25 June, 2021

Picture Abhi Baaki Hai

Have they achieved it all? Hollywood could provide some cues.

Picture Abhi Baaki Hai

I first encountered The Khans around 10 years ago, when I was still very new to Indian films. The three superstars were then all on the cusp of turning 40, and were all in the process of reinventing their careers, as their triple throne looked to be threatened by age and wear.

After more than a decade as a prolific chocolate hero, Aamir Khan’s work in Lagaan launched his transformation into the figure he is today, with a reputation for exacting perfectionism and a persona that edges on—okay, that sometimes barrels straight into pretentious and sanctimonious. Salman Khan seemingly misplaced the gentle Prem archetype on his way to the gym, emerging as the bulked-up Bhai, the action hero who, despite some off-screen trouble, still retains a touch of that old sweetness on screen. And, Shahrukh Khan, after a detour or two, wound up not so much creating a new persona as extending the shelf-life of the lip-quivering sensitive rogue avatar that made him a star.

Now, as they approach 50, none of the three Khans shows any signs of slowing down; each has...

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