Devang Makwana, a 31-year-old magazine designer, is besotted with the movies in general and Shah Rukh Khan in particular. A first day first show practitioner, Makwana was one of several Khan worshippers who thronged the cinemas on April 15 to receive their screen god’s latest offering. Fan, in which Khan plays twin roles of a movie star and his obsessive lookalike admirer, has impressed critics and assured Khan’s support base that his acting skills have not gone rusty. Yet, the movie has severely under-performed at the box office, raising a question mark over Khan’s ability to command crowds for his solo hero projects. But in the eyes of diehard devotees such as Makwana, Khan can do no wrong. Like Gaurav, the nasty duplicate in Fan, Makwana worships his hero, but unlike Gaurav, he has not lost faith in his stardom.
Fan was a four-star film for me. It’s been a while since Shah Rukh has appeared in a good movie. I loved Chak De! India, My Name is Khan and a bit of Don 2. But films like Chennai Express, Happy New Year and Dilwale were not up to his level. I think he has been threatened by Salman Khan and therefore worked in such films.
He is the only one whose movies I see twice if I like them. He is like a god to me, but I don’t follow him blindly. I consider myself more of a friend than a fan. I can handle criticism too. He hasn’t done much in the last five or six years, and he is trying to do something he is not good at.
When I was watching Fan, I could relate on several occasions to Gaurav, but I am not as extreme as him. This is a movie, after all, nobody does things like this in real life. Gaurav is a fictional character, but if you love somebody so much and he doesn’t give you five minutes of his time, your world can crumble.
Stars exist only because of obsession. If there was no obsession, there would be no stars, and there would be no cinema.
I have liked Shah Rukh ever since he appeared in the television series Circus in 1989. My mother used to like him very much too, and she predicted that he would become a movie hero. Then came the movies Darr, Baazigar and Deewana.
He was the first one to break the mould. He did negative roles and had the public on his side, and this was rare in Hindi cinema. He was the one who made the films of Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar and Farah Khan work.
One of his best films is Dil Se. I watched the movie as a child in the cinema and didn’t like it at the time, but I watched it again on TV a few years ago and realised that it is sheer poetry. It is sad that the film flopped. When he does something offbeat, it doesn’t run too well, so why should he repeat the mistake?
I think the upcoming movie Raees will be good, as will be the movie he is doing with Gauri Shinde. He is on the right track he should stop working in films made by Rohit Shetty and Farah Khan.
If I could, I too would have a room like Gaurav’s filled with Shah Rukh’s photographs and posters, but our house was so small that I didn’t have the opportunity. All I had was my cupboard. I used to have photographs from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and stickers on my cupboard, but then it was replaced. I also kept an advertisement of the movie Trimurti. A full-page advertisement had been issued at a time when it was rare to do so, and I kept the page carefully.
My sister is an Aamir Khan fan, and I used to and still get into fights over both the stars all the time. My wife is a Salman fan. We don’t have fights. I like him too. We don’t discuss this – we have decided to keep this aspect out of our married life.I have not met SRK, but I have seen him from afar. A friend got a poster of Fan that I had created autographed for me. I also read all the gossip about him. I don’t know whether it is true or not. I feel that the gossip has affected him. He is going though a bad phase, but he will bounce out of it. That has always been his quality.