I have a love-hate relationship with Shahrukh Khan and his movies. It wasn't always like this. I used to just love all his movies. There was no hate then. The first SRK movie I remember watching on a big screen was Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ) and I remember loving it. I was just stepping into adolescence when it came out and I understood it, and became a huge fan right then. After that, I watched every movie of his that came out. I was still young then and didn't delve into whether it was a good movie or not. It had SRK in it and that was enough. When I watched Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, it bothered me that the college they had created on the screen was so unrealistic, it bothered me that an 8 year old girl would speak like a grown up adult. It was weird, but I still loved the movie. When Mohabbatein came out, it bothered me again that the Head of the Institute would take so much interest in the personal lives of his students, that he would expel a student for being in love or whatever. But, I still liked it because SRK was in it. Main Hoon Na had a simply ridiculous storyline and I could never imagine a 40 year old army guy going to college in that kind of a setting and successfully pulling it off. Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna was simply messy for no good reason at all. I just couldn't sympathise with the characters. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I started finding more things increasingly ridiculous with every new movie. I guess I grew up but SRK movies stayed the same. They didn't change with time and there was an increasing disconnect. But, in all these years, I still liked DDLJ and watched it many times. I liked Kal Ho Na Ho and nothing about these movies bothered me. But again, within a few years, I started seeing that the whole portrayal of SRK as an angel in the movie was stupid. I also started liking DDLJ less and less (I started noticing the over dramatic portrayal of several scenes), although I still liked to believe that It was a good movie. Maybe, it was the memory of watching the movie the first time round that was making me want to fake love it.
Then came his later movies like Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and other movies after this. These were not even worth watching. Among these Chak De has been my favourite. Actually, it is the only decent watchable movie of his in recent years. But, even in this, the penalty shootout in the end does not seem very realistic. I am an ardent sports follower and I know how hard one works to become a champion. Not a single champion in any sport has ever transformed himself to go from nothing to a winner in a single tournament of the level of the world championship. It happens in stages. Of course, some do it faster than others but no one does it like this. I remember watching a hollywood movie on a similar theme where a coach trains a bunch of college students for a basketball tournament. They end up doing very well, reaching the finals, but they still don't win the final match, even though they come close, because they have not learnt everything. So it seems that something starts bothering me every time I do like a movie. Chak De is still one of my favourite movies because it had a solid story, but mostly because he kept it real. I don't think anyone could have done it better. It is his best. But his others just baffle me.
Sometimes, I try in vain to understand why he does these movies which have ridiculous storylines and over dramatic unrealistic scenes. He comes across as a really intelligent guy in his interviews, his speeches and his articles. I sometimes want to see that intelligent guy on screen as well, but it seems that he keeps getting dumber on screen with every passing year. And, this annoys me. It annoys me that I am still his fan but he hasn't given me a reason to be one in many years. I wish he would make a movie that I could be proud of as a fan, something I could watch many times and still not have anything to cringe about. I wish for that day. And maybe, just maybe, when he'll get really tired of making these ridiculous movies, he will one day make another Chak De, and this time take it to yet another level.
-A once fan now torn between all that he is capable of and all that he actually does