They are over 45, have been ruling the roost since past two decades, and know the art of staying in news. They share a common surname and have the capability of giving all the young actors a run for their money. Yes, we are talking about one of the most famous trio of Indian cinema - Salman, SRK and Aamir. So what is their USP? Who's the reigning king of Bollywood? Who's the producer number one? Who's the actor numero uno? We pose these questions to four leading movie experts.
Not just acting, all the three Khans have donned producer's hat this year. Aamir Khan's Delhi Belly will hit the screens soon. SRK is set to release his ambitious venture RA. One this Diwali and Salman is also co-producing a kiddie flick Chillar Party.
WHO'S THE BEST PRODUCER?
Taran Adarsh, Movie Critic, Bollywood Hungama: All the three films are different in terms of genre, budget and market. The only similarity is all the films are produced by Khans. Aamir has been producing films for a long time. SRK is also making films for a while now. Salman's family has been involved in film production. But this is the first time that Salman Khan has ventured out to produce a film on his own with Chillar Party. He has walked in only after the film was completed. But the fact that they all support small films is very good.
PODCAST: Taran Adarsh on SRK, Salman, and Aamir
Mayank Shekhar, National Cultural Editor, Hindustan Times: All the actors in Bollywood turned producers about 3-4 years back because they realized that the income potential from these films is actually good enough to sell territories and rights. Audiences are going because a particular actor is producing a particular film. There was a lot of money, and a lot of pre-sale. Salman Khan has been a producer forever. It's just that it was a family enterprise. It is the first time that he's actually bought a film. Chillar Party is a kids film which is getting a lot of attention in the mainstream because of the names involved. There is an item song by Ranbir. Salman is promoting the film as a co-producer. It's a genre specific movie. It's not a mainstream universal picture in that sense. Aamir Khan has made films like Peepli Live, Taare Zameen Par, both these films were commercially successful.
PODCAST: Mayank Shekhar on SRK, Aamir, Salman
Aamir has a 100 per cent track record as a producer. Delhi Belly has a mainstream actor Imran Khan. The songs have been extremely popular for whatever reasons. This is exactly the kind of buzz that you need to bring the crowd from the first Friday. Popular soundtrack, a star and the producer with some sort of credibility; all the basic factors work for the film in terms of opening. Whether all of them will like the film and will be as excited after watching the movie is a different question.
Vivek Pareek, Editor, Maxim India: Each of them has the specific kind of appeal. At the risk of sounding very constricting they all have unique pockets they appeal to. Aamir Khan movie may appeal to an intellectual mind, smaller town audience might react strongly to a Salman Khan movie. SRK has the unique capability of being an urban, rural guy. In terms of production, Aamir Khan has more experience than the two. He has a unique way of marketing his movies.
WHO'S THE BEST ACTOR?
Jamal Shaikh, Editorial Director, Men's Health: All three Khans are equal. They have all got something different to sell. Salman Khan is the born superstar. He has got the persona. He sells himself, as he is not the actor but the guy who has a magnetic personality to draw the audience. He is the star among all three of them. Aamir is the talented guy who thinks about his work and he's the actual actor amongst three of them. SRK has the charm and is popular, he works hard and he keeps his relationship intact with his fans and his filmmakers to keep his ranking up. So the questions is does the charm work, talent work or the personality work? All three are equally important.
Taran Adarsh: Salman post Wanted is on a different high, different plateau. After Dabangg and now Ready. Ready has become a very big hit. Salman and Aamir are huge crowd pullers. Shah Rukh has not really had a big hit for quite some time. RA.One is a hugely anticipated film, and will definitely open to a thunderous response. Salman is having a dream run at the box-office. Aamir's last film was one of the biggest blockbusters of Indian cinema. His next is going to be in January next year, so you'll have to wait and watch.
Mayank Shekhar: You are only as good as your last release. Salman Khan's last three releases have got incredible opening. Wanted, Dabangg and Ready are roughly the same, the only USP was Salman Khan. North India has got its own Rajinikanth. It doesn't matter what he does. Since Wanted it has been very good run for him. Is he No 1 is very questionable. Because if you purely look in terms of how he has performed in three-four years, he's had as many hits as he had flops. But nobody remembers flops. If it were a number game, purely in terms of how you fare at a track record, I think Aamir Khan is No 1 because since Mangal Pandey, he hasn't had a flop. And even Mangal Pandey had an incredible opening in the first weekend. Salman Khan might be ruling the roost right now, I don't think he has the kind of track record as Aamir has.
WHAT'S KHAN WAR ALL ABOUT
Mayank Shekhar: They only respond to questions that are asked to them. No matter to what press conference you go to, which interview you read, the customary questions they are asked is about each other. It brings in lots of publicity. But I don't know if it is being orchestrated by them alone or the media at some level. Only once, Aamir mentioned the name of SRK in a blog. Everytime you meet him and ask him about it, he would give same kind of response and that answer would become the headline next day. At some level, it is a vicious cycle. Frankly, it works for them, because it's not that they are the only three actors in the country. Because it is so much about them, it has become a hated community they would like to keep in any case because they have been at the top for 20 years and I'm sure we have space for an actor who's a superstar and not 45 years old. They have at some level captured the fancy of viewers.
Jamal Shaikh: I think everyone realizes that any publicity is good publicity. I think a lot of it may be doctored. Each of them takes it sportingly. Salman might be helping Aamir Khan make his film a hit and Aamir might be reciprocating to it. So, it's all showbiz. They sometime help each other. Nothing wrong with that.
Taran Adarsh: Salman is having a dream run. He is certainly the flavour of the season.
Vivek Pareek: If you go primarily by their movies, then it's Aamir Khan. Overall, Salman Khan, because he has his Being Human T-shirts everywhere, in that sense he has an upper hand. SRK is also in news for a variety of reasons. PODCAST: Vivek Pareek on the three Khans
Jamal Sheikh: It's a yearly cycle. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge was SRK's decade. The moment Aamir Khan comes up with a big hit, everyone talks about Aamir. That's changing. Salman Khan might be the flavour of the season, till the next Khan delivers a hit.
Who according to you is the Khan No. One?