Bollywood 2018 : The year of astonishing star

Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan (file picture, combined for illustration)

Is the Bollywood 2018 a learning lesson for the mighty Khans – Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh?

Neither Aamir, Shah Rukh or Salman delivered this year, fans are dejected & the box office has been left crying, why?

Has the gigantic power, aura of superstars is getting demolished or the audience is getting smarter?

Story or star glory which is stronger?

The year 2018 is the most significant chapter in Bollywood history, it’s the year when the best bet – the Khans - Salman, Aamir, Shah Rukh have failed one by one on both fronts – giving a good story on screen and box office glory. A rewind in search of the above answers and an analysis on the changing Khan factor (or say star power) in Bollywood.

For the last three decades since 1988 when Aamir Khan made his debut as the dream boy next door with those chocolate look in QAYAMAT SE QAYAMAT TAK (1988), the answer to the magnificent Amitabh Bachchan’s anger and aghast was welcomed with love and open arms. It was time for the young lot to make its mark. Immediately next year, the upper middle class ‘Prem’ who loved sports car, smoked his father’s stolen cigarettes but a boy with family values intact and respect for elders swayed the nation with MAINE PYAAR KIYA (1989), and later the guy with those dimples Shah Rukh Khan – the possessive lover boy in DEEWANA (1992) knocked directly at the doors of the audience, especially the younger lot and those who were not that cultured and sophisticated in their behavior towards their love.

Very soon all the three made their way from silver screens to the pin ups at girls/boys bedroom, drawing room etc. Khans became a habit, their stardom was a guaranteed for fat weekend moolah.

The distribution of fame has been amazing between the three Khan trinity, during the year, with some occasional reshuffles but primarily Salman took Eid, Shah Rukh Khan Diwali ( for some time) and Aamir Christmas but this year neither Eid (RACE 3) nor Diwali (THUGS OF HINDOSTAN) or Christmas (ZERO) has brought the expected cheers and smiles on the faces of the fans and the audience in general.

There has been an individual disappointments previously but the year 2018 will be remembered in the history for the year that saw the impossible – it convinced the industry and people that the Khan trinity is invincible and whatever the disasters like RACE 3 and THUGS OF HINDOSTAN has earned, it’s a testimony of the audience growing tolerance for crap rather than anything else. Surprisingly Shah Rukh Khan ZERO had something and the movie’s first half is watchable but it has started counting it days with reports of not more than 6 cores on 6th day with a 12 core collection on 5th day ( Christmas) holiday. King Khan Shah Rukh Khan’s ZERO (the said litmus test for Srk) opened with 20 core on day one and failed to grow, in spite of the actor giving one his best shot in recent times. King Khan is losing ground for sure.

Less said about the gigantic amalgamation of Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Yash Raj for THUGS OF HINDOSTAN, much better, it had nothing. Salman Khan’s RACE 3 was expected to be celebration of buffoonery and to expect a good cinema from a Salman Khan starrer is a bonus which can be come at any time, either Eid (BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN) or at the yearend (TIGER ZINDA HAI).

Seriously, the land of Bollywood which was ruled by Kapoor’s, Bachchan, Kumar before Khan’s, turned out to the year of Rao’s and Khurana.

BADHAAI HO – the year’s most relishing surprise with such a sweet premise BADHAAI HO starring Ayushmann Khurrana, Neena Gupta, Gajraj Rao (the Rao which I am talking about), Surekha Sikri, and Sanya Malhotra, raked in 221 crore at a budget of ?29 crore!!!, ranks amongst the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2018.

Of course Rajkummar Rao has posed with his BARFI co –star Ayushmann Khurrana for his incredible portrayal in STREE (180 crores at a budget of 24 crores), while Ayushmann Khurrana had a dream run with the best de noir thriller ANDHADHUN (budget 32 crore, earning 110 cores).

All trade parrots and world tarots going wrong, do we really need superstars?

Does a good plot really demands the backing of a star actor?

The answer is no?

In fact, the biggest of stars and banners need a good plot to maintain their stand and base.

Its story before star glory, that’s the biggest lesson learnt from 2018

BADHAAI HO, the morning of 2019 is filled with more hope