I have really and truly never heard of this artist. But some nice person in the comments told me that he is really really famous even outside of India? So now I get to do a post that maybe/hopefully gets picked up outside of my Indian blog by people who are the opposite of me, having heard of Marshmello but not Shahrukh Khan.
It features a song written by Pritam, one of the top composers in the Indian film world. Really, the Top composer for Hindi film, at least for the past few years. This is not Pritam’s first international collaboration, he previously worked with Diplo on a song for one of Shahrukh’s recent films.
The Marshmello video starts with a tribute to Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Shahrukh’s most successful film, still running after 23 years. This is the film that created Shahrukh as a superstar, and as an international star. The reference is specifically to this song, in which Shahrukh and his true love are reunited in a mustard field. The cowbell she is carrying is their love symbol.
And then it moves on to a tribute to Devdas, a period drama in which Shahrukh played a depressed alcoholic loved by two women. It combines two songs, one in which Shahrukh watches his dancing girl lover dance, and the other in which his respectable ex-girlfriend and the dancing girl dance together.
The in between sections with Marshmello dancing in a gold jacket don’t really have a reference, the closest I can find is this tribute video to Hindi film for the 100th year anniversary.
And then it moves into a basketball section. In the Shahrukh romance Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, he and the tomboy heroine play basketball together.
And then it moves into “Chaiyya Chaiyya” from Dil Se. Dil Se was Shahrukh’s first bit crossover hit, especially the “Chaiyya Chaiyya” song. It became so popular it was even used in the Spike Lee movie Inside Man.
And then it moves into the violin song from Mohabattein. In that movie, Shahrukh plays a music teacher at a school who plays music to remember his dead love and imagines her dancing with him.
Weird thing is, in the middle of that section Shahrukh also does a little dance move from Dabangg, which is not a Shahrukh movie but rather a Salman Khan movie. But it’s also a really cool dance move, so I can see the temptation.
And then Pritam, the composer, shows up at the end and is greeted by Shahrukh in a Marshmello mask. And yes, I can recognize him just by his hands and gestures even before he takes the mask off. I was watching it thinking “hey, why is Shahrukh here and why is he wearing a weird mask over his face?”
Now, the reason I wasn’t very excited about this video when someone first sent me the link is that it’s kind of business as usual for Shahrukh. He is so iconic at this point that there’s a new Shahrukh tribute video of some kind releasing on a regular schedule. It wasn’t until I learned this is a tribute video from and for the international market that I started to pay attention to it. Already in existence, for instance, is “The Shahrukh Song” which was written by an international fan and is just titles of his movies strung together.
Or this song which was made for a real actual Hindi film.
Or this, which is from an actual Shahrukh Khan film in which he plays a superstar, and uses clips from his old movies to represent his superstardom.
So now, if you don’t know Shahrukh, hopefully you have some context. And if you do know Shahrukh, you can read this and go “yeah yeah yeah, I already knew all that”.