For an actor, who will shortly be celebrating his 20 year with Hindi cinema, he is an outsider who has indeed worked according to his own standards, defying all norms and coming out in fling colors. On his 44 birthday, the jury may still be whether he is a consummate and complete actor or not, one thing nobody can deny that Shahrukh Khan is indeed the modern urban face of the Indian cinema. He does not have pretensions about not having played a character having rural underpinnings, but he has given a new direction to the manner in which urban cockishness and exuberance can be expressed on the silver screen.
A sense of chutzpah that began with DEEWANA continues to mesmerize the audience through RAB NE BANA DI JODI, though the purists may scoff that it indeed is a difficult proposition to belief that a wife cannot recognize her husband by simply shaving off his moustache, but this is the sway that he holds over the audience that RNBDJ was also a resounding success. From the time when he started ruling the hearts of India and the box-office, he has literally become the male brand ambassador for Yash Raj films. After all, Shah Rukh Khan gave them the most successful film in the history of Hindi cinema DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE to their most critically acclaimed film, CHAK DE till date, as DHOOL KA PHOOL cannot be a product of Yash Raj films as Yash Chopra had directed it for his brother B.R. Chopra.
It is his sense of urbanism that became the motivating factor in portraying a Muslim character in CHAK DE with supreme conviction. It still has to be ascertained whether any of neither his contemporaries nor his peers of the past had portrayed a Muslim character on the screen, but Shahrukh being Shahrukh he did that with consummate ease. As a matter of fact, he would take it to a new height with the film MY NAME IS KHAN that may provide a certain sense of forbearance to the manner in which the Muslim characters are being etched out.
For a man who bears his patriotism on his sleeves, and is a real Delhi boy, manifest from the fact that he decided to run the Delhi Marathon this year, he is also an actor who has focused his attention on this aspect as well, and he became producer to look into this aspect through ASOKA and PHIR BHI DIL HAI HINDUSTANI.
May be when he celebrates 20 year of association with the Hindi films, it would be another landmark for the industry, that it would cherish for years to come.