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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 July 2024

Shah Rukh Khan turns 58: A lookback at his biggest milestones of 2023

Shah Rukh’s next big release is Dunki, directed by Rajkumar Hirani, which is slated to hit theatres on December 22

Ratnalekha Mazumdar Calcutta Published 02.11.23, 12:26 PM
Shah Rukh Khan clicked a selfie, with his fans in the background, on his birthday last year

Shah Rukh Khan clicked a selfie, with his fans in the background, on his birthday last year Instagram/ Shah Rukh Khan

After a career spanning over three decades, Shah Rukh Khan’s impeccable feat in 2023 will go down in Bollywood lore as a significant episode in Hindi cinema. As he celebrates his 58th birthday, The Telegraph Online does a quick recap of things that made Shah Rukh Khan the biggest newsmaker of the year in the world of Indian entertainment.

Pathaan – the resurgence of a new phase

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Four years after Aanand L. Rai’s commercial debacle Zero where he played a short-sized man, Shah Rukh returned to reclaim his ground with Yash Raj Films’s Pathaan this January and simply shook things up. The action-entertainer directed by Siddharth Anand, starring Deepika Padukone and John Abraham in key roles, started breaking all kinds of box office records from the first day itself. It not only terminated the prolonged dry spell at the Bollywood box office but presented Shah Rukh in a never-seen-before avatar in his first full-on action hero role. After years, it was a sight to see Shah Rukh in his element at Pathaan’s post-release press meet and waving at the sea of fans outside his Juhu home, Mannat.

Jawan – the roar strengthened

If Pathaan set Shah Rukh’s box-office juggernaut rolling, Atlee-helmed actioner Jawan smashed all previous collection records, catapulting Shah Rukh to dizzying heights of stardom. Also starring Vijay Sethupathi, Nayanthara and Deepika Padukone, Jawan was Shah Rukh’s home production and released in multiple languages as a pan-Indian film. In only 50 days of its release on September 7, Jawan claimed its spot as the highest-grossing Hindi film in the history of cinema (original language). What made it extra special is that Shah Rukh pulled no punches in speaking his mind on various socio-political issues through his dad-son double role act, with a girl gang army to drive home the message.

The official launch of YRF spy universe

Ahead of Pathaan’s release, Yash Raj Films (YRF) unveiled the official logo of the YRF spy universe – a shared universe of spy action films featuring RAW agents. After the success of Salman Khan-starrer Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai, and Hrithik Roshan’s War, Pathaan was the first crossover film which had Salman’s Tiger stopping by to lend a helping hand to old friend Pathaan.

Next up in the YRF spy verse is Salman Khan’s Diwali biggie Tiger 3, directed by Maneesh Sharma, also starring Katrina Kaif and Emraan Hashmi. After Pathaan’s superhit train sequence, fans can’t wait to watch the Salman-Shah Rukh duo fire up the screens again in Tiger 3. In the run-up to its release, the production banner rolled out a YRF Spy Universe Film Festival from November 3-5 for its fans. War 2 and Tiger vs. Pathaan are expected to be ready for release by 2025 and 2026, respectively.

Aryan Khan’s project launch

A couple of years of planning later, Shah Rukh’s 25-year-old son Aryan spearheaded and launched his special project – Dyavol X, a limited-release luxury streetwear brand – which was sold out within a few hours after its launch this April. From conceptualising the product to directing the digital campaign, Shah Rukh Khan’s first-born led the venture from the front.

Suhana Khan’s acting debut in The Archies

Shah Rukh’s 23-year-old daughter Suhana is all set to make her acting debut in The Archies, a teen-musical comedy film, to be streaming on Netflix from December 7. Along with a bunch of other debutant actors such as Sridevi’s younger daughter Khushi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya Nanda, Suhana will be seen as Veronica Lodge in the direct-to-digital film directed by Zoya Akhtar.

25 years of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil Se and Duplicate

In 1998, Shah Rukh delivered three memorable films in three different genres — Dil Se, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Duplicate. Mani Ratnam’s magic portrayal of unrequited love with Shah Rukh and Manisha Koirala reverberated with AR Rahman’s music. Karan Johar’s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai with Shah Rukh, Kajol and Rani Mukerji became a trendsetter movie for all things cool. And Mahesh Bhatt’s Duplicate gave us some crackling moments between Shah Rukh, Juhi Chawla and Sonali Bendre, along with melodious tracks like Alka Yagnik-Kumar Sanu’s duet Ek Din Aap Yun Humko Mil Jayenge.

Dunki: The Shah Rukh Khan - Rajkumar Hirani collaboration

After the overwhelming audience response to Pathaan and Jawan, Dunki — Shah Rukh’s most anticipated collaboration with Rajkumar Hirani, the man behind films like 3 Idiots, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and Lage Raho Munna Bhai — is likely to close the eventful year on a high for him.

Though not much is revealed, Dunki’s plot reportedly revolves around an illegal immigration route used by Indians to go to the London. Bankrolled by Red Chillies Entertainment, Rajkumar Hirani Films and Jio Studios, the social comedy also stars Taapsee Pannu, Vicky Kaushal, Boman Irani and Satish Shah. On an #AskSRK live session with fans on his X handle, Shah Rukh said he would take some time off after all the hard work this year.

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