Leading Man Who Knows to Stand Back: Aamir Khan Turns 53
As Aamir Khan turns 53 today, let us appreciate how he is one leading man who knows when to stand back in his films. Aamir is one of the most talented actors in Bollywood, across all generations. He is known for his meticulousness and dedication but it is Aamir Khan– the person who deserves praises for many traits that he has shown as an actor, director and producer.
Khan is India’s favourite Beta male Superstar
Despite being a superstar who has played the leading man for nearly three decades, and has a massive fan following, Aamir shows utmost practicality when it comes to making films. In an industry where egos and star politics command changes in scripts and cast, one can hardly think of any other leading man who has played supporting roles in numerous movies.
Aamir uses his capabilities as an actor, to shed his star persona and slip into the characters he portrays.
So while he still chooses to play larger than life character like in Dhoom 3, the same actor surprises you by playing a hefty father who coaches his daughters to become world-class wrestlers.
In Rang De Basanti, Aamir played one of the four young men, who resort to violence in their fight against corruption. Despite being cast with lesser-known faces like Siddharth Narayan, Atul Kulkarni, Sharman Joshi and Kunal Kapoor, he becomes one of them. One can argue that Aamir was the lead in this film, but he never overpowers any frame he shares with his co-stars.
Then in his 2007 film Taare Zameen Par, he plays an art teacher who makes his appearance almost near the intermission. He plays second fiddle or a pillar of support to an eight-year-old dyslexic boy, with sincerity. Aamir could have easily lifted off the film from those tiny shoulders and made it about a teacher who changes the life of a child. But he didn’t.
Taare Zameen Par remains a film about how a boy conquers his learning disability.
In 2016, when superstars in his age bracket were busy romancing women half their age, Aamir underwent a massive physical transformation to play Mahavir Singh Phogat- a middle-aged ex-wrestler who realises that his daughters are no lesser than any boys. No one thought he would follow it up by playing Shakti Kumar in Secret Superstar. This film is about a teenage singing sensation, who covers her face to hide her identity. Secret Superstar again could have been about a larger than life Shakti Kumar who rescues Insia from her abusive father and propels her to stardom. Instead Aamir humbly chose to play a caricature-ish music director, who is infamous for his temper and womanising.
All these films would not have been memorable, had Aamir slathered them with his star power.
Not every talented actor can become a superstar in this country. Similarly, not many superstars show the guts to move away from the spotlight and let someone else take the centre stage. That is why Aamir Khan is one of a kind.
Here’s wishing he will choose to blend into a great film more often, than stand tall in a mediocre one.
Picture Credit : IndiaTV News
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.