You know what connects all these words.
No one in Hindi cinema had a filmography as interesting and illustrious as Salman Khan. Specially over this decade.
From facing his lowest point in the career with severe misfires like Veer, to building a wall so unbreakable that neither critics nor even laws could affect him. Salman has grown and how!
With Eid around and another Salman film Tubelight is set for release, let us look through all the films he has done over the last decade and rank them. The ranking of course is entirely based on my personal views. You can share yours in the comments below.
11. PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO
Salman collaborated with his old colleague Sooraj Barjatiya, and made a film that was stuck in the time when the two previously worked together.
The film was too illogical and too out-of-the-world to give a damn about the characters. Even two Salmans can’t make up for this mess. It’s the only unwatchable film on this list (according to me).
10. JAI HO
In the slew of south remakes that Salman has made in recent years, this was the worst. With a script that was okay-ish at best, Sohail was made to helm the film which resulted in a tragically flawed direction. With a better director, maybe Jai Ho could have worked.
Or maybe not. Because the climax of the film involved Suniel Shetty driving an army tank in the middle of a road
This is one film where I had lots of hopes pined on. Just months after Aamir’s utterly disappointing Dhoom 3, there was expectation that Kick would give the kind of entertainment that the latter failed to give.
Alas, Kick turned out to be just as stupid. The film had large loopholes and still it was being treated as if it’s a clever heist film.
Nawazuddin, excellent in the brief antagonist role that he gets, is the only guy aware of the stupidity and playing along.
Bodyguard is fun and watchable for most of its runtime, except for the third act.
Post then, when the film tries to put story into the film which makes it uninteresting.
The highlight of the film was this one moment when friend Tsunami* reads Private Number being flashed into the screen as Parvati Numba.
7. DABANNG 2
When your first film works so well, what do you do? Make its sequel of course. A brother was again roped in as the director, this time being Arbaaz.
The balance between script and performance which was so well managed in the original was lost in the sequel.
Though the film was not bad and had its moments, overall it was just passable. The villain especially, Prakash Raj as Bachcha* was nowhere compared to Sonu Sood’s Chhedi Singh
Every Salman movie revolves only around Salman, giving his co-stars very little space to shine. To its credit, Anees Bazmee tries to turn it around and focused more on seasoned comic actors like Manoj Joshi, Manoj Pahwa, Sharat Saxena, Paresh Rawal and Mahesh Manjrekar among others for this comic caper.
Although silly and still a remake, few of the scenes do steal a laugh from you even when you rewatch it.
This film was by no means a revolution, but it revolutionised Salman’s career for sure. Though the film was a complete Copy-Paste of its source material ( Telegu film Pokiri ), the original itself had potential and Hindi audience hadn’t watched it. All of which worked for the film’s fate.
Dabanng may have polarised viewers, but there’s no denying of the fact that the film can counted amongst Salman’s better films. And it was a role that was made for him to play.
A familiar but solid script and an assured direction by Abhinav Kashyap set the sail. The best part of the film was of course Salman as Chulbul Pandey – full of swagger and badass
3. EK THA TIGER
For me, Ek Tha Tiger still stands as one of the most enjoyable action films made in Hindi cinema. Kabir Khan, who was not a well known director that he is now, brings his documentary experience to bring some believability. And then goes full on action mode.
The premise is still too dreamy to be real ( A RAW agent falling for an ISI agent? Really? ) But what works is that the film is aware of that too and makes us busy with its nifty action sequence and excellent pacing. Which gives you very little time to think what’s actually happening
After Dangal, people started looking down at this wrestling drama. Including Salman himself.
But make no mistake. Within its own genre, Sultan achieves a lot of things. It gives the strongest female lead in this list – Arfa. She is as integral to the story as Sultan. And for me, it is her journey that moved me the most.
We also saw Salman in a very different avatar. Even vulnerable for the first time in that touching scene where he glares at his out-of-shape body.
Sure, thee were some flaws. But director Ali Abbas Zafar manages to put up an entertaining film that doesn’t bore you in its 3 hour runtime.
1. BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN
Salman’s highest earning movie is also his best over the decade. I don’t remember any other mainstream Hindi film that had my eyes welled up.
Director Kabir Khan not only takes a good script ( written by the Baahubali writer K.V Vijayendra Prasad ) but also turns it into a whole package of humor, emotions and messages.
Salman here gave his best performance no doubt. Not only because he was in able hands, but also because he brought conviction to the role of that only comes when you are absolutely sure of the film you’re trying to make.
Bajrangi Bhaijaan made us laugh, cry and think. It also gave us a hope that one of India’s biggest superstars will use his image to tell compelling stories, and not just encash it by underwhelming remakes.
Salman Khan’s films may not be your cup of tea and you may disregard him. But there is no denying of the box office prowess that he carries and the obvious connect he has with his audience.
And yet, a small glance towards his successful films will show how he achieves greater life when he sheds his superstar aura and works just as an actor.
Salman and his films are the perfect representation of what Hindi cinema really is – aging, growing and changing with times for better.