Ness commented to my rant post, and I have this burning desire to write an essay in reply to her short question. Well, when it comes to Shah Rukh.. everything in this blog inadvertently gets turned into an essay (lol). In the end, I think I should stop myself from going overboard and just come up with a short list of why (I think) SRK got all the criticisms he did over the years, i.e. hamming, familiar mannerisms, OTT (over the top), et cetera et cetera ad nauseam:
- First of all, I'd like to clarify to the SRK fandom that it's not only SRK who gets all types of flak from media, anti-fan, etc. Every movie star gets it.. be it from Bollywood, Hollywood, Kollywood, Mollywood, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, even our (relatively) small Malaysian movie industry with actors who earn not even 1% of what Shah Rukh earns per movie. They all get it. So stop getting depressed about this issue, yaar.
- With the advent of internet, everyone who has an opinion can broadcast it to the world (like tiny, puny, little old unknown boring me in this blog). Before, you have to get your articles checked by your editor to get them published. Nowadays, even articles riddled with misspellings and grammatically wrong sentences are deemed as rocking and cool. They get read, re-published, and now.. re-tweeted. We're all essentially reading recycled rubbish for hours at a time whenever we open the entertainment section, which is where most of SRK-related 'articles' reside. The compound effect of all the trashy materials depresses our soul. My advice.. if you can't take it, leave it!
- As to SRK's acting as per my opinion.. I mean, you all can have a different opinion about this.. but mmm, see if I care. Shah Rukh has been asked in an interview long ago about why he acts the way he does, i.e. hamming it to the hilt and very stylized.. according to the interviewer (I think I read the interview at Planet SRK forum, my source to most of SRK's old uploaded stuff). He answered something like, "...is there any other way to do it?". So there you have it, folks. I'm asking you guys/gals.. looking back at all his previous films, would you have wanted them done differently? I don't. And people who do.. they can go watch other movies starring other stars, if they know what's good for them.
- Contrary to popular belief that critics review movies as honestly as they can, errrr.. they don't. They're there to criticize. It will be weird for a critic to go on and on about a movie they like and stop the article without highlighting something absurd or bad about the movie. IT'S THEIR JOB TO HIGHLIGHT THE BAD STUFF, GET IT? That means, no matter how crazy they are about a movie with paragraphs that start with something like, "...Shah Rukh Khan is simply superb as first the shy Suri and then the flamboyant, full of energy, Raj..", they'll still snuck in a "...But as SRK’s character’s transformation comes in the grip slowly loosens and you start feeling restless with the pace slumping down considerably" (link). See what I mean? Either you stop reading reviews on his movies, or get over it already.
- Having said that, I'm in complete agreement with Ness that he gets unfairly slammed on all fronts, esp. during Billu release. O God.. that was such a circus! So much so that I'm now completely numbed and even managed to laugh uproariously at some truly beleaguering posts. Want to know how I get from being pissed crazy enough to shout at my computer screen on some issues to laughing it off and going 'oh, gimme a break here'? I read so much of it and commented so much to it too. Seriously, if you read and commented to the kinda crap people write about SRK over and over and over and over and over x100000000000.. one fine day you just wake up to it and go ...hahaha, that's funny!
- I think it's human nature to put everyone and everything under neat labels hence.. Aamir Khan is an 'intelligent' actor, Salman Khan is the 'bad boy' of Bollywood, Shah Rukh is always 'hamming' it.. etc. etc. They said Abishek is 'wooden' ..and here I thought he's the most natural actor I've seen of the younger generation. Hrithik always 'plays larger-than-life characters'. And now they've poised Ranbir as 'the young gun who is giving Bollywood biggies a run for their money'.. even though the kid is humbleness itself (I like his sarcastic reply ..hehe). I personally think that no one from the succeeding generations has managed to surpass Amitabh Bacchan.. and the 67-yr old actor is still working hard like there's no tomorrow with one after another of his old movies being remade by the current crop of filmmakers.. so the thought of younger stars surpassing the Khan Triumvirate is quite ridiculous.. really. They've already got 2 decades worth of work under their belt. By the time Ranbir, Imran, and Abhay get there.. the Khans have already reached the next stages of their careers. Go and catch 'em if you can!
- I watched Maya Memsaab (the uncut version) in 1995, DDLJ in 1997 and KKHH in 1999. From being intrigued about Lalit to being confused about Raj to being blown away by Rahul, Shah Rukh has done something none of the actors I've loved has managed to do.. he gets under my skin. He makes me feel what his character feels, so much so that when I watched Devdas.. I empathized with the story from Devdas' POV, not from the POV of any of the women in the story. I was so affected by the character he played that I wrote several poems from Devdas to Paro and to date they remain my favourites among the ones I penned (here's a sample, but I'm warning you.. it's quite blegh so read at your own risk. I've never tasted alcohol so I just kinda imagined this is what Devdas feels about Bacardi.. lol). Okay, to be honest.. my poems are all crappy but I love the Devdas ones the most. Which is why I don't mind what other people think about his style of acting. I love the way he does it on screen, so why should I suddenly be affected by what other people think about it? Shah Rukh has magic!
Finally, I just want to say.. I love everything written about Shah Rukh: the good, the bad, and the weird (high on my list right now must be this one.. I am totally amused!). It's really much much worse if I have nothing at all to read about.. that would definitely freak me out. So yeah.. bring it on, babeh! <(^o^)/