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Can Race 3 change Salman’s relationship with critics? Box office says ‘no’

Does Race 3’s spectacular box office run mean that Salman Khan is critic-proof?

bollywood Updated: Jun 23, 2018 16:25 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Race 3,Salman Khan,Bajrangi Bhaijaan
Indian Bollywood actor Salman Khan sings during the music launch of the upcoming action thriller Hindi film Race 3 in Mumbai.(AFP)

There are basically two kind of actors. Those who get deeply affected by reviews. And those who pretend not to be affected by them.

There is, of course, a third category where an actor genuinely doesn’t care what the critics think or say. I am afraid there is only one member of this third club -- Salman Khan. He really doesn’t care what critics say. For a very long time he didn’t care about awards either and very openly said they were a farce.

That changed when Salman actually started winning awards. He stopped bad-mouthing them. I don’t think favourable reviews changed his opinion on critics and reviews. He got them in abundance --favourable reviews, I mean -- for Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan, two recent Salman-fests that I thought would change the course of his career.

But his opinion on critics -- extended to a generic distrust of journalists -- is too deeply embedded in his consciousness.

Indian Bollywood actor Salman Khan sings during the music launch of the upcoming action thriller Hindi film Race 3. (AFP)

I don’t think Salman cares even today what critics and journalists say and write about him. He has become more tolerant of certain institutions such as the law and the media because of his own experiences. He has also become less judgmental and opinionated.

The yes-men who surround him -- and that includes the directors/music directors who are working with him -- make it easy for Salman to believe he is always right in his attitude, and by extension, in his selection of roles. No one would tell him that Race 3 is a bad addition to his repertoire of films, specially at this juncture of his career when he has a captive audience to experiment with roles and to extend the frontiers of his talent.

Sadly, we see Salman making no effort to further his skills as an actor in Race 3. Why should he, when the world is at his feet? In spite of the scathing reviews, Race 3 has crossed the Rs 100-crore mark during the first four days of release. Salman will rightly argue that the audience loves him and his cinema so why should he change his attitude towards his career or towards anything in his life?

After Judwaa 2 released, I had asked David Dhawan how he reacted to criticism about his cinema being the same even after three decades?

“Why should I open the bonnet of my car when it is running smoothly?” David commented.

So while the critics are busy looking for new ways to insult Salman’s Race 3, he is already planning Race 4 probably with more of everything we hated in the current film. What can you do about it?

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First Published: Jun 23, 2018 14:16 IST