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The Return of the Iconic “Cool Dude,” Urann Chan

Over the course of this class, not only have we’ve seen a lot of Bollywood movies but we’ve seen the transformation of one of Bollywood’s most iconic superstar, Shahrukh Khan. From when he was a “cool dude”  in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to his role as an obsessive lover in Dil Se and more recently, a “Major” nerd in Main Hoon Na, we’re able to established this correlation between the parts he plays in movie and his age. Om Shanti Om manages to break this correlation and brings back one of Shahrukh Khan’s most famous role, the “cool dude.”

According to class discussions , the typical “cool dude” embodies someone that is in his prime (upper teen’s to mid twenties), attracts all of the ladies or is a “ladies’ man” , live a luxury lifestyle and is essentially up-to-date and trendy. For example, take Raj from DDLJ; he’s young, he not only plays sports but is a player and he lives in the moment, always enjoying life as it comes (taking a random vacation around Europe). Other examples include Sameer, Sid and especially Akash from Dil Chahta Hai and even Lakshman from Main Hoon Na, who are usually portrayed as very trendy and stylish guys that likes chasing girls and going out with friends. Going back to Shahrukh Khan, we see a him portrayed as two completely different roles over the course of about nine years; from his “cool dude” look for DDLJ in 1995 to his nerdy “way-to-old-to-pass-for-a-college-student” role for Main Hoon Na in 2004. The two contrasting looks served as a time period for when it was acceptable for Shahrukh Khan to play the “cool dude” role and after Main Hoon Na, we started to see younger men take up this role while Shahrukh Khan advance to playing much more age-appropriate roles.

I found it really weird that Om Shanti Om was an attempt to bring back the “cool dude” persona of Shahrukh Khan. In the movie, he is portrayed as this young bachelor that chases a girl to his death and when he was reincarnated, he is portrayed as an even cooler dude. He becomes the son of a very well known Bollywood actor and lives his life in luxury. He has all the girls chasing after him and all the guys wanting to be him. There is a huge gap between his actual age and his role’s age; he plays a  30 year old when in fact he’s was actually 42 at the time. His age definitely shows especially in the song “Dard-E-Disco,” when he’s shirtless throughout the whole song, dancing around scantily clad women young enough to be his daughters. I believe that the only reason why Farah Khan decided to cast him as the main role was solely based on his fame because since this is a movie about cinephilia, they would need the biggest stars in the industry and nobody is bigger than Shahrukh Khan. He continues to awkwardly play younger roles in more recent movies such as Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Filed by uchan at April 30th, 2013 under Uncategorized

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