Actor Salman Khan might be a Bollywood star, but he has a fan following that spreads out throughout the culturally-dynamic India. He has superstar status and his films are viewed in multiplexes packed with awestruck fans that hoot, clap and dance during movie screenings. Owing to his ability to draw in such a wide following, he is also called as the ‘Rajnikanth of Bollywood’ by film critics.
But like many heroes, Sallu’s tragic flaw is that he likes to live dangerously. The highs of his Bollywood career are overshadowed by the lows of his personal life. The shy guy Prem, who rose to stardom with Maine Pyar Kiya, has a side that lives on the edge and has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. How ironic that the song Character Dheela Hai has been featured on him!
Bollywood’s golden but troubled goose
There is no denying that Salman’s got the Midas touch — despite not being critically-acclaimed, any film he’s cast in becomes a commercial sensation. When Salman takes his shirt off, competing male actors start working out to develop six packs and up their game. When he wore long hair in Tere Naam, young boys queued outside salons to get his look. In total, eight films that Salman has worked in grossed over INR1 billion at the box office, including his latest hits Dabangg (2010), Ready (2011), Bodyguard (2011), Ek Tha Tiger (2012) and Dabangg 2 (2012). Despite back-to-back controversies surrounding his love life and court hearings, Sallu has proved to be an asset for the Indian film industry.
We have also seen Salman romance the hottest and most successful B-town female actors at the peak of their careers. However, his off-screen personality is different from the on-screen passionate characters he plays. Be it Sangeeta Bijlani, Aishwarya Rai or Katrina Kaif — Salman is not only known for dating the actors during their golden period, but also for allegedly assaulting them — a reason reportedly Ash gave when she walked out.
The Dabangg cop gone bad
“The court can hang me. I am tired of such lengthy proceedings.”
Nothing else defines Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s rather hot-blooded temperament that this statement he made during a court proceeding back in 2006 that landed him in a legal row. Khan was summoned over charges of killing two blackbucks, during a break in filming in 1998.
If Salman’s history is studied, it has actually been a case of ‘hit-and-run’ (pun-intended), as he has dodged charges framed against him in the past. Sallu had been jailed briefly, but always managed to be bailed out. If Salman’s situation is compared to that of actor Sanjay Dutt, who is serving the remaining three-and-a-half years of a five-year term, it might be safe to say that since so much capital is involved, negotiations for a safe route for him must be taking place. After all, while Sanjay might have been loved by the industry, he is not nearly as commercially successful now as Salman.
Fans are wondering if the box office big shot will get lucky this time. The delay in court proceedings and cases is not something unusual in India but the time at which the case has resurfaced is very crucial — will there be a Bollywood ending for this hero?
An Indian court on Wednesday charged Bollywood star Salman Khan with culpable homicide over a 2002 hit-and-run case that could land him behind bars for 10 years.
In 2002, Salman is alleged to have run his Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle onto a pavement and over five sleeping homeless people in suburban Mumbai, killing one and injuring four others. He spent 17 days in jail and later clarified that he was not driving.
In 2006, Salman was convicted under the Wildlife Act of India for poaching a blackbuck in Jodhpur during the shooting of film Hum Saath Saath Hain in September 1998. He was handed a five-year imprisonment and was fined INR5,000, but was released on bail after spending less than a week in jail.
Salman had to apologise for comments he made in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. He had reportedly claimed that attacks got a lot of attention because the “elite” were targeted. “It was the elite that was targeted this time. Five star hotels and stuff. So they panicked. Then they got up and spoke about it. My question is why not before. Attacks have happened in trains and small towns too, but no one talked about it so much,” he had said. His comments that Pakistan was not to blame and that Indian security forces were to blame also drew strong criticism in India.
The Hindustan Times has compiled a list of projects that Salman is currently involved in:
Bigg Boss 7 — Seventh edition of famed reality TV show.
Mental — Salman’s brother, actor-turned-film-maker Sohail Khan’s directorial venture.
Kick — Film-maker Sajid Nadiadwala’s film which is set to go on floors by the end of July.
No Entry Mein Entry — Sequel to film-maker Anees Bazmi’s No Entry.
Prabhudeva’s untitled next — Choreographer-turned-film-maker Prabhudeva plans to make action film with Salman.
Sooraj Barjatya’s untitled next — Hum Saath Saath Hain film-maker Sooraj Barjatya plans to make a film with Salman after 14 years.
O Teri — Salman has a cameo in brother-in-law Atul Agnihotri’s film titled O Teri.
YRF’s next — After Ek Tha Tiger, Salman is reportedly planning to begin shooting for Yash Raj Film’s next venture after Mental and Kick are completed.
Remake of Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho — Salman Khan is considering working in the Hindi remake of Mahesh Manjrekar’s Marathi film.
I Am Hariprasad — Main Aurr Mrs Khanna’s director Prem R Soni announced to make I Am Hariprasad with Salman.
Projects in planning stage — Apart from the projects which are under pre and post-production, Salman has other movies which are in the planning phase.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.
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