Year 2016 saw the experimental side of superstar Shah Rukh Khan with both his releases, Fan and Dear Zindagi, featuring the actor in more performance-oriented roles. It was a relief to the SRK fans who wanted some substance from the Badshah after comforters like Chennai Express and Dilwale.
In fact, there is a general sentiment that King Khan is going back to his roots – the early ’90s – the time when the actor in him dominated the star.
Producer Farhan Akhtar, with whom Shah Rukh has collaborated on Raees, says he hopes the actor keeps moving in the new creative direction that he has taken.
“One can see with his films like Fan, Dear Zindagi and hopefully Raees, that right now Shah Rukh is focused on trying to do some good work. He is working hard to break away from the predictable loverboy image. This is a great step forward in creative direction for him. Hope he keeps following his heart,” Farhan told indianexpress.com in an interview.
But things haven’t been that smooth with the actor. Despite being lauded for his work in Fan and Dear Zindagi, both his recent movies could not make a major mark at the box office – as one would expect of a Shah Rukh Khan brand film.
Hopefully, things might change with Raees, whose trailer draws a lot from ’80s Bollywood potboilers. It appears to have assured fans of a mass entertainer topped with a story to look forward to.
Farhan, elated with the response to the trailer, however, feels that for Shah Rukh a box office success is only of secondary importance.
“I really feel a person like Shah Rukh is beyond hits. He is a cultural icon today. With the fanbase that he has created as an actor, I think these things are hardly a matter of concern for him,” the filmmaker-producer said.
Raees hits theatres on January 25, 2017, months after it was originally scheduled to release. While the delay in a film’s release generally dampens the audience spirit, Farhan believes that the wait has only added to the excitement in the case of Raees.
He added, “It has probably been the most viewed trailer in the 24 hours of its release, it got some 20 million views. We have got a massive response the moment the teaser was out. We are happy with the film and happy to put it out.”
Raees, which also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan has been directed by Rahul Dholakia. it will release on January 25, and will have the first major clash of 2017, with Kaabil.