation. He fell in love with her at first sight, but resisted, because he knew it was wrong. He finally gave in when he couldn’t resist any more, decided he just didn’t care. But right after she left his apartment, he got a phone call, from HIS WIFE!!!!! He was married to a woman he met in the wild happy days of librarian training. But, after one happy love song, she went NUTS. His mother, and her mother, both made him swear he would remain faithful to his crazy wife, because they somehow thought his faithfulness would help cure her. Of course, it didn’t. But the guilt still overwhelmed him, especially when he would get phone calls from her begging him to say he was still in love with her, as he did that morning. He decided he had to atone, and traveled the world giving the gift of library science, finally ending up here. But, good news! His wife finally got on the right combination of meds! And realized she doesn’t love him any more! She is now living her own life, they are divorced and just friends. He thought about Jacqueline everyday, but assumed that she had moved on with her life. Jacqueline tremulously admits that she has not moved on either. And then they chase the patrons out and lock up the library for the day and have sex in the stacks.
(Male version of sexy librarian)
16. Shahrukh as Wise Barista
I picture this as kind of an artsy series of short stories with a loose thread tying them all together. A new kid arrives on campus, is adopted by a senior student who brings him to the “place to be”, the local coffee shop. And introduces him to “uncle” Shahrukh, wise friend to all. And then we kind of go from there. The coffee shop is the central set (maybe the only set?) and we see people going in and out of it, an eloping couple that is having second thoughts and Shahrukh helps convince them to wait, and gives them a cover story to tell their parents. Students who are considering cheating on a test, until Shahrukh casually tells them the story of a student who cheated and, years later, discovered he didn’t learn what he needed to do his job and ended up designing a bridge that fell on top of him and squashed him flat! Our new kid has his own romance, let’s say with the bossy female older student who took him on that first day, but he is shy and doesn’t know how to tell her. Shahrukh helps arrange the right romantic moment for them. It all comes to a head when the police show up looking for Shahrukh! Turns out, he might be a criminal on the run. A bank robber who killed a guard 20 years ago. All that money he has been giving out to the town, every time someone needed a little help, that was stolen. Big debate about what to do, until finally all the townspeople get together (including the local constable’s wife) and agree that whatever he may have done in the past, he is “theirs” now, and they won’t let any big city person take him away. So they testify, one by one, that they each remember that exact day 20 years ago and remember Shahrukh being here, in town, hundreds of miles from where the robbery took place. The police have no choice but to let him go. He wanders home to his cafe to find everyone waiting there to surprise him, all the people he has helped. Wonderful heartwarming ending.
(also, it really makes you want coffee)
17. Shahrukh as Writer
Shahrukh is a famous reclusive novelist. He is struggling to write his next novel, complaining to his loyal agent/assistant Anupam Kher about how hard it is, there are just no ideas! None! Until he randomly picks up the phone and through crossed wires ends up overhearing a woman (Tabu? Juhi? Kajol? Sridevi?) talking about the problems of her life, her husband who is never home, the school fees she has to lie about in order to put off paying, her mother-in-law who tortures her, and how sometimes she just wishes she could go back to being the happy young girl with dreams that she was before her marriage. Idea! Shahrukh is inspired and starts writing a novel with a female protagonist. Only he gets stuck again and decides the only hope is to track down that woman who inspired him and learn more about her. He figures out who it is by going to her kids’ school and watching the women pick up their children until he hears a familiar voice. He sees that she is looking for a tutor for her so in English and shows up to tutor and get closer to the family. Over long cups of chai after tutoring sessions, he becomes close to her, learns all about the issues of her family, and turns it into his book. She finds out the truth eventually, when Anupam sticks his big mouth in, and is furious! Tells Shahrukh that she is a real person, not one of his characters, and he can’t just use her like that! But it’s too late, Anupam has already sent in the manuscript and it is being printed. Shahrukh is miserable and ashamed and leaves the country after writing her an apology note. But, once the book comes out, she reads it and discovers it is a love letter to her, and all the other women like her, the forgotten ones who keep society going. She is a heroine! It inspires her to finally tell off her emotionally abusive husband and leave him and start her own life. A year later, she writes Shahrukh a letter, telling him how much the book meant to her, how her life has changed so much for the better since then, and inviting him over for coffee.
(Of course if it’s Tabu, she’s had experience playing the writer’s muse)
18. Shahrukh as Himself
I know I know, he has already done this in Fan, and to a lesser degree in Billu and Om Shanti Om. But I want more! And this idea came up in a comments discussion a few weeks back and now I can’t forget it! Shahrukh is Shahrukh, major movie star. We see him respected and important at a press conference, then he goes home and is immediately bossed around and disrespected by his own family who just see him as boring old Dad. He goes on film sets and sits around waiting for his shot, bored. His life is a lot more dull negotiations and giving his kids pocket money than it is glamour and excitement. Which is why he is so intrigued when a murder is discovered at the studio where he is working. He keeps bugging and nagging the investigating officer Nawazuddin, trying to be part of the investigation. Following suspects around, getting his make-up man to give him disguises, and so on. He gets his wife and kids to help, asking them questions about what young people might like, what it means that she wasn’t wearing make-up if she was supposed to be meeting her boyfriend, etc. In the end, he suddenly figures out who did the murder in the middle of a fancy film premiere and uses the press coverage all around him to help catch the murderer, trapping him (a young playback singer who happens to be at the premiere) in a lie that is caught on camera. He and Nawazuddin end up as friends, hanging out together and hiding from their respective families. Nawazuddin has teenagers too.
(Picture this family sitting down to solve a murder mystery together. Heartwarming, right?)
Okay, just like on the first post, which of these is your top pick to make? And, whichever you pick, which casting would you go for? And what plot alterations or additions would you make?