Aamir Khan has been variously dubbed by the media as ‘Mr. Perfectionist’ and ‘The Man With The Golden Touch’. The Bollywood actor-producer-director is known to make sure that his films get made in the best possible manner and in a way in which they appeal to the target audience.

Aamir’s track record in the last three years is enough to prove this point. When director Rajkumar Hirani approached Aamir for 3 Idiots, in which the actor was required to essay a character 20 years younger than him, Aamir took many days to decide if he wanted to do the role. Finally, he went with the director’s gut instinct. But not before he did everything that he could to look like the college-going boy, Rancho.

Yes, while shooting for 3 Idiots at IIM Ahmedabad, Aamir made it a practice to play badminton every time before shooting so that his face would look flushed and younger. When the audience accepted Raju’s film and Aamir’s likeable character with open arms, making 3 Idiots the biggest blockbuster in Bollywood history, Aamir’s conviction and efforts paid off.

So why does Aamir think twice before choosing to do a film? Why does he take the extra effort to edit and re-edit his own productions? How has he achieved the high success rate with his films and maintained his status as the intelligent viewer’s hero even after doing so few films? Here’s a lowdown…

#5 Aamir Khan’s Single-Minded Dedication

When Aamir finally decided to make his television debut, many years after his contemporaries like Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, with an issue based show – called Satyamev Jayate – Aamir made sure that he co-produced the show so that he would have creative control over it. Not just that, the actor also personally toured many remote parts of India talking to people about their problems, ensuring that these stories were told in his show.

Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan

So much is Aamir focused on the TV show that he did not think twice about postponing two releases in order to devote his full energy for the show. Which other Bollywood star would do such a thing?

To be sure, Aamir’s film producers are confident that the actor will give his single-minded attention to their films when he is done with the TV show. Hence, they readily agreed. Aamir’s focus to one thing at a time is very unlike many other Bollywood actors who juggle not just multiple projects at once but also keep themselves busy in handling different business ventures and charities.

#4 Aamir Khan’s Impeccable Judgment

When newbie director Abhinay Deo locked the final edit of the Hinglish film, Delhi Belly, Aamir wasn’t very happy. The fact that the film had content, the kind of which had never been seen in Indian films for the longest time, made the producer nervous. But instead of going with the director’s edit, Aamir put the film on hold for the longest time. Because he knew what the film could be, if it was edited the way he thought it should be.

Imran Khan, Aamir Khan
Imran Khan, Aamir Khan

But instead of firing the director and taking on the reigns himself, Aamir took his team into confidence and asked them to rework the film, as he paid his attention to releasing his two other home productions, Peepli Live and Dhobi Ghat. When Aamir finally got around to Delhi Belly, he made sure that it turned out to be a project that would click with the target audience.

#3 Aamir Khan’s Marketing Genius

So how did Aamir make Delhi Belly, a film with hundreds of four-lettered words and no big star cast to speak of, into an overnight sensation? Marketing. What Aamir did with Delhi Belly almost makes for a case study in movie promotions.

Realizing that there was little meat that he could show in the TV promos of Delhi Belly – as TV promos in India have to be U or UA certified – Aamir thought up a brilliant strategy – music. Aamir went ahead and included as many as six songs in what was basically a song-less, two-hour movie. Along with maverick music director Ram Sampath and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya, Aamir create DK Bose, a song that almost became the Indian youth’s national anthem.

One cannot forget that the lyrics of DK Bose referred to one of the most-commonly used expletives in the Hindi language. So how did Aamir really convince the audience – youth and otherwise – to come and watch an expletive-laden film?

#2 Aamir Khan’s Don’t Lie To The Viewer Attitude

We all know that advertising, for the most part, is lying. But when Aamir realized that he was producing and releasing the kinds of films – Peepli Live, Delhi Belly and Dhobi Ghat – which did not have the elements of a typical Aamir Khan film, the actor made sure that he told the public the truth. He did not, like the rest of the industry, go ahead and promote the film brazenly anyway.

With Delhi Belly, he released an almost apologetic, but humorous, promo of how the film contained abusive language and references to sex. For Peepli Live, he used a promo to criticize himself as a producer who was making a film which would not be accepted by the audience. And during the promotions of Dhobi Ghat, in which Aamir acted as well, he made sure that the moviegoer did not come into the theatres expecting a masala Bollywood entertainer.

One way or the other, he made sure that his fans knew what to expect, so that they did not feel cheated when they saw the films. If it takes guts to make unconventional films, it takes even more to market them as they are.

#1 Aamir Khan Knows His Audience

This is legendary. When Aamir is in a script session, which usually goes on for many hours at a time, he is known to react to the script like a lay viewer would – he laughs and cries, applauds and raises his brows in a question – just like the average Indian spectator would. He reacts to the script. And he agrees to do a film only when he knows that his fans would love it too, and not just because he likes a meaty role or because he is partial to a certain producer.

Aamir Khan
Aamir Khan

This is the star-actor’s biggest asset; he might be a celebrity, but he does not forget who watches his films.

