The superstar of content!
Two days from the day that you are reading this article Aamir Khan will be celebrating his 53rd Birthday. While for a large part of the The 1990s,...
Two days from the day that you are reading this article Aamir Khan will be celebrating his 53rd Birthday. While for a large part of the The 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s decade has been ruled by the trio of the three famous Khans and frankly their box office supremacy over each other has more or less fluctuated – in the last five odd years Aamir has slowly raced miles ahead of the other two Khans, so far as creating the quality or repeatedly watchable content in Bollywood.
Let me tell you given what Bollywood has dished out in general in the last three odd years we owe a huge collective thank you to Aamir for creating repeatedly watchable movies like ‘Dangal’ and ‘Secret Superstar’.
Aamir truly deserves the tag of our biggest content superstar and with a lot of due respect to the other two Khans Salman and SRK – when you compare the sheer horizon of work that Aamir has delivered the other two Khan superstars surely come across way behind. I write this with a lot of respect for the fact that SRK and Salman have no less a track of work behind them. It is just that in the last five years as written above Aamir has totally gone full throttle on the content side.
The first sign of good content does it work globally and while a lot of our movies have cracked good numbers in conventional economies like the USA and Europe and the Middle East. Aamir has created a new frontier for Bollywood with ‘Dangal’ and ‘Secret Superstar’. That means China, which does not have a NRI population of the percentage that exists in the USA, etc lapped up the content.
They loved the father-daughter story of ‘Dangal’ and they loved the ambition of “young challenged by circumstances girl” in ‘Secret Superstar’ too. Trust me creating such a content is way tougher than thinking or trying to explore. Hollywood does it but most of the times is aided by a huge media and marketing muscle of its system which aids the box office number of Hollywood. Aamir’s movies have worked purely on content power.
Aamir decided to focus on movie making and ensuring that his movies have a certain consistent quality in them. He is a rare superstar to take a call that he will focus on one movie at a time. The media which needed superstar’s footage and presence were the first to laugh at this strategy. However, over the years when you look at Aamir’s movie list and find that his last box office debacle in last 20 odd years is only two – ‘Mangal Pandey’ and the 2000 release ‘Mela’; you realise that strategy was perfect.
Aamir’s own production house is a million miles ahead of almost all the current movie making studios when it comes to films that have worthy content and also box office viability. This balance was last managed by V Shantaram, for a brief while, Yash Chopra too ruled that kind of a position before he started his obsession with the white mountains of Switzerland.
We realise when we dig deeper into Aamir’s ferocious obsession with perfectionism that it is probably as much perfectionism that drives Aamir as much as his mature feeling of responsibility towards his audiences that each time his fans walk into the theatre they want him to excel.
They want him to surprise them and therefore it reflects on how he even pushes and punishes his body with what he did in ‘Ghajini’, ‘3 Idiots’ and then ‘Dangal’. Here too you notice that the decision to alter his body style or look stems from what the content wants him to.
The whole combination of this attitude and content drives audiences by the droves in recent years each time an Aamir Khan movie hits the theatre. Aamir, contrary to that image which struck with him post his refusal to do a ‘Darr’, has taken huge risks too.
He invested in ‘Lagaan’ when sports movies were known as suicidal at the box office. He took the role of the lecherous bombast music director in ‘Secret Superstar’ when a few actors he had in mind turned down the role. Aamir has put his neck on the line in more ways than one for his sheer belief in what he feels is good content.
Aamir is India’s first content superstar! Let’s wish that this birthday he stays focused on content and inspires others too.