Thanks for the suggestion Emily! Shahrukh (as most celebrities/actors do) has used his real life trauma to support his performances and promote his films. Which also means we can easily find 8 movies to watch if you want to get a sense of the emotional journey of the “real” SRK!
This is kind of “negative 1” or “zero”. It’s a story of a marriage, but in many ways it is the story of Shahrukh’s parents’ marriage. His character, the city struggler with no family who falls in love at first sight, follows the woman he loves until she agrees to marry him, loses his transport business and struggles with his self-confidence, that is Shahrukh’s father. And the woman who is torn between the impractical husband she loves and the warm loving family there to support her, that is his mother.
Not for the “Aryan” role, but the Gaurav one. Average Delhi boy, a little bit spoiled by his parents, with unrealistic confidence in himself runs off to Bombay. That’s Shahrukh. Minus the death of his parents and the older sister, with a little extra insanity added. But the feel of the apartment block, of the small dreams, of the excitement in Bombay, that’s young SRK.
3. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
This is a small part of the Shahrukh love story. The romance is completely different, it wasn’t a whirlwind affair between opposites, it was 7 years of dating and growing up together between people of similar backgrounds. But the second half, the decision to win over her family instead of simply eloping, that is Shahrukh. And that is what makes his marriage different to this day, that it was a love match that was strong enough and committed enough to transform into an “arranged” match against all odds.
4. Yes Boss
This is a side of Shahrukh we don’t see much. The cheerful youthful ambition of him. You don’t get to be SHAHRUKH KHAN without wanting it and working for it. But at the same time, you don’t survive as SHAHRUKH KHAN without understanding where your line is and what really matters. If you want to see the journey he had to take in his early years of stardom, this is the film that comes closest.
5. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Fatherhood arrives! Released shortly after his son was born, we have Shahrukh the youthful happy husband turned into the mature obsessive father.
6. Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham
Shahrukh the lonely orphan. His parents were dead in real life, not estranged, but he is still someone who married and moved to a new city and built a life while always feeling that emptiness inside, someone whose family learned to watch him and comfort him when the sadness took him over.
7. Chak De India
Perhaps the most personal of his stories, a man who was beloved by his country and loves his country, but finds that people can turn on him with no notice and for no reason. But he buckles down and doesn’t give up and wins them back. Add on that he focuses on strengthening young women and girls, and the field hockey (which was one of his sports in school), and that this is the first time he played Muslim onscreen, and it becomes his most personal movie.
Second time around! Aryan Khanna, the lonely but powerful movie star, the one who won’t share his worries even with his wife, and the one who is strangely vulnerable at the heart of it, who desperately needs to be loved. That’s Shahrukh, the star.