28 Years of Aamir Khan

28-Years-of-Aamir-KhanAamir Khan’s first film released 28 years back in (1984), ‘Holi’- not quite a formal launch pad for a young actor vying for a career in Hindi cinema. The film made by Ketan Mehta is about students, their issues and protests – an arty kind of film, where Aamir Khan’s role as a student who belongs to an exuberant gang hardly makes a dent for him. Despite its flaws, the film went on to gain critical acclaim. It was made as a part of FTII’s student’s project and you spot the likes of Paresh Rawal, Ashutosh Gowarikar and ofcourse the already well-established Naseeruddin Shah and Deepti Nawal.
Earlier to ‘Holi’ and after, Aamir Khan worked as Assistant Director for a few films, and was also seen in a couple of them as an actor, but nothing major.
It was his next film, ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ that went on to make him an overnight lover boy of Hindi cinema, and he along with Juhi Chawla, who is equally young and good looking (and was a ‘Fair and Lovely’ find) made for a hit pair. While Aamir looked little unsure and uncomfortable in ‘Holi’, by the time QSQT was made, he fitted into the role with ease. The age-old story of the feud between two families that comes in the way of the lovers ends in a tragedy a la Romeo Juliet, and the film that released in the midst of badass action oriented flicks with ageing heroes, was like a breath of fresh air for the young college going movie watchers. Good music, new talented young artists and taut script, helped the director churn out a winner – a classic in fact. Aamir name appears in the credits as the Assistant Writer as well.
QSQT was made in 1988, following which Aamir Khan defying the routine of acting in a yet another love story and cashing in on his popularity as a lover boy, chose to act in ‘Raakh’ directed by Aditya Bhattacharya. He plays the role of an angry youngster, whose dissent with injustice turns into a murderous rage, and he chooses the path of revenge that will eventually spell doom to the life and career of the youngster – quite an intense film, which he executed well that led to a Special Mention’at the National Film Awards.
From then on Aamir Khan went on to do several successful films like ‘Dil’, ‘, ‘Dil Hai ki Manta Nahi’, ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’, ‘Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke’ where he is yet again paired with his QSQT heroine Juhi, ‘Raja Hindustani’, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, ‘Rangeela’ and the not so successful ones and a few forget-worthy films like ‘Daulat ki Jung’, ‘Pehla Nasha’, ‘Mann’.
However, he has always found ways to act in not so mainstream cinema like Deepa Mehta’s ‘Earth’.
In later years he started becoming choosier. Evidently with landmark films like ‘Lagaan’, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Fanaa’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’ – he was greedy for more, in a good sense. And there came the ‘Three Idiots’, ‘Delhi Belly’, ‘PK’. He was also involved in the making of some critically acclaimed films like ‘Dhobi Ghat’ and ‘Peepli Live’. He still continued to do commercial films like ‘Ghajini’, ‘Dhoom 3’.
Aamir Khan, throughout his career managed to maintain a fine balance by making his socially conscious films into commercially successful ones at the box office.
28 years of film career is not the usual landmark year, however a good reason to look back at a film career that was always aimed at making different cinema, not getting type cast in clichéd roles and box office image, and re-inventing as an actor, and in the process giving the audience a variety of film experience. His many film awards notwithstanding, he has gained the status of an actor who looks beyond the usual formula, and has contributed majorly to what we look back as classics of Indian cinema.

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