I am a long time fan of yours. Long time means, I am a little (well..err) above 30 today and had just entered my youth when you became the youth icon. I was and still am, your core audience. I am that cine-lover for whom cinema meant two and a half hours of captive attention towards some emotions, humour and messages that got communicated through you. Yes, in my journey I have fallen for Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan and others from time to time, but for no one has my loyalty been as consistent as it has been with you. As a teenager, and also in my 20’s I was absolutely delighted being entertained by a hero who changed rules and experimented with the unthinkable. He could kill a heroine and walk away with sympathies; his obsessions got reported as another practical extension of love; he was child-like yet a man of a man; and the list continues. As a fan, I would never have less fodder to rave about you. But the sad fact is, I’ve grown up a bit. Rather than just blindly emoting like a fan-girl, now Yeh Dil Maange More!
It has been long that we, your fans, had been waiting for a film that declares your exclusivity with its content. The SRK we had fallen in love with during the ‘90s was not just Raj and Rahul; he also broke existing norms with mischievously innocent smiles and occasional arrogance. He was unpredictable with his offers! Today in 2014, we miss Raj and Rahul as much as we miss those brave decisions that challenged the prevalent content of films and yet soared high in the box office! What I am trying to say is, there were some such characters and stories in our filmy past which no one other than our favourite star would have done justice to! At least we, the audience, believe so. And that is exactly what I, as a fan, feel deprived of today! The films that are emerging from your bank now are not anything that others can’t do. Even a newcomer can pull off these characters. Of course the investments and corresponding returns would be much less; neither would they have your brand of marketing or VFX! But just as you say, that you are an actor first and entrepreneur later, let me remind you that we fans too have loved the actor first and most of us are yet to love the entrepreneur!
Having written a book on your marketing talents (Power of a Common Man : Connecting with Consumers the SRK Way), I know that you are still breaking rules in your own way. Your film marketing techniques have raised B-town practices a few notches higher. Your VFX is servicing many other big budget films along with your own. This precisely means that today you might be working on such films where you get to push existing limits and bless the industry with some innovative practices. You are also investing and importing knowhow from other parts of the world, which are going back to the industry as new sources of learning and experiments. But the woman who wrote the book is not your core audience! Your core audience is she, who is authoring this open letter. We don’t understand those technical things that go into making a film. We only cheer when water, like diamond particles, is thrown in slow-motion at your mud-stained 10-pack abs (Happy New Year, 2014)! We also cheer when those crores are counted by box office reporters, not because we understand the economics of it, but simply because we believe that it must be making you happy and is doing good things to your already gold-encrusted career. We certainly wish to find our hero at the top!
However, as much as we are with you in films that you are coming up with of late, let me tell you honestly that each fan of yours is waiting for yet another 150 minutes entertainment that makes you challenge yourself as an actor and differentiates you from the rest. Crores are common business today; just that with each new film one of you are leaving behind records of the other. We would rather look forward to a story that deserves you; a character that deeply explores the actor in you; some complications that can be explained by none other but you! Till you give us a content that touches our heart, we’ll continue enjoying stuff that you pour on us otherwise. We don’t have a choice and it’s been an old habit to love you. But just between you and me, why underestimate the power of a common fan??!!
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