Thy Name is Shah Rukh Khan and he still is the supreme Emperor at the cash registers. From stories of him facing a mid-life crisis to his unplanned obituary writing his super stardom off within fractions of an hour while penning an article, all hatred stories cashed in against him today turns futile and baseless.
An actor who has proved his mettle time and again, Shah Rukh did the right me by doing a Chennai Express at the right time, showing that he is still capable of shaking up the entire Box-Office system as well. Today, as his Chennai Express races ahead past all his contemporaries and their movies, we take a look at how the Train has been closely associated with Shah Rukh Khan.
Shah Rukh Express ab Platform Koimoi par aa chuki hai…
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
The most iconic mushy love story that each cinegoer has been fed with for the past two decades almost, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge stands tallest as the monumental romantic epic for Indians, as Adi Chopra made every heart fall in love with Raj and Simran and their unbounded romance for each other. But what made DDLJ immortal was the beautiful and totally famous train sequences that forms the base and the climax of Raj and Simran’s life. A chance meeting of sorts turned into an encounter when Simran almost misses the Eu-rail and the flamboyant Raj pulls her into the compartment, lending his hands, thinking that it would be an easy route to flirting. The film yet again ended with Simran finally running into Raj, battling against the running train and his now-convinced father. The moment the hands met, crowd cheered in joy and probably that’s why the DDLJ ring still brings a smile to my face, no matter how upset I am!
If DDLJ provided SRK with the express boost, Dil Se did wonders as SRK danced atop a train and went Chhaiya Chhaiya with close friend and then model Malaika Arora Khan. From the pelvic thrust to the charismatic energy, Sukhwinder Singh’s rendition got a new flavor as Mani Ratnam chose the train top as the perfect set for Chhaiya Chhaiya. Even now, as we think of the train, DDLJ and Chhaiya Chhaiya are what strike the mind first!
An epic saga on reincarnation, Karan Arjun gained hiatus for two major reasons: a) SRK-Salman’s sizzling bromance on screen and b) Rakhi Gulzar’s undying faith and constant muttering, Mere Karan Arjun Ayenge. But this film too had SRK in a brief train sequence as Arjun travels through the countryside in a train where he gets recurrent flashbacks from his past. In search of his ladylove, Arjun ends up finding a lot more than what he headed for.
Main Hoon Na
Farah Khan’s directorial debut had SRK in an otherwise unusual role: one of an army officer, which he mastered during his television days. The introduction scene might have been power packed with a head-to-head with the film’s antagonist rightaway but it was SRK’s yet another Train moment that drew the loudest cheers. When SRK arrived Darjeeling and gave that perfect first look in front of the train at the railway station, crowds went beserk and loaded the theatre with ceetees and taalis! We loved it as well.
One of SRK’s masterpieces, Saratchandra’s Devdas might have been enacted in 17 odd languages, but Sanjay Bhansali’s Devdas was a class apart. From the amazing grandeur to the knitted perfection, Bhansali’s Devdas was as usual a visual treat. And with performers as good as SRK, Ash and Madhuri playing the leads, Devdas took off to a greater dimension. And the connecting link with our Shah Rukh Express definitely stood out to be the climax where an almost dying drunkard Dev babu travels all the way to meet Paro in her village in a train where he lands up meeting Chunni Babu. A short encounter filled with drinks thereafter, led to his untimely death. And as Paro and Devdas stood apart from each other even during his last moments of life, it was definitely the most painful tearjerker!
Shah Rukh is one man who knows his forte much better than any of his contemporaries. That’s why, in most of his films, Trains have played a huge role in shaping up the climax and his magnum opus Ra.One was no different. The penultimate scene where a Ra.One stimulated Kareena Kapoor takes the train driver’s seat and races the train through all the stations non-stop ultimately led to G-One coming to force. Shah Rukh’s superhero avatar jumped, ran and raced across, over and sideways of the train to finally stop Kareena from killing many lives. And the terrific VFX of the station crumbling to pieces captivated us and made us go wow!
Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Yash Chopra’s swan song had Shah Rukh doing everything he hadn’t done in years. Yes, he kissed after ages in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, that too in a train station. After the peppy Ishq Shava, when both Samar and Meera got charged up, they expressed their love in the most romantic manners possible as Meera kept on leaving one train after the other and bonded with Samar through a lip-lock. Shocking for the kiss and casual for yet another Express moment in SRK’s filmi career.
The train that has gone off to shatter all reconds, one and sundry, Rohit Shetty- Shah Rukh Khan- Deepika PAdukone coalition meant for full doage of paisa vasool entertainment. Rahul who set out on a journey to pouring his granddad’s ashes at the holy Rameshwaram, takes up the Chennai Express because the perky Rahul wants to be naughty at 40. After a DDLJ-ish intro between Rahul and Meena as he pulls her and all her four hatta-katta cousins into the train, he proudly declares, “maine yeh pehle bhi kiya hua hai”. DDLJ anyone? And then as one page unfolded after the other, Rahul got trapped into the web of Combangaon’s Periyathalay and what followed was well crafted story that spelt love, drama, and entertainment with capital letters. The mystic picturesque locale to the entire comedy in the train was the furore to what Chennai Express could have been.
Today, when the film has already become the highest Bollywood grosser of all times, Chennai Express’s Express Shah Rukh has somehow catapulted to the top yet another time. This time, with uber flourish! And just a request to King Khan from all of us: Now that it’s all done and dusted, return back to the Raj and Rahul we grew up watching you.
P.S. And at times, just go OTT with entertainment, just like a Chennai Express as well! In short give us the variety you are capable of, sir!
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