Thy name’s Rahul! Does that give a tinge on your grey cells? Ya, we aren’t talking about Rahul Gandhi, dude! We are talking about the Rahul who made us fall in love with him, who made us go Kuch Kuch Hota Hai with a pagal Dil, one who taught us how to romance, the one we call the mighty Shah Rukh Khan!
Whilst the Chennai Express trailer opens up with our Badshah declaring, “Myself Rahul, Chaalis saal ka ho gaya hoon aur normally is age tak har kisi ke life mein ek adha bara twist toh aa hi jata hai”, we trace the journey of our King Khan as he adorned Rahul with consummate ease and comfort. We crooned and screamed our hearts out when Shah Rukh, aka the on screen Rahul made us go weak in the knees with his dimpled flamboyance and naughty nonchalance. Starting from the inception, it was maverick director Late Mr Yash Choipra saab who brought Rahul into our lives and created a phenomenon, one that we hadn’t been a witness to, since Amitabh Bachchan’s Vijay! Casting Shah Rukh as Rahul in the vengeance vendetta Darr, creating ripples down the spine with an effective spine chiller of sorts, Yash Chopra’s Rahul was the one who could traverse beyond any extent for his ladylove, Kiran. Vengeance, vindication and extreme invocation of love was all that Rahul was all about back then. Playing the antagonist with oodles of charm and aplomb, Shah Rukh wowed and bowled us over as we shed tears during an almost anti-climax with the villain, aka our Rahul facing death at the hands of the protagonist.
If Darr was all about Rahul and his burning flame of unconquered love, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’s Rahul gave a new dimension to Friendship codes existing. With gelled up hairdo and DKNY threads, this Rahul redefined the Coolness Quotient and the idea of a walking-talking dude. A love saga that is iconic in its truest avatar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai made Rahul a household name as people identified Shah Rukh by his screen name and the five lettered word became more than just an identity. But more so, it was Dil Toh Pagal Hai that encored Rahul and etched it within bollywood with Shah Rukh Khan’s introductory line ,“Rahul, naam toh suna hi hoga?” becoming a stand point and a pick up line used by millions of Rahuls worldwide. The whistle, the love, the anguish and the pain, Dil toh Pagal Hai is still the brewing fairy tale romantic epitaph for most romantic couples even today.
But more than the characters, if Rahul can be evaluated, the name provided Shah Rukh the opportunity of unabashedly stretching his arms for his lady love, killing people to acquire his dream girl and most importantly, the license to romance and be loved by bazillions. That’s the power of thy name! Extending to the famous Juhi-SRK romance yet another time,Yes Boss’s Rahul was coy, vulnerable yet strong headed and powerful to the tee. Add to it the love for a mother that served as the best tearjerker of sorts. And when we talk about loving your parents, one name can never ever be forgotten: Karan Johar’s tribute to all parents over the world, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. History has it that Shah Rukh is a man of emotions, an actor who imbibes and infuses Romance into a character and it would take a lot of denial to exclude the power of a certain ‘Rahul’ to have helped him manage do the same. With other miniscule roles as Rahul, one that is undoubtedly forgettable and considered a debacle, Zamanaa Hai Deewana was one film where the Rahul lingo did not quite click well. Othjer than that, Shah rukh as Rahul has always worked wonders both personally and professionally for the Badshah, barring the small cameo appearance in the not-so-impactful Har dil Jo Pyaaar Karega.
Today, when Shah decides to trod on similar lines, bringing back the symbol of romance, Rahul back on screen after almost a decade, stakes are quite high as Shah Rukh’s Chennai Express is already being touted as the biggest release of the year and is expected to cross all previously set benchmarks in Shah Rukh’s career. A film that’s more a rohit shetty film than a Shah rukh Khan film, a movie that is new territory to our King, it would be just another week till the verdict on CE’s Rahul to be out. And before we catch him on screen, here’s a sneak peek of what Rahul has to offer. “Myself ahul, naam toh suna nahi hoga” is what Chennai express is all about, declares Shah Rukh, who plans to transcend to romantic plateaus, this time, in total Rohit Shetty ishtyle.
Will Chennai Express bring back Rahul’s flamboyance and glorious romance on screen? Will CE be a surprise package for the character that has its own features and sky-high parameters? Its just another week for all the answers. Till then, Cheers to our on-screen Rahul for his ‘Ready,Steady, Po’!
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