I have always believed that the greatness of an actor is a function of his/her versatility. If you consider yourself to be a good actor then you should be able to pull of diverse role, all with same degree of conviction. Unfortunately many actors in todays time fail to pass this litmus test. They play as per their strengths and make sure that the stereotypical roles which suite them is what, that is sketched for them again and again on the celluloid and presented each time with a so called “different touch”. Smart move but not durable enough.
But here is an actor whose has defied all typical Bollywood norms and has tried to get a different person out of him each time he is on the 70mm screen. He has tried to elevate Bollywood to the next level by proving that not only Masala mindless potboilers work here but also offbeat meanongful cinema has a market which should be rightfully tapped. I am talking about the finest talent that Indian Cinema has ever produced, Aamir Khan.
Honestly speaking I had never heard of Aamir until Raja Hindustani released in 1996 and created waves all over the nation.I was a 7 year old kid then and hardly watched movies but had heard names of big Bollywood stars like Shahrukh,Salman etc due to their recent successes in the form of DDLJ and Hum Aapke hai Kaun . I must also admit I never was a fan of Aamir initially. Well one reason for that probably was that I had hardly watched him on screen then and whatever little I had seen of him were a collection of his worst movies like Mela, Mann etc. But my perception of this genius changed once I watched Lagaan. Infact people really understood the potential of this actor only in early 2000’s after the release of Lagaan and Dil Chahta Hai. He was never considered to be a superstar before that unlike his other contemporaries.
Aamir infact never had a true taste of superstardom in his early days due to his maverick approach to cinema. Of course he did have a dream debut with Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak but eventually he lost his track with movies like Raakh, Awwal Number etc. Aamir did have his share of hits like Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikander, Dil, Hum Hai Raahi Pyaar ke but these movies failed to do what DDLJ,Kuch Kuch Hota Hai etc. did for SRK and Hum Aapke Hai Kaun, Karan Arjun etc did for Salman. Moreover Aamir already had gone to the formula of one movie at a time which was never the trend in Bollywood during those days and hence audience got to see really less of him. I guess very few would have predicted then, that the future formula of Bollywood superstars would get transformed into what Aamir already practiced since a decade and a half ago. But, nevertheless Aamir’s belief in himself is something that has kept him going over the years despite trying his hands on offbeat non-commercial cinema.Whatever he does, he does it with utmost conviction and that comes across on screen in that character he plays or movies he chooses.
Talking about his verstality Aamir is one of the very few actors in Indian Cinema who has tried to experiment with offbeat cinema and also has been successful in it. Looking at his filmography each charcter the man has played still remains in our heart whether it be Bhuvan of Lagaan or DJ of Rang De, whether it be Rancho of 3 Idiots or ACP Ajay Rathod of Sarfarosh. Each character resides in people’s hearts as the character itself and not Aamir playing that character. I guess theres every role under this planet that he has tried wheather it be of a cop or a villager or a tapori or a student for that matter. The best part about this person is that he makes you believe that he is the character. The moment you look him on screen he is the character and not superstar Aamir Khan. That’s the reason people call him Mr. Perfectionist.
Aamir has this unique sense of selecting unusual and offbeat projects wherein whatever he selects strikes gold. Many mistake “Brand Aamir” behind the success but just “Brand Aamir” cannot bestow the movies with tremendous success which they have have got. Who could have imagined in his wildest dream that a project like Taare Zameen Par having a kid as its lead actor had the capabilty to gross 131 crores at the box office given its dyslexic subject. Or who would have thought that a movie like Peepli[Live] would have got such a terrific response given its lesser known starcast. But it all happened in front of our eyes. It’s really nice to see a superstar like him backing such great scripts and such great pool of talent. Very few people would dare to do it in todays world.But Aamir does it.
At the end i would just like to quote Salman who once said about Aamir that “If I allow Aamir to touch me he would turn me too into gold”.Well God knows what Salman was thinking while saying this but Aamir surely does change things into gold. An actor who truely lives the statement “Excellence ke peeche bhaago, success jhak maarke tumhare peeche aayegi”.