It’s not easy for someone to tell Aamir Khan‘s story of stardom through his films. Each one of the films in his resume proves that the actor has always chosen the less-beaten path and made choices that are both unconventional and unexpected for a ‘Bollywood hero.’ There’s this sense of astute faith in his choice of films and that’s probably one of Aamir’s biggest win. The confidence that the audience has in the actor’s films is unfathomable. Over the years, with a career spanning around 30 years, Aamir has delivered films which are not just entertaining and mainstream commercials but are thoughtful and smart. Here’s taking a look at Aamir’s work and how the actor took over a new generation like never before. Also Read - Aamir Khan Plays With Gippy Grewal's Son on The Sets of Laal Singh Chaddha, Photos go Viral
Aamir Khan in a still from Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (File Photo)
Aamir is an example of how the film industry can make one an overnight star. The actor’s first film – Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988), directed by Mansoor Khan and produced by Nasir Husain, launched him as the face of the youth. A star was born when Aamir serenaded all with a guitar in his hand as he danced to the tunes of ‘Papa Kehte Hain‘. An entire generation felt he was speaking their language. The love story was a fresh break from the overtly dramatic cinema of the late ’80s. Quite surprisingly, neither the audience nor the media were interested in knowing about the new actor who was being launched through Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. The entire buzz was created in the name of Mansoor and Nasir and yet when that Friday arrived, there was no looking back for Aamir. The film went on to win a National Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment Also Read - Happy Birthday Aamir Khan: Top 10 Films of Bollywood's Perfectionist as Per IMDB Ratings
Aamir Khan on the poster of Raakh
After playing a chocolate boy in his debut film, Aamir made a shocking choice when he signed Raakh. The decision was not just daring but full of challenges for Aamir. Raakh was a dark thriller or noir and had nothing glamorous about it. Further, it made Aamir stand with the talented faces of the time – Supriya Pathak and Pankaj Kapur, and an understatedly new team who was making a cinema which was gritty and questioned moral ambiguity of its characters. Aamir portrayed a young man who goes to extremes to take revenge from those who raped his lady love. While Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak had established Aamir as a star, after Raakh, he became an ‘actor.’ His performance was deemed as one in a lifetime and that doesn’t happen with anyone just after the second film. Also Read - Aamir Khan's Birthday: Superstar Cancels Celebration With Media And Fans Amid Coronavirus Scare?
Aamir once again returned as a youth icon with Dil (1990). The music of the film had already done its job and Aamir came to the mainstream as the quintessential hero whose journey from a stubborn manchild to an eternal lover boy was beautiful. There was pain, drama, humour, isolation and romance in his performance. Aamir’s chemistry with Madhuri Dixit was a total hit.
Aamir Khan and Urmila Matondkar in a still from Rangeela
The actor went on to do some romantic, light-hearted films in the early ’90s. After Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993) and Andaz Apna Apna (1994), Aamir became a tapori on-screen. His performance in Ram Gopal Varma’s Rangeela (1995) was something that the audience had not expected by then. Aamir once again went off the track for better and succeeded in taking a risk. He was a street smart man, difficult to be shaken. Aamir’s fascination towards transforming himself for his character probably began with this film. He learned a new language, developed a new style and became a faulty hero who never came close to the traits and the existence of the kind of man he was playing on the screen.
For Rangeela, Aamir went on to create his own look, borrowing worn-out jeans from an employee on the sets and reportedly spending some time with local street gangs in Mumbai to get into the skin of his character. All the homework that the actor did pay off well. Aamir’s street lingo, those vibrant street-picked clothes became a part of pop-culture. It was the same year when Shah Rukh Khan delivered an iconic performance in his film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. However, the audience gave immense love to Aamir too. Rangeela became a super successful film and one of the most celebrated films of the ’90s.
Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor in a still from Raja Hindustani
And then came Raja Hindustani (1996). Aamir’s jump from being a rough tapori to a naive hardworking small-town cab driver was beautifully accepted by the audience. The Dharmesh Darshan directorial was a dreamy love story where a small-time taxi-driver meets a princess and the two get married amid their hugely different cultures, lifestyles and financial backgrounds. Aamir gave the audience what they had been craving for – a love story which was not set in London or Switzerland or was not made on a grand budget. It seemed like a romance from the mountains with its real emotions, complexities and differences. The film gave Aamir his very first Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
Next up was Ishq (1997), Ghulam (1998), Earth (1998), Sarfarosh (1999), Mann (1999) and Mela (1999). All the movies were decently approved by the audience but what was coming out for Aamir was going to change Hindi cinema forever and establish him as a pure leading bankable star and a terrific producer.
