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Salman Khan: Setting new paradigms at box office success with regular consistency

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Whenever history of Hindi cinema is written, focusing on the achievements during the last two decades, Salman Khan's name would find a special mention. May be, he needs to be granted a special chapter focusing on his achievements, as right from the eighties to 2010, Salman Khan's films have scored hits and broken all box office records on such a regular basis that no other star has been able to maintain that consistency. As a matter of fact each of his films has given new idiom to cinematic construct as it has evolved in the country. As he celebrates his birthday today, it indeed is an opportune moment to point out the watershed successes in his career, underlining his importance in growth of Indian cinema.

The year was 1989 and for a lark I decided to watch the film MAINE PYAAR KIYA in Varanasi. Imagine those were the days when there was no media built up, no advertisement campaigns, no brand positioning, but the songs had created waves and people have come in droves to soak in his magic. That day, a new superstar was born. His moving from being a rich brat to a plebian character driving a truck, and taking on the villain on a bicycle, his black leather jacket etc., created a new wave of romance in the country. It was also the film where an actor bared his body for working out and henceforth it became a trend in Hindi cinema.

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The 1990 release BAAGHI may not have been that successful, but in terms of the character portrayal, it was a disruptive moment in the history of cinema as here was a hero who had the guts to take on system, family etc., to fight for his beloved who had been forced into a kotha and that too. 

At a time when Sanjay Dutt  was at his peak, Salman Khan partnered him in SAAJAN in 1991 along with the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit to weave another miasma of romance flavoured with comedic antics. It was again a film which rode piggy back on huge success that the music of the film attained.

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The Salman Khan and Aamir Khan starrer ANDAAZ APNA APNA which released in 1994 was not a commercial success initially, but it is still referred to as one of the most impressive comedy films of Bollywood. Salman Khan's sense for comedy became his veritable tool in his acting paraphernalia. Interestingly, the film was released in videos and became a roaring hit. Salman's chemistry with Aamir Khan in the film was also a treat for all the movie lovers. 

Salman Khan broke all the previous box office records with his 1994 release HUM AAPKE HAIN KAUN. HAHK is still one of the biggest blockbusters in Hindi cinema. This family entertainment value of the film helped it gain more success.

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Salman again rewrote box office success with the Rakesh Roshan directed film KARAN ARJUN in 1995, where he shared the screen space with Shah Rukh Khan. This casting offered the public a double delight in one package. One wonders whether a day would come when they can be paired again. 

The 1999 film HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM saw Salman giving one of his best performances as a failed lover which also got him the nominations for the Best Film actor. 

The actor later played the role of a lover who goes mad for his love in the film TERE NAAM. Salman Khan found his connection with the audience after four years. His hair style in the film became the talk of the town. 

His 2005 film NO ENTRY  and 2007 film PARTNER  saw Salman Khan again in a comic role. Salman underlined the fact that he can entice the audience in any form of comedy. The actor proved that his comic timing cannot be emulated.

A new phase in Salman Khan's career started with the 2009 release WANTED. Post the success of the film Salman became a symbol of delivering entertainment to the core and restarted the era of dialogues to add spice to a character. With WANTED he underlined once again that when it comes to action he is second to none. 

With the release of DABANGG in 2010, Salman Khan reinvented the wheel and took the fans of Hindi cinema to the times when dialogues, dances etc., were the hallmark of cinema and it was probably for the first time in the history of multiplexes that coins were thrown at the screen. Salman Khan again broke all the box office records and created history for the first day collection of a film, a feat that was not achieved till date.

He gave two phenomenal hits like READY and BODYGUARD in the year 2011 and again created a new box office record with the first day collections of BODYGUARD. 

Salman Khan indeed is a phenomenon that happens once in a lifetime in the history of cinema which has created a new paradigm of box office successes, developing his own idiom of cinematic oeuvre characterized by humor, real time action, innovative ways to woe the beloved and always keeping it at the back of his mind that the fact that his films are liked by the family as well. It goes without saying that in between he also produced a children's film CHILLAR PARTY which again created a box office record underlining the fact that Salman's another constituency, his most faithful-children, has been at the forefront of all his cinematic oeuvre so far. While people showed their affection for him for all these years, Salman Khan emerged as a better actor time and again. May his cinematic journey continue!

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Hina Khan

Rashami Desai

Nikki Tamboli

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