Sigh. Watching Imraan Khan, the BabyFace Khan of ’08, trying to make his little action career happen even as debutante Shruti Haasan gives him a run for his money is making me nostalgic. For the good ol’ days when the long succession of BabyFace Khans knew the correct way to combine their milk chocolate goodness with their burning desire to kick the living daylights out of this zaalim world. After all, once age caught up with them and put a few lines on those chubby-wubby cheeks, they could always switch to kicking ass full time.
1. Back when Salman Khan could keep his clothes on, he knew what to do! He threw confused yet submissive pigeons at mean old daddies, hopped on and off farm machinery, and glared menacingly when swinging on a jhoola! Angrily! Till he fell down! It takes serious movie star talent to act like a three year old having a tantrum and sell it as passion. Kudos!
2. Aamir Khan did one better. He made out with Madhuri Dixit (dressed in full ’80s regalia!) in unisex jails, pried apart steel bars with the power of love, referenced myths and legends in verse, and managed to be so adorable while doing it all that he even got the police on his side. And as any young lover in India will tell you – that never happens… unless there’s a little money involved. Armed with just one song, he defeated the Establishment in all its forms – beat that, Enemies of Love!
3. For cold style points, however, no one can improve on Feroz Khan. When FK gets angry, he IGNORES HELEN! (Blasphemy! Off with his head!) He swigs the booze, he doesn’t care about the gambling, he hallucinates Mumtaaz, he breaks out in the booze sweats… and oh, yeah! he IGNORES HELEN! This, people, is clearly a man who is capable of anything!
4. Brother Sanjay, on the other hand, could never quite do the Angry Cadbury very well because… well, I don’t know. Maybe brimstone was in short supply at the Khan household. Who knows? But given the chance, he did his best by looking as angry as he could and walking off – which can’t have been too difficult, confronted as he was by a wooden-faced Babita clone drenched in bad lighting.
5. It is a generally accepted truth that Saif Ali Khan‘s reign as