With this Ashutosh Gowariker film, Aamir brought himself where the world cinema stood. He became a globally recognised star and established a position in the film industry that became unmatchably grand for everyone in the country. Lagaan (2001) had all the elements that were constantly rejected by the audience – it was a lengthy film, a pre-independence drama, a film based on sports, without any glamour and unusually yellow tinted. However, it performed amazingly well at the Box Office and Aamir experienced success like never before in his career so far. Apart from sweeping most Bollywood awards in all major categories, Lagaan became the third Indian film to have got a nomination at the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Then came Dil Chahta Hai (2001) which was a youth-fest and again, Aamir’s efforts with his styling and the portrayal of a fashionable upmarket guy was both relatable and attractive. The film is considered pathbreaking when it comes to making cinema about friendship. Dil Chahta Hai gained cult status by instantly becoming a part of the popular culture.
Aamir Khan in a still from Rang De Basanti
Mangal Pandey: The Rising didn’t add anything to Aamir’s resume but everything changed with Rang De Basanti that arrived in 2006. It was a sort of unlikely film. The direction was done by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and the film was something that spoke the language of rebel, zeal, the idea of collective justice and power of the youth in its right sense. Rang De Basanti was a thoughtful cinema and Aamir’s acting prowess only gave the much-required boost for it to reach to the larger audience. It was an entire package that gave the youth a spark and a voice to speak out against the system that bothered them. Rang De Basanti was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars and was nominated in the Best Foreign Language film category at the BAFTAs.
Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safari on a poster of Taare Zameen Par
After performing in a love story set in the backdrop of terrorism in Fanaa (2006), Aamir once again talked about the change in society with Taare Zameen Par. It was his debut directorial and the one that aimed to change the general mindset of parents towards their young kids. The film talked about dyslexia from the front and also became yet another Aamir’s film that was sent as India’s official entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category. It won the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare and also received Filmfare Award for Best Film and Best Director.
Aamir Khan on a poster of Ghajini
Aamir continued with his image of being a Box Office superstar with Ghajini in 2008. It was a remake of a South Indian film but went on to impress the audience who turned up in huge numbers to watch Aamir developing anterograde amnesia from being a well-suited rich businessman. The success of the film was totally based on Aamir’s shoulders.
Aamir Khan, R Madhavan and Sharman Joshi in a still from 3 Idiots
Then, with Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots (2009), Aamir set another Box Office benchmark. The actor became a youth icon once again and propagated an idea that was extremely necessary and relevant across generations. He talked about education and highlighted the importance of growing in life without the pressure of acquiring more degrees or falling for an expensive educational system.
Poster of Dhoom 3
In the next four years, Aamir decided to stay away from the commercial mainstream. He did Talaash in 2012 which was an off-beat drama with extremely layered nuances and emotions. Aamir then brought Dhoom 3 and appeared as a larger-than-life hero like the audience has never seen him before on screen. Suddenly, he was performing unbelievable action sequences and mouthing unrealistically heavy dialogues. Dhoom 3 was the third part of YRF’s action franchise and it broke many records at the Box Office.
Aamir once again decided to touch upon a relevant issue with his performance in PK (2014). Seeing him reuniting with Hirani was already an attraction for the audience and the idea of religion, religious faith and superstition was questioned in this film which was both controversial and novel. Aamir conveyed something which no other leading star ever tried to. He challenged the audience and left them with something to think about. It was their blind faith that was being challenged and Aamir had no qualms about it. PK was a tremendous success at the Box Office.
Aamir Khan on the poster of Dangal
Dangal, that released in 2016 broke all the existing records for a Hindi film at the Box Office and emerged as the highest-grossing Hindi film ever. Aamir’s transformation from a young wrestler to a 60-year-old wrestler father of two grown-up girls was terrific and once again the actor proved there’s no one who is as committed to perfection in his craft as Aamir is.
Aamir Khan in a still from Laal Singh Chaddha
The actor is now gearing up for the official Hindi remake of Forrest Gump. The film titled Laal Singh Chaddha is slated to release during Christmas this year. Believing that his best is yet to come despite the entire lineup of brilliant films he has done so far, here’s wishing Aamir Khan a very happy birthday!