Salman Khan has acted in approximately 70 films in his career spanning over 28 years. Like all other actors, Khan’s journey too was a roller coaster ride with his own share of success and failure. Salman holds several records in his name as far as the box office is concerned like, maximum blockbusters, maximum 100 crore films etc.
Khan has been a part of 30 hit films, out of which several struck gold at the box office merely due to the larger than life screen presence of the superstar. On the other hand, there are a quite a lot of films that worked due to the culmination of content and star-power, and same would be remembered for years to come.
The author lists the Best Salman Khan films:
1. Maine Pyaar Kiya
Everyone who watches Bollywood movies knows the fact that Salman Khan became a star overnight post the massive success of Maine Pyaar Kiya. The film, which collected Rs 14 crore, challenged the long-standing record of Sholay at the Box-Office in India. The film has attained the status of a classic and is, in my opinion, Sooraj Barjatya’s best and most accomplished film till date.
2. Hum Aapke Hai Kaun
Hum Aapke Hai Kaun was a game changer in all aspects. The Sooraj Barjatya directorial, starring Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit in lead, collected approximately 70 crore at the box office upon its release and is one of the biggest hit of all time in the history of Indian cinema. Although the critics panned the movie by labeling it as ‘Shaadi Ki Video Cassette’, the film commands terrific repeat view even today. Be it the family values or the music or the innocent romance between Prem and Nisha, everything seems relatable even in today’s time.
3. Karan Arjun
The film, which marked the teaming up of Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan for the first time was a humongous hit at the box office as it raked in approximately 33 crores in India. Karan Arjun was a quintessential Hindi film with a reincarnation angle and served the audience with everything that the like i.e. action, romance, drama and music. Karan Arjun was among the first films that gave a glimpse into the Macho side of Salman Khan, and the actor portrayed the character with perfection.
Although the film got panned by the critics, it was a success at the box office and strengthened the bond between Salman Khan and David Dhawan. The movie, which was a remake of South Indian film Hello Brother, is remembered for its situational humour and funny one-liners. Judwaa played a major role in establishing Salman Khan as the star of masses. The chemistry shared by Salman Khan with Karishma Kapoor and Shakti Kapoor is another factor that makes the film memorable.
5. Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya
While Maine Pyaar Kiya was a quintessential romantic film, with tons of emotions, Sohail Khan’s Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya was a quintessential romantic comedy. Although the template of the film was like Maine Pyaar Kiya, the treatment was totally different, and the film came across as a breeze of fresh air, which had ample of moments that kept the audience entertained. Apart from the above-mentioned films, Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya played a major role in helping Salman Khan become the hot favorite among the female audience. And how can we forget O O Jaane Jaana, which is probably the most recalled song of Salman Khan’s career? The movie was a Hit at the box office with collections more than 15 crore.
6. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is not just a Box-Office hit, but also remembered for the emotional content and nuanced performance of Salman Khan. Bhansali presented Khan like never before in the film and gave his character several layers which ranged from a fun-loving youngster to an emotional lover. It won’t be wrong to say that Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam would find a place in Khan’s top 5 performances till date. In the film, Bhansali attempted to narrate a very mature love story and passed with flying colours.
7. Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge
Just like Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya, Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge was a romantic comedy, with a totally quirky storyline. Directed by David Dhawan, the film had ample of humour in the first half, however, what worked for me were the sensitively handled emotional sequences that featured Salman Khan and Karishma Kapoor. As expected, the movie was a success at the box office in India.
8. Tere Naam
Tere Naam is a film that is remembered for several reasons which includes Salman’s hairstyle, music and finally the most important aspect i.e. content. Director Satish Kaushik presented Salman Khan with a total de-glam avatar in the second half of the film, and Khan surprised all with his performance. While the first half of Tere Naam saw Salman Khan flaunting his Macho image, the second half takes a complete U-Turn. The film was a rage among the masses and was a successful venture at the box office.
9. No Entry
No Entry is credited to be one of the best comedy films to have come out from Bollywood. The multi-starrer featured Salman Khan as Prem, and the superstar brought the house down with laughter every time appeared on the screen. The flamboyant characterization backed with quirky one-liners struck the chord with the audience and the movie became the biggest hit of 2005.
Wanted was the beginning of a new era for Salman Khan. The action-packed entertainer saw Salman Khan in a larger than life avatar after a long time and the masses lapped up to the film in huge numbers. As Radhe, Khan won over the audience as he portrayed the character with conviction by getting in the right amount of bad-ass attitude. Alongside Prem from several films, Radhe from Tere Naam and Chulbul Pandey from Dabangg, Radhe is one of Salman Khan’s most iconic character till date.
He came, he saw, he conquered. It is difficult to imagine anyone slip into the shoes of Chulbul Pandey, as the character has become synonymous to Salman Khan. Dabangg got back the culture of cop films in Bollywood and the movie was a huge success owing to the presence of all elements of a Hindi film i.e. Action, Drama, Music, and Romance in the right quantity. The movie explored a different side of Salman Khan – The Actor and helped Khan reach the pinnacle of super-stardom.
12. Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Undoubtedly the best Salman Khan film of all time. As Pawan Kumar, Khan under-played himself and succeed with flying colors. The Kabir Khan directorial was a human drama, which chronicled the journey of a young girl who is lost in India, to Pakistan. The movie easily finds a place in the list of best Bollywood films of all time and deserves to be watched for the sensitive portrayal of India – Pakistan relationship.
Sultan is a far difficult film to write and execute as compared to Bajrangi Bhaijaan due to the complexities of characters. While on the face of it, Sultan is an underdog story, director Ali Abbas Zafar weaves a beautiful love story, which leaves an ever-lasting impact. As Sultan Ali Khan, Salman displayed the will of a middle-aged man to fight back and rise against all odds with utmost conviction. Talking about the performance, Sultan is Khan’s best performance along with the likes of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Tere Naam.
Other Under-rated films:
While the above-mentioned films were successful at the Box-Office, the films which failed to strike gold despite having a good content includes: Andaz Apna Apna (Comedy), Khamoshi (Drama), Garv (Action) and Jaan-E-Mann (Romantic). The four films saw Salman play diametrically different characters and are deserving to be watched.