Is Salman Khan losing the plot?

After the stupendous box office success of the critically acclaimed ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ (2015) and then ‘Sultan’ (2016), Salman Khan is losing the plot with his choices of films, starting with ‘Tubelight’ (2017), ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ (2017) and the recent ‘Race 3’. Ali Abbas Zafar’s ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ was a box office success but it did not stamp its authority critically and it contained lot of flaws. At this stage of his career, it would have been wiser to choose films which belongs to today’s times, and not trick viewers by reusing success formulas. After the ‘Tubelight’ debacle, it appears that the 52-year-old actor has decided to dictate what works as commercial entertainers. But there is a trap!

Why is the ‘Wanted’ and ‘Ready’ formula outdated?

Figures are constantly demonstrating that good content is highly praised in Bollywood. Yes, there are a few exceptions but overall, moviegoers are judging correctly. Salman Khan is still stuck with the old commercial entertainers and rehashing the successful box office formulas, which propelled him ahead in the game, such as ‘Wanted’ and ‘Ready’. Released in 2009 and 2011 respectively, they aided him to rework on his image as a commercial entertainer for the masses, after a series of flops such as ‘Yuvvraaj’ (2008), ‘London Dreams’ (2009) and ‘Veer’ (2010).

Viewers love Salman Khan as the superstar but he needs to play challenging characters as an actor. In ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ and ‘Race 3’, he looks completely disinterested and unenergetic. His personal life problems have taken a toll on his films and his tired face is hideously unusual. He can afford to take a sabbatical of six months and rejuvenate himself as an actor and also take care of his health. Normally, the creative juices of an actor show on screen. On the other hand, Aamir Khan is doing the right thing by taking long breaks between his films. He prepares extensively for his characters and the final product belongs to a different class and creates a better impact, reaching unimagined heights.

Why is Salman Khan not working with the right filmmakers?

Even though Salman Khan is such a big superstar, considering his value at the box office, he is clearly not working with the right filmmakers. A change in strategy should allow him to collaborate with better filmmakers and surrender himself to them as an actor. This is exactly what he is not doing and does not want to do. He should look for interesting stories and well-written characters as an actor to play, keeping the box office in mind. Fans are evolving, the market has changed, the mass is more knowledgeable and has better exposure to international movies. Average and below average work will be harshly criticized. In India, nowadays, a large chunk of the population has access to social media and are not afraid to put forth their views there. Social media has become the best word of mouth for good films. In a similar vein, it will tear bad films.

Why giving a second chance to other actors does not equal to a good cast?

Bollywood has rejected actors like Bobby Deol and Daisy Shah. The writing is on the wall. Adding them to the cast is only pulling down the movies produced by the production house. Every actor needs to be tactical about their films and take hard decisions for the betterment of the projects. To create memorable characters, the casting director should hire competent actors. Salman Khan, trying to show his human side, tries to give chances to lot of new talent but this way of casting is not really paying off dividends. The best example is ‘Jai Ho’. He doesn’t have an eye for the right talent and uses emotions for the choice of the characters.

Why is Salman Khan’s taste of music so poor these days?

There is no denying that Salman Khan had a good sense of music for his earlier films. However, recently he has been dabbling into writing lyrics and singing. He should leave these jobs to those trained in those genres. As a producer, he has all the rights to choose who is on-board but roping in Iulia Vantur to sing “Selfish” opposite Atif Aslam was not a right move. The music of ‘Race 3’ is one of his worst albums as an actor and producer.

What was Salman Khan thinking when he zeroed in Remo D’Souza?

The talk of the town is that Remo D’Souza was the wrong choice for directing the ‘Race’ franchise. The reasons are aplenty. Director duo Abbas–Mustan would have been the ideal choice for such plots. Why? It has to do with the experience and maturity, the filmmakers translate on the big screen. Remo was given a golden chance to prove himself but he blew it!

Why Ramesh Taurani should have never accepted Salman Khan’s request to change the script?

It is becoming clearer each passing day that Salman Khan was the wrong choice for the ‘Race’ franchise. His mindset and beliefs don’t agree with the temperament of such films. This franchise is more of a thriller genre with all grey characters in the film, with a good quotient of bold heroines and sex. Salman Khan has changed everything and has made a khichdi of ‘Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! (1994)’ and ‘Dhoom’ (2004). Ramesh Taurani was expected to be more honest with this franchise as the public has some recall value from them. Aditya Chopra might be thinking whether he should cast Salman Khan for the ‘Dhoom’ series, as it can be a ‘Doom’ series, if Sallu Bhai tries to add his input.

The Tips’ head honcho added Salman Khan to increase the brand value of the ‘Race’ franchise. What is his faux pas? In doing so, he has diluted the value of the franchise in a wrong way! Salman Khan has taken the easy way to make a quick buck for Eid by killing a franchise and feeding the paying public a potpourri of his earlier movies, repackaged as ‘Race 3′, which Tips’ boss blindly agreed to. What’s more, it is totally surprising how Ramesh Taurani, who is well-known for selecting only accomplished music composers, has agreed to work with relatively new faces in the industry!

What’s next for Salman Khan?

In 2012, the ‘Dabangg’ actor stated to the Times of India that he will only play larger than life roles. The move to choose intelligent scripts was rightly on the way with Kabir Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ but then, the lure to recover costs went to his head. Despite all the negativity, Salman Khan is a superstar and ‘Race 3’ has already collected enough ‘moolah’ to recover its costs. However, it will be remembered as a bad movie for a long time. After entertaining for more than 30 years, he is one of the few superstars in India, who can bring people to the theatres in numbers. If he fixes the right definition of what is a commercial entertainer, his fans will be more excited than ever. Having his own production house means that he decides in which projects he wants to star in, but this is also bringing him into a lot of spotlight lately.

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