5 Times Shahrukh Khan Shunned His Typecast Image and Took up Challenging Roles

Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan

Shahrukh Khan – The Badshah of Bollywood has been more often than not regarded (and also stereotyped) as a ‘King of Romance.’ Even though, it is a forte of his that some other actor is yet to parallel in the tinsel town that Bollywood is; it’s always interesting to see him discovering himself and his art by doing different roles. The fact is that we have seen Shahrukh Khan in a different role, but his romantic boyish charm has overshadowed his other side. Here are 5 times Shahrukh Khan shunned his typecast image and got into the skin of different characters –

1. Josh [2000] – Maxie

Shahrukh Khan as Maxie in Josh
Shahrukh Khan as Maxie in Josh

Playing the local bad boy of South Goa, Shahrukh did just everything great in this role. Right from adapting the diction of Goan Hindi to enacting the gestures of a reckless, hotheaded and impulsive Eagle gang front-man, he nailed it. For a 90s kind, this film is also a nostalgic ride today. Amid visuals of Goa and display of modern Goan sensibilities, it was Shahrukh Khan as Maxie who owned the show. This one of the best films wherein you can witness Shahrukh Khan in a different role.

2. Asoka [2001] – Asoka

Shahrukh Khan as Asoka in Asoka
Shahrukh Khan as Asoka in Asoka

In Asoka, Shahrukh Khan time-traveled back to yore and broke the typecast by playing the great emperor Asoka. The role needed a lot of preparation and Shahrukh had successfully emulated the gestures of the royal ruler. Moreover, he had mastered the art of swashbuckling and could portray the war hero pretty much well. What stood out in the role was the didn’t escape from his romantic self. His chemistry with Kareena Kapoor looked charming. Even though the film was a Box Office disaster, it’s a must watch for Shahrukh’s acting and Santos Sivan’s filmmaking.

3. Swades [2004] – Mohan Bhargav

Shahrukh Khan as Mohan Bhargav in Swades
Shahrukh Khan as Mohan Bhargav in Swades

Swades is an epitome of the kind of on-screen magic that can happen when you see Shahrukh Khan in different role, and this is perhaps the best of Shahrukh Khan you will see. It certainly has a place in the list of one of the 50 best films ever made in Indian Cinema. Playing the role of NASA scientist who is caught up in the Indian diaspora and aspirations, Shahrukh gets into the skin of the character and brings upon his career-best performance. The way he adapts to the character dispositions after the plot points of the screenplay is commendable. In an already impeccable performance, what takes the cake is how he has enacted the realization part without much use of dialogue. His internal conflict is also quite palpable without much indulgence of dramatics and that dispels all the doubts about his acting skills.

4. Paheli [2005] – Kishenlal/Prem

Shahrukh Khan as Kishenlal in Paheli
Shahrukh Khan as Kishenlal in Paheli

In the picturesque sandscapes of Rajasthan, scintillating visuals with terrific color pallet used throughout the film, Shahrukh Khan rediscovers himself as a Rajasthani man in an unlikely double role as Kishellal (reality) and Prem (a ghost). The film has elements of Rajasthani sensibilities and Shahrukh Khan enacted the character brilliantly. As an accountant Baniya, the character of Kishenlal also has a funny bone and the gags are indigenous to bourgeois lifestyle. Paheli’s Kishenlal is one of the most challenging roles Shahrukh Khan has been able to do justice to.

5. Chak De! India [2007] – Kabir Khan

Shahrukh Khan as Kabir Khan in Chak De! India
Shahrukh Khan as Kabir Khan in Chak De! India

As the helmsman of hockey team of a bunch of rather hostile sport-woman, Shahrukh’s Kabir Khan just does everything right to unite the team and also take it to the championship. Apart from terrifically essaying what looks like a character that is more like a discovery in acting, Shahrukh Khan leaves no trace of performance. Character disposition, dialogue delivery, and physical attributes; everything comes naturally on the canvas. If there was any doubt remaining about him as an actor, he packs the punch with a monologue which never fails to give Goosebumps.

In the journey of close to three decades now, Shahrukh Khan has established himself as King Khan. He has ruled the romantic niche which is the most prevalent genre in Bollywood. Even though it’s an achievement in itself, the actor also keeps pushing his own self to play different characters. It’s quite evident in the way he delivered impeccable performances in Fan [2016] by playing a challenging double role and then taking up an antihero character with Raees [2017] which has the glimpses of his early films in Bollywood.

Watching Shahrukh Khan in a different role is always a great experience owing to his vivid acting forte. The fans across the globe have ZERO doubt on his acting prowess. Take a look at the power-packed trailer of the film –

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