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Chhote Nawab comes of age!

The verdict: Saif Ali Khan can deliver a solo hit, writes Arnab Banerjee.

bollywood Updated: Jun 07, 2012 16:58 IST
Arnab Banerjee
Arnab Banerjee

Let's hand it to him - he does deserve more accolades than many of the top ranking actors his age do. Three hits in a row is not an everyday phenomena. Saif Ali Khan can deliver, and deliver a solo hit too.

His detractors may think otherwise - that Hum Tum was a fluke and may be, Parineeta worked because of its novelty or primarily due to its sensitive handling of a classic theme by the debutant director. While it would seem slightly out of context to sing eulogies for his achievements in these earlier successes (though the films did establish him as a star to reckon with), it certainly is noteworthy, how after a string of flops, he is back with a bang.

The latest from the Yash Chopra banner, Salaam Namaste is a sure fire winner and has the Khan almost perfecting his insouciance as a box office success story. Undoubtedly, the film belongs to him.

The verdict is out; Saif Ali Khan can deliver, and deliver a solo hit too.

The complete surrender to a character which may not be very different from his real life persona might not have been such a difficult task for this UK-educated lad, who, a decade-and-a-half back found himself a "misfit" in the "


"(read uncouth) film industry. The ease and deft treatment with which he allows Nikhil Arora or Nick to fit into his persona is an endearing act few would disagree with.

It isn't only because of this Khan's ability to set the cash registers ringing that puts him in the ranks of the other Khan triumvirate ruling the roost - viz., Aamir, Shahrukh and Salman. Khan in his new avatar - one would instantly brush aside any attempts to emote on his part in his utterly forgettable movies like Main Khiladi Tu Anadi, Parampara, Yeh Dillagi to name a few - has evolved into a fine performer neatly balancing his heavily accented tone to suit the phirang persona that the character demands.

Also, full marks to him for mustering all the courage to stand up to two of Bollywood's best known though most underrated comic role experts - Javed Jafri and Arshad Warsi. One could argue, to run him down again, that the script had all the loaded one liners to help him gain advantage points. But it wasn't merely the wit in the crisp Abbas Tyrewala-penned dialogues that made him stand out - as Nick, he was clearly enjoying every bit of his laidback attitude towards life act to the hilt.

It becomes his contributory addition to what has now become recognizable as Saif's personal style, reminiscent, for many, of the 60s heartthrob Shashi Kapoor's flamboyance. What remains to be seen is whether the triumph was just a flash in the pan or is an accomplishment of an actor's road to self discovery.

A serious role in a serious film, which is diametrically opposite to his happy-go-lucky image, could do the needful.

We are waiting chhote nawab!

First Published: Sep 30, 2005 08:00 IST