So, when people complain that Aamir does too few films, and that when he does them, he ‘interferes’ and takes a lot of time and effort, they must appreciate the fact that it is his single-minded focus that has stood him in good stead over the years. And we hope that that is something Aamir Khan will not let go of for the years to come.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY SPOT ON IN YOUR COMMENTS ON AAMIR.THAT’S THE REASON IRREESPECTIVE I ALWAYS MAKE IT A POINT TO SEE ALL OF HIS MOVIES WHERE HE HAS SOME ROLE BE IT THAT OF AN ACTOR PRODUCER ETC.I USED TO DO AND DO THE SAME FOR HRISHIKESH MUKERJEE’S VIJAY ANAND’S YASH CHOPRA’S(DEFINITELY NOT ADITYA CHOPRA’S)GULZAR’S AND RAJ KUMAR HIRANI’S MOVIES!AAMIR IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF HOW THE ENTIRE INDIAN FILM INDUSTRY (NOT BOLLYWOOD ONLY) SHOULD WORK ALL OF THE TIME!

  2. Please get your facts right.
    The shooting for 3 Idiots was done in IIM Bangalore. And when he played badminton, it was done hours prior to the start of shooting each day – so the “flushed and young look” during shooting was hardly because of it (you can thank the make-up artists for that).

  3. Aamir Khan: 5 LACK OF QUALITIES THAT OVERRATES AAMIR KHAN

    1. OVERRATED ACTOR: very limited range b/c of his choclaty school boy looks. neither has nor developed acting style or substance. Very ordinary actor who made it big because of being from bollywood royal blood lineage

    2. LACKS “REAL” TALENT: Not internationally known or even discussed or fan following like Irrfan Khan & Shah Rukh Khan despite being a lead actor of internationally recognized oscar nominated LAGAAN. Aamir cannot build a character like SRK & Irrfan does hence makes him forgettable.

    3. A “MEDIA HYPED” PERFECTIONIST: GHAJINI straight copy of Cult classic Nolan’s MEMENTO. Aamirs acting was several notches lower than seasoned veteran aussie GUY PIERCE. MEMENTO is remembered for GUY PIERCE’S “UNPREDICTABLE” reactions & facial expressions. AAMIR was just plain average forgettable revenge driven hero. AAMIR blatently copied legendary BRANDO in GHULAM, a straight copy of Brando’s ON THE WATERFRONT. BRANDO’s oscar winning performance is still taught in film school as epidome of METHOD ACTING. GHULAM is forgotten trash.

    4. BOLLYWOOD’s MOST “ARROGANT” & “PRETENTIOUS” ACTOR: He thinks he is intelligent, smart, perfectionist. But often gets dominated in acting easily. Examples. akshay khanna in DCH, boman irani etc etc in 3 IDIOTS, He claims he is so good that he gets under character’s skin. reality is he struggles in comedy, ave in romance., below ave in tragedy movies.

    5. IRRFAN KHAN & SRK SUPERIOR OVER AAMIR KHAN: IRRFAN is the first & most talented actor to make it to HOLLYWOOD (Spiderman franchise). SRK has made a huge fan base in EUROPE & ASIA with his excellent romance & tragedy acting. SRK is referred to as KING OF ROMANCE & BOLLYWOOD by middle east, europe, canadian, asian & australian fans. AAMIR is completely forgotten.

    • What crap are you talking Khan? Even a 2 year old kid will laugh at your comment so pls stop this stupid comments on Aamir and talk some sense. Aamir Khan is Aamir Khan, that’s all.

    • Wow! You earned your salary today. Who are you working for? SRK or Roshans or the Bachhans?
      lets see. Earth, Lagaan, Ghulam, DCH, RDB, Rangeela, 3 idiots. Only an idiot would say aamir is a BAD acto after seeing one of these movies. He may be no thespian like Marlon brando but neither is SRK btw. Moreover Aamir is more entertaining and likeable as the boy-next-door than any of SRK’s hammy characters where he has to feed off of a veteran actor’s fame like a leech and foreign collabrations and unsavory marketing techniques. I always go to an aamir movie being a skeptic and return being impressed by his performance and the movie. The only movie that SRK made me truly like him was Chak de India I wonder why?
      Also, Aamir is a desi at heart and he doesn’t have to phone it in like others. I can relate to him a lot more than Hritik Roshan or Farhan Aktar or Saif Khan or Kareena Kapoor or Abhishek bachchan who live in their tiny bubbles of fame and fortune and have no idea what REAL India looks like. If he was busy chasing some non-existant global fame he could never be able to produce his desi projects and become India’s Oprah. If any bollywood actor can do that show, it is Aamir Khan. No matter how much SRK shouts about his global fame, we all know that he is famous ONLY with the Indian diaspora and in some banana republics who have no real love for India or Indians. Europe and America are romancing Indians with their own hidden afenda. I would rather support a true Indian working for India’s best interests than sell outs going after an elusive fame based on cheap tactics and shady deals.
      Moreover, the ONLY Indian who has made it globally the right way, on his own terms is AR rahman. PERIOD The rest of them could go only a little far Anil kapoor with his role in 24. and Irfan Khan for his acting skills and Aishwarya with cannes and Indie roles and PInk Panther 2. Let Irfan Khan refuse the dubious terrorist or pakistani cop roles, they’ll show him the door. Look what a shameful role AK had to be in to be part of a major franchise. Screw Hollywood franchises! Aishwarya Rai also got a small negative role and some Indie movies. She was actually smart in coming back and sticking to Cannes. She wouldn’t have enjoyed the success of Dhoom 2, Jodha Akbar, Guru and Raavan before she became a mom. Also, ask Shabana Azmi how hollywood treats a smart/ thinking Indian with a mind of his/her own? Who wants that kind of global success where you have to fit in THEIR sterotype?
      Frankly speaking SRKs international collaboration was a flop. That Akon song in don 2 is hideous! A DJ in a mumbai club could have come up with a better track than that! and who the hell aret these Akon or Kylie or Sylvester Stalline TODAY? Tthey bring in all the washed out has-beens and promote them in our country to loot money from middle class Indians who are brainwashed into thinking that its a progressive thing to do. I would rather spend my hard earned money watching a movie or a music concert where my identity and my intelligence are not insulted by some greedy a-hole.
      I would rather watch Sonu Nigam or AR rahman in concert for the 11th time than watch the horrible autu-tuned concert of Akon.
      Michael Jackson and Will Smith Now they were the real deal when they came to India.
      Akon, Snoop dog, Sylvester Stallone? meh!

