Joined: 21 June 2005
|Aamir Khan is a megastar all right, but he is also an actor who has moved beyond the limitations of stardom. As one of Bollywood's most powerful mover and shaker celebrates his 41st birthday on March 14, surrounded by the euphoria that Rang De Basanti has generated all around the country, he has reason to feel vindicated.|
What makes this star-actor truly special is that he manages to reinvent himself with virtually every twist in his career. With every film that he has been seen in since the epochal Lagaan - Dil Chahta Hai, Mangal Pandey and Rang De Basanti -- Aamir has climbed a few notches both in the estimation of his fans and in the Bollywood pecking order.
Last year, Mangal Pandey did not quite live up to its hype, but the bumper opening that the film took put in the shade everything else that Bollywood achieved in one of its better years. This year, the box office is awash with only one colour - the colour that Rang De Basanti celebrates with such panache.
What's more, the year isn't over for Aamir yet. With the Yashraj Films production, Fanaah, directed by Kunal Kohli, lined up for release in the second half, there is every reason to believe that 2006 will belong to Aamir. It already does, thanks to the incredible impact Rang De Basanti has had on the masses. Fanaah promises to be the icing on the cake.
As has often been emphasised, Aamir has never allowed his unquestioned superstar status cloud his vision as an actor and a professional. The quality of his craft has never fluctuated even though he is acutely aware of the need to keep his fans on his side no matter what kind of film he opts to do.
Aamir doesn't get written about in the gossip columns as much as, say, a Shahrukh Khan or an Akshay Kumar. Only recently, he managed to keep his second marriage away from the prying eyes of the TV crews and Page 3 hounds even as interest in his life and career reached a crescendo between the two biggest releases of his life - Mangal Pandey and Rang de Basanti.
That's clear proof that he respects the actor within him much more than the outer trappings of the star that his successes have saddled him with.
His detractors feel that he is near-manic when it comes to premeditating a career move and that he uses the media when it suits him and dumps it when it doesn't. Probably true, but that doesn't take away from the fact that, as a star and an actor, Aamir has probably earned more prestige for Mumbai's popular cinema than anyone else in the business.
He is an ambassador who spells - and sells - pure quality. That's a commodity that Bollywood is severely short on. With his meticulous on-screen work, Aamir provides the contrast, the flashes of brilliance that Hindi cinema has the potential of achieving bur rarely does. He does not let us forget that peddling pap is going to get the world's largest movie industry nowhere.
Joined: 17 July 2005
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