In the last few years, Salman Khan’s films have not been received well by the audience and more so by his fans. ‘Race 3’ (2018), ‘Dabangg 3’ (2019) and ‘Radhe’ (2021) are not the films to be proud of. There has been criticism of the filmmakers whom he is working with. They have not presented him in the manner in which his fans want to see him. For me, these films were not wise choices for an actor like him. He has the kind of stardom which any actor would look to have but we expect him to be part of better films.
Post ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ (2015), ‘Sultan’ (2016) and ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ (2017), we have not seen Salman Khan in an interesting film. He has gone back to his routine action films with directors like Remo D’Souza and Prabhu Deva. The action masala films can also have a strong story and interesting screenplay. The audience expectations will also be high for an actor who has been in the industry for such a long time and with today’s time, we have easy access to the international cinema through OTT platforms. One is getting to watch such wonderful stories and interesting performances from different actors. The average quality standard of work will not be accepted.
There is one more criticism of his pairing with younger heroines half of his age. The romantic pairing looks disoriented. With growing age, you need to move gracefully to mature characters. In today’s times, mainstream heroes are being accepted as darker characters. Salman Khan has not been part of that space. His fans will not mind him playing characters with darker and greyer shades. He also needs to look for films beyond the 100 Crore Club and looks for roles satisfying him creatively. The films can be of a smaller budget. Every big star goes through this phase and then moves ahead making the right choices at this stage of their age.
Salman Khan in the role of Sardar Rajveer Singh in the Mahesh Manjrekar directed ‘Antim – The Final Truth’ has been a good choice. It is one of the best roles played in his career. He has played the character in an understated manner. There is nothing loud and over the top about this character. It is more of a supporting character with Aayush Sharma in the lead, who has given a fantastic performance in the role with lots of grey shades. This film belongs more to filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar, who seems to be in total control. We have never seen Salman Khan in this kind of darker real gangster film.
‘Antim – The Final Truth’ may be a small budget film compared to other Salman Khan films but with a far better story and screenplay. After a long time, Salman Khan has got appreciation from most critics and audiences for this film and his role. Post-covid pandemic and clash with Milap Zaveri ‘Satyamev Jayate 2’, the film had opened well at the box office. Most of them were also aware that Aayush Sharma was the main lead in the film. Salman Khan leaves an impact in his supporting role. As an actor, we would like to see him taking more risks with his choices of films. With action, you sometimes limit yourself to youth fans. You need to connect to a family audience then he needs to do lighter films also. Salman Khan has made the ‘antim’ (last) turnaround.
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