Shahrukh Month Discussion Post: As a Fan, What Criticism of Shahrukh Makes you Most Angry?

I already did two posts on the criticisms I agree with (here and here).  This is Shahrukh month, so we aren’t going to deal with those.  Instead we are going to vent about the criticisms that tend to come up which are most unjustified, in this safe fan only space where we can all agree (or mostly agree) with each other.

Here is the one that drives me INSANE: His old romance films are bad for women

First, I just don’t agree with this.  His 90s films promoted bad behavior if you look at one little scene in isolation.  But that’s just, well, stupid.  And not the way the audience consumes a film or an actor or writer or director looks at a film.  He behaves badly in Darr and Baazigar and Anjaam because he is playing the villain, as is explicitly said within the film and he is punished with death at the end.  He behaves too flirtatiously in Zamaana-Deewana and DDLJ and dozens of others, and the heroine hates him and doesn’t react to him until he learns to modify his behavior and be a better man.  The films are teaching you NOT to behave like that if you want to get the girl, but to behave better.  And so on and so forth.  And that’s not even getting into the heroines, who had jobs and ambitions and fight scenes and all kinds of things all their own, beyond the romance.  Sure, I will agree there might be a scene or a plot point here or there that is not great, but that doesn’t mean there should be a massive public effort to criticize and blame him as un-feminist, and burn the films to the ground and never let anyone watch them again.  They really aren’t that bad!  Or, in many cases, bad at all!

But second, oh my gosh this is not a Shahrukh problem!  Have these people never watched another 90s movie?  Rape, kidnapping, date rape, it was all accepted and laughed at.  That was the norm back then.  If anything Shahrukh’s movies are far more acceptable than the others.  And it’s such a flawed argument to pick him out and ignore every other actor working today who got their start back then.  Not to mention how flawed it is to focus on the actors instead of the directors and writers who actually created these storylines.  Dil has Aamir threaten to rape Madhuri, Main Khiladi Tu Anari has Akshay think he has raped Shilpa, Sangdil Sanam has Salman kidnap and mentally torture Manisha Koirala.  And in those films it is not just one plot point that is balanced by the heroine having a strong independent storyline otherwise, it is the whole film!  Aamir is out there slapping Juhi for being a widow the same time Shahrukh is gently wooing Divya and convincing her that widowhood doesn’t mean she should be punished.

(Pretty sure Shahrukh never pulled off anything this bad in one of his films.  And I’m not blaming Salman for it either, it was the 90s, that’s what the movies were like, he was just an actor following direction)

 

So, what is it for you?  That he is called a bad actor, that he is called cowardly, that he is accused of nepotism or something else?  What’s the critique that really gets under your skin?

Advertisements

39 thoughts on “Shahrukh Month Discussion Post: As a Fan, What Criticism of Shahrukh Makes you Most Angry?

  1. That he plays the same role all the time, that he doesn’t experiment. The media uses it as a mantra when they are jumping on the criticism bandwagon. It’s a meaningless point from lazy or malicious writers because it is clearly wrong if you think about it for half a second.

    Like

    • Yes! Thank you!!!! That is one i hate as well. It’s both very unfair, and very very stupid. You can’t find a series of 5 chronological films in his whole career where he played the same thing. Heck, it’s hard to even find two films where he played the same thing! Maybe his most popular roles are similar, but that’s on the audience for liking him in the same characters, not on him. He made Koyla before Yes Boss, Josh before Mohabattein, Asoka before K3G, and so on and so on. And of course in the past few years, it has never been LESS true. His recent roles aren’t just departures for himself, they are departures from any kind of role any actor has done before, completely new film concepts and completely new parts.

      On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 3:04 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • I really didn’t want to comment on this cos you are having an orgy of sorts with the SRK posts. But this criticism on his roles is a warranted one. The thing with SRK is all of his roles ‘feel’ similar cos he performs them alike. He maybe a gangster in Josh and a teacher in Mohabattein but the audience feel the same because we are very well aware that we are watching SRK the star ,pretending romance or acting tough. His persona overpowers his characters. And that’s why Mohan Bhargav stands out. The character definition is NRI returning home & we feel the emotions of loneliness,nostalgia,helplessness and everything else that the character feels. All his other performances are superficial that tends to get forgotten or boxed as same once the movie ends. Also Technically Koyla & Yes Boss both had him turning saviour for the boss’girl. The setting may be different but it’s the same meek, side guy turning a leaf when he falls in love. K3G & Ashoka has him as a rich, spoilt guy who hides his identity & falls in love e with a girl from lesser background. The core element of most SRK movies is romantic love,even in JHMS.

        As for the comments on 90s movies,trust me the criticism is happening in every industry for every top star. The fans of those stars are also crying bloody murder for criticising their favourite hero. So the blame is shared & balance in the world is restored.

        Like

        • For fans, his every performance,every film may feel like depending but then it’s easy to win over fans.Those of us who aren’t fans will continue to criticise until SRK feels un-SRK onscreen. Similar to you labelling all of Ranveer’s roles as crazy, wild guy when really he has done just two such roles.

