We all know him from DJ Afro’s movies and we also can’t help but say his name in the DJ’s style. The 57-year-old man has not aged a day and is still taking the world by storm. With over 30 years of acting, Shah Rukh Khan has not lost his charm even a single bit. However, the handsome man is now bald-shaven and a villain.
The Bollywood icon has returned to the big screen with a new persona. In his latest film, “Jawan,” Khan takes on a dangerous role. The film’s trailer even has a warning in it, “When I become a villain, no hero stands a chance.” This reinvention of Khan from the tender romantic hero to a “fighting machine” has been dubbed a “new phase in his career” by film critics.
Khan has been in several action films like Don (2006) and Raees (2017) before. However, his recent hits, Pathaan and Jawan, have taken this to a whole new level. These movies portray Khan as a muscled superstar, performing gravity-defying stunts. Evidently emphasizing a clear contrast to his previous roles, where romance took center stage.
The actor’s initial success and fame in the film industry came from anti-hero roles. Truly, the blockbuster Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge in 1995 firmly established him as the classic romantic hero. Since then, he has predominantly portrayed romantic characters. The man even has his own iconic signature pose. Despite the change, Jawan and Pathaan blend his romantic persona with the action-packed roles he now embraces.
Unknown to many, Khan had taken a hiatus from films for four years. The decision was preceded by a series of personal and professional setbacks. In 2021, Khan’s son Aryan Khan, was arrested over drug possession. However, the charges turned out to be false and have since been dropped. Nonetheless, his return has been nothing short of a success story. Pathaan broke domestic box office records by fetching over Ksh 17.9 billion ($120 million) in just four weeks. Jawan, on the other hand, surpassed this record within 18 days!
The themes of Khan’s recent films tell of a patriotic narrative. They feature a hero surrounded by allies from diverse backgrounds who come together to save their country in times of crisis. This is different from recent Bollywood films that emphasize Hindu religious beliefs or nationalism. Khan’s movies have always merged fiction and life, and these recent releases resonate with the current political climate.
Critics have noted the deeper political undertones in Khan’s recent films. They reflect the socio-political environment in India, where hate crimes against minorities have increased. Khan’s influence as a Muslim superstar in a Hindu-majority nation adds a layer of subtext to his roles. A scene that clearly brings this out in Jawan, features Khan’s monologue on voting and political accountability. The monologue has sparked discussions, with political parties interpreting it in different ways.
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With Shah Rukh Khan’s return to the big screen, Kenyans are also hopeful that our very own DJ Afro will make a bombastic comeback. The two are a duo in different worlds that seemingly bring out the hero in each other. Also unknown to many is that DJ Afro’s career grew and he became part of Netflix’s promotional campaign.