  4. I read this article and couldnt help think how the writer is blinded by Aamirs perfectionist tag. Aamir is surely gives good performances on screen but is he a great actor.. I doubt.. why?? Its the prefectionist tag which actually gives this away. A great actor is one who is spontaneous, who is able to emote in spontaineity, one who doesnt need retakes to get a particular shot perfect. Like Govinda in comedy, he is just spontaneous or the big b in some heavy intense scenes in his hey days or the great dilip kumar. I wonder how many of these craved for perfection and takes and retakes.

    I feel great actors are spontaneous actors who can act spontaneously and dont need retakes to get that emoting right. Irrfan Khan surely is by far a better actor than aamir .. wonder if he requires that many takes

    One thing I read recently which flipped me was Aamir wanted to get a particular shot right for his reality show and had it retaken cos he broke down between the shot. what!!!! A reality show being retaken.. For god sake .. so much for being a reality how..

  5. This is really ridiculous of SRK fans to somehow pull down other actors. SRK has been doing it and now his fans are doing. They have to understand that his time has gone now.
    I think these are some the SRK qualities which are pathetic.

    1. Looks: SRK looks too old.

    2. Acting: Most overrated actor, completely fake, hams audience with his emotional and romantic scene,

    3. Popularity: Lost huge fan base in India while other actor like Salman and Amir are no their carrier high in terms of fan base. will certainly lose his base in outside India

    4. Unsuccessful business man: His IPL team looses every year and people make a laugh about it.

    5. Most of all he is pathetic human being who only think of himself with highest arrogance level, no charity work and will always think on self-profit & money making.

    • First of all why are you hell bent on saying its SRK fans who criticise. That clearly shows you cannot ignore SRK..
      Secondly my reply to ur five points:

      Looks.. SRK wouldnt have been the romantic icon and risen to stardom with DDLJ if he was that pathetic in looks. Anyway for a star its the charisma thats important not looks..
      Acting. No one will survive in industry for 20 years if they are pathetic in acting.
      Popularity: This is where you get completely wrong. Even in his lean phase when he is not as popular as he used to be he still can ensure 100 crore plus correction. Wonder where Salman was in his lean phase
      Charity: tere se bbolke karega kya

  6. srk has also done remakes—-Don,Devdas,OSO(adapted frm karz).Aamir Khan doesnt cheat his fans by fake promises as srk did in OSO n ra1

  7. Few people who are talking against Aamir Khan (Especially the ones who are posting negative comments on Aamir’s acting skills) are the one who are from SRK fan club. How can they say negative about his acting and films, my God! he is such a fantastic actor, so what if he takes retakes after retakes, that’s the director’s problem and not ours. What we should see is the end result which is ALWAYS 100% entertainment. When these producers, director. co actors are not complaining who the hell are we to comment on his retakes etc. And as far as his arrogance and low profile nature is concerned, that’s ones individual choice. I never found Aamir’c comments or behaviour in last 20 years arrogant unlike few other TOP actors of bollywood. Aamir Khan is undoubtedly the No.1 actor of Indian Film Industry.

  8. aamir khan is one overrated actor there is nothing fresh about his performance because he like to played it safe he only do a role if somebody else has done it before he never takes a risk like other have early in there career for instance he never played a charactor with aid’s or Asperger syndrome or evan a negative charactor till shahrukh khan did it first or evan salman khan took a risk an playing a person with aids that why he avoids working with the likes of amitabh bachchan, dilip kumar and shahrukh khan because he can’t push them about like he did with salman khan in andaz apna apna he evan cashes in on shahrukh khan when any of his films are coming out

  9. OMG’ everybody can’t have the same opinions and likes! What would the world be if every person on earth would be the same, just accept the way you are and respect other’s point of view…

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