          Like

          • You got me to look at Ranveer’s filmography to check my memory! Band Baaja Baarat, Ladies vs. Ricky Behl, Ram-Leela, Gunday, Kill Dil, Dil Dadhakne Do, Befikre. Versus Lootera, Bajirao, and Padmavat (and Padmavat could maybe be included). I’m not like writing a treatise on Ranveer or anything, but in his modern films he does tend to play the energetic over the top lover type. I didn’t bother mentioning it when you replied to my original comment, but since you brought it up again, I thought I might as well say something. And yes, each role is slightly different and has moments of seriousness and so on, but you can see why I think of him as playing more the young energetic wild guy onscreen than anything else. Especially in his YRF films. I’ll be curious how Simmba turns out, it’s Rohit Shetty which means the hero could be kind of wacky and ridiculous, or more serious and intense. Gully Boy almost certainly will be a more serious role.

            Like

          • Aha. Well, I will go ahead and not respond and perhaps moderate any other comments, since this was explicitly a “safe place for fans to vent go to these two other links if you want to criticize” post as stated in the opening sentence.

            On Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 8:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

          • You could have moderated my initial comments if those were against the rules.Now when someone asked a question directly to me, you want me to leave them wondering if I was serious or not cos this is a ‘safe place’ for ranting(& asking rhetorical questions).Moderate away!

            Like

          • No no, your answer was totally fine just now, I was just saying that I was glad to see why you had initially commented so off topic. And if you or anyone else comments so far off topic again, I will moderate.

            On Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 9:55 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

        • We will have to agree to disagree on his acting, since so much of this is subjective and based on context for the audience.

          I’m glad to hear that other stars films are also being criticized, although it still doesn’t make sense to me while they are receiving the maximum critique instead of their directors. But then again, depending on the power and popularity of the star at that point, they could be considered responsible for the content of their films.

          Like

  2. Let’s see. I agree with yours and Zindagi’s. I dislike it when people criticize him for not making a statement on an issue, a disaster, a tragedy, or some other event. Or for not saying something soon enough, or in just the right way. I dislike it when a statement he makes impacts on the business of his films–which is a form of criticism. He is a public figure and some responsibility, but at the end of the day he is an actor and a businessman, not an expert on politics, economics, religion, etc. It also bugs me because I think he should have built up some public trust and goodwill over the years, but it seems not to be the case.

    Like

    • The other thing that really bothers me about this is that it is so obviously because he is a soft target. Politicians and media figures and religious leaders don’t get nearly the focus and critique for not saying something or not saying it in the same way and so on and so forth. And they are the ones who actually do have a responsibility to say something! Of course if Shahrukh says anything at all that seems to imply that, he gets leaped on for being disrespectful and putting himself at their level and blah blah blah. But it’s obvious, he is famous enough to get clicks and attention, but powerless enough that you can say stuff about him without fear or punishment.

      And then there is the way as soon as he does say something, the response is “what right does he have to say anything? He is just an entertainer!” that is just as loud as the previous “why isn’t he saying something?”

      On Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 5:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is not for him but how some people brutally critisize the looks of Suhana Khan calling her “ugly” and all these mean things and also how he had a surrogate Abram khan

    Like

    • I think this is mainly because SRK is the only one who has such a prominent family. It isn’t just one person who is famous. It’s really his entire family. For someone who is already exhausted of SRK, to have to deal with 4 more people connected to him is so outrageous that they will spit out any insult they can think of.

      Salman is unmarried and has no real family of his own. Aamir has never had that kind of fame that extends to his family members. Amitabh has faced this where his son gets a lot of flak, even the daughter in law does. It’s harder to attack the actual star so they go for the surrogates.

      Like

      • I agree, and it also feels more obvious as Suhana and Aryan get older. At least to me, they are still innocent bystanders, very young and not official public figures yet. But they are no longer cute little babies, so its not obviously “wrong” to attack them and people already are sharpening knives. I don’t know if I am saying this right, but I think what I mean is that at this particular point they aren’t yet old enough to defend themselves or make their own decisions, but are old enough looking that the media can attack them without accusations of picking on a baby. It’s a very bad age for them.

        Like

  4. The criticism that he plays the same role every time is a complex one. He’s painted himself into a corner by being the King of Romance for a decade too long, especially for an audience that isn’t interested in movies about middle aged romance. Aamir redefined himself almost 20 years ago, and after floundering for almost a decade, Salman redefined himself a decade ago. I think my criticism is more for his fans than for him, especially for his fans that have since soured on him -he’s associated with a certain renaissance in BW film, and perhaps a certain period in the audience lives, and they want that magic back again, but they don’t want it from this older guy or with an age appropriate heroine, and the unrealized realization is they’ve outgrown those movies as much as he has.

    Like

    • Taking a look at his actual filmography, since 2004 he has only been in 4 straight romances (Veer-Zaara, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Jab Harry Met Sejal). If you count Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, it goes up to 5. But that’s still just 5 in the past 14 years. He has love scenes in My Name is Khan, Dilwale, Chennai Express, Om Shanti Om, Happy New Year, but they aren’t romances, they are social message movies or action films or heist films or whatever we call Om Shanti Om (reincarnation ghost story spoof?). Bajrangi Bhaijaan also has a love story, and so does 3 Idiots, but we don’t think of them as “romance” movies just because of the few scenes.

      But I see what you are saying, Don is a good example, it was a straight action film with a twisted plot, and people came out of it focused more on the PC-Shahrukh chemistry than all the rest of it. His roles are different, but the audience is always seeing the same element in them. If he had taken the role in Lagaan (which would have been a disaster, Aamir was far better for the part) with that exact same script, everyone would have just remembered the love triangle and forgotten the rest of the plot.

      Like

      • Yes I agree that the audience sees the romance first even in his movies in which the romance is just a piece if the story (e.g. Raees). There has to be an absence of romance before the audience will let him be anything else – Chak de India, Dear Zindagi. But they do that because he is the King of Romance. And he’s the King of Romance not just because of his movies & roles but because of his branding. His adfilms encourage this, his photo spreads are always sexy, he talks about his wife in every interview, etc etc.

        Like

        • Oh absolutely agree! Dilwale for example, the very title says “love story just like DDLJ” and every bit of promotions went along with it. And then the actual film was more a typical Rohit Shetty action comedy than a romance. And JHMS promotions were a disaster, selling it as a happy rom-com instead of a mature character study. Raees too, Mahira and Shahrukh being promoted together more than Nawazuddin and SRK (the real central pair of the film). I am excited to see the first full length trailer for Zero mostly to see if it manages to promote the film as something that is NOT a romance. The little teasers so far have looked that way, but that doesn’t really mean anything if the trailer sells something else.

          On Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 10:38 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • All of that is so true! So if the press and the PR is all “here comes another romance from SRK”, and the films actually deliver something else, where does the criticism that he “always does the same thing” come from? From fans with blinders or, or nonfans who didn’t see the movie at all?

            As someone who has seen every single one of his films, I can attest to his acting chops, and to his varying even similar characters. The similarity between K3G and Ashoka, mentioned above, is only in the commenter’s description of the character. The performances couldn’t be more different.

            Like

    • This is such an astute comment. I think you’re right, it’s a combination of how SRK promotes himself regardless of the roles he’s playing and an audience who both doesn’t want to see him in romantic roles while simultaneously refusing to allow him to step out of the box.

      If I were his PR person, I’d advise him to GO AWAY for a year. No endorsements, no TV appearances, no award shows. Then after a year off, slowly ease back into the public eye with carefully chosen friendly appearances that are not romantic hero roles so the public can see him in different roles where he’s not carrying the entire film on his shoulders. The press from this should be wow, SRK impresses in a small role totally removed from his old persona. And then when he does do a movie, make it a smaller budget film that highlights his acting, and promote it in a completely different way than he does now.

      Of course, this assumes he actually wants to reimagine his persona, which I’m not convinced he does. I wouldn’t be surprised if his heart isn’t really in acting anymore and he’s far more interested in building his SFX company.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really want you to be his PR person. You would be so good at it! And bring in the outsider fresh perspective on what qualities he has that he could sell which he hasn’t used before. And then Procrastinatrix can run his NGO, and I can write all his scripts, and we could fix his whole career for him.

        Anyway, hopefully maybe he has kind of done this. Since JHMS he’s been almost a hermit (well, by SRK standards). Almost totally off twitter, skipping most awards shows, only the Davos interview. If Zero turns out to be a funny character film instead of a romance, that could be a big step in the right direction, The teasers make me nervous because he seems so over the top and mugging in them, but then on the other hand the early early interviews about the concept for the film talked about wanting to use the “dwarf” aspect to force the audience to see him in a totally new way, remove all the “Shahrukh” part of the character. And he still hasn’t signed a film for after Zero, hopefully he is looking at taking his career in a new direction based on how Zero does. And he will definitely be taking a break, if he isn’t even in early discussions for his next film it will be maybe another year before whatever it is comes out.

        On Mon, Oct 29, 2018 at 12:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        Like

        • He has signed the Rakesh Sharma movie. The producer confirmed it at the MAMI film festival going on right now and he also said filming should start by February. The official announcement is not out yet but I think that’s because he doesn’t want anything else taking up the Zero media space right now. He won’t announce it until after the release. SRK also went to Russia (very quietly) for a week early this month which I’m guessing must be related to that movie.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Interesting! I’ll still hold off on believing it on the slight chance that the official announcement is delayed because Shahrukh is holding off on signing for some reason and things may change. I am very curious about this film though, it’s certainly a different role, but it would be a very young role for him. And it seems like it might hit the particular kind of patriotism that Shahrukh can do well without selling himself out.

            Like

        • I have my three point plan for the Meer Foundation ready to go! 😉

          Alisa, I hope you’re wrong about his heart not being in acting anymore. I’m very happy for Shah Rukh the VFX visionary, Shah Rukh the sports and kidzania magnate, and Shah Rukh the social entrepreneur, but who I want in my life (if virtually) and who I would miss is Shah Rukh the entertainer.

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.