You may hate him, you may love him, but you can’t ignore the fact the AK is the only one among the celebrated big Khans of Bollywood who actually doesn’t take his audience for granted.
Time and again, this little master of Bollywood belted out gripping performances in script oriented cinema with hard work, élan, and sheer skills that had left us no choice but to appreciate in awe. On his 51st birthday, let’s see why Aamir Khan is called Mr. Perfectionist.
1. Taking India to the Oscars
When Ashutosh Gowarikar’s brilliant script had no takers, Aamir Khan stepped up to produce the Oscar-nominated cinema. With one move, he had already proved that he had a vision that most actors fall short of. The epic tale of Bhuvan and his mates in Champaner trying to fight the British at a cricket match to get laid off the heavy taxation was a plot that nobody dared to venture with.
Not only did he take up the responsibility of such a large scale production, he also pulled off the role of the fearless village simpleton, Bhuvan with such seamlessness that we forgot it was Aamir Khan – just the way it should be. Doesn’t matter if it didn’t win the Oscar because it had won Indian cinema forever.
2. Redefining Cool In India
Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai was a milestone cinema that changed the way Bollywood dealt with friendship. It marked the end of bullshit, unnecessary drama, death pacts and lofty dialogues that never really occur between friends. Aamir Khan stepped into the shoes of the bratty Akash and made the character immortal.
The crew cut hair was the in-thing and the soul patch was something no Indian actor has dared to sport. The flamboyance, the wit, the naturalism that he bought into the role, was fresh and much needed. It changed the game for Bollywood actors who knew the days of over-acting are over.
3. You don’t need to be a gym rat to play a cop
If you have seen Sarfarosh, you’d agree that unlike most mainstream actors in Bollywood, Aamir Khan didn’t need to look like a buffed up bag of protein shake to bring out the fierce, intense Ajay Singh Rathod in him. You take an honest hardworking man, destroy the happiness of his family and then have him denied justice, you’d know the amount of fight a dog of his size could have.
That’s exactly what Aamir Khan portrayed in this brilliantly shot action thriller by John Matthew Matthan and it was one of finest cop movies to have ever been made in India.
4. A spectacular directorial debut
The only Khan from the big leagues who had ever dared to put on the director’s hat. Aamir Khan made his directorial debut and showed the world his in-depth understanding of cinema and the craft of film-making. The spectacularly executed emotional sequences that choke you in the throat but not titillate you was the essence of Taare Zameen Par.
The performer that he is, Amir Khan stepped into the role of Ram Shankar Nikumbh, the empathetic art teacher who takes it upon himself to make sure that a young artist’s talents are not nipped in the bud just because he suffers from dyslexia. A lot of us could have used a teacher like him while growing up.
5. Not to be taken lightly, like literally
When everyone thought Aamir Khan’s days of being a chocolate boy are over and he’ll only be seen in thinking man’s roles from now on, in came Ghajini. A power packed, out and out action flick that had Aamir Khan like never before. As if a war cry to the muscle heads of Bollywood, Aamir Khan showed it to all that he can buff up and look nothing less than an MMA fighter when the role calls for it.
The seamless transformation from a suave businessman to an unstoppable brute, suffering from partial amnesia who’s burning in vengeance, the animal grunts, and the inhuman body language was possible only for this method actor.
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6. The lovable Ranchod
In 2009, when 3 Idiots came to the plexes, it was a raging success. Aamir Khan, who was already 46, by that time he played the role of a 20-year-old and it never looked like he was a day older. Well, it’s one thing to hide your wrinkles with makeup but molding your entire body language to match up to character more than 20 years younger than your actual age and that too, without looking like a retard, is a sign of a dedicated actor.
Most importantly, it was the first time youth in the country had a mainstream movie deal with a subject they could relate to at an immediate level and Aamir Khan made sure he was not preachy about it.
7. The intense, edgy and dangerous Aamir Khan
Long before Ghajini, Aamir Khan had held the audience to the edge of their seats with his thrilling performance in the Ghulam. A Mumbai tapori and a promising boxer, Siddhu was one of the most realistically executed characters of the shady streets of Mumbai. However, the highest point of the movie was the Train Scene where Siddhu runs towards a training moving towards him keeps running until he has reached a pre-determined mark on the railtracks.
When the train gets precariously close to him, everyone shouts at him asking to quit, but Siddhu runs until he crosses the mark with the train missing him by inches. Now for the best part – the stunt was pulled off by Mr. Perfectionist, himself!
8. Aamir Khan in art-house cinema
Aamir Khan who’s always been a money churner for producers and easily one of the biggest contenders to the hundred crore race today, had made sure not be a complete sellout. Mr. Khan had been part of off-beat, avant-garde and arty cinema right from the 80’s.
One of his early ventures in such coming of age cinema was Holi (1984). One of his finest stints at parallel cinema was in Deepa Mehta’s Earth (1998) as Dil Navaz, the Ice Candy Man. If you’re looking more recent works of Aamir Khan in critically acclaimed cinema that was not meant for the bucks, there’s Dhobi Ghat for you.
9. A fresh flavor in TV commercials
The best part about watching an Aamir Khan commercial is that he will hardly play his Bollywood star card and try to sell you stuff by just using his stardom. Aamir Khan would give out his best show in a commercial and every time he’d come up with something new.
For instance, the numerous commercials of Coca-Cola where he used to come in a new avatar every time, the Godrej commercials where dresses up as a woman, the classy Titan advertisement – they’re all a treat to watch. It’s so good to see a Bollywood star spending a thought on making a commercial creative rather than just endorsing a product in expensive clothes, heavy makeup and a made up smile.
10. He brought reality in reality TV
With the success of Amitabh Bachan’s Kaun Banega Crorepati, almost every big and small actors of the industry jumped on the bandwagon of hosting game shows and have their own reality game shows. However, Aamir Khan, who could have easily signed on for an easy job as a game show host chose to do something different. In May 2012, Aamir Khan was seen hosting the much-awaited talk show, Satyameva Jayate. This was not a show that relied on celebrities gyrating in pompous sets to generate TRP.
It was about the social concerns of India that needed to be addressed quite badly. It dealt with the ugly truth and as expected, the show faced trouble, opposition, and legal battles as well. However, the choice of being a part of such a show when he could have easily taken the easy way out shows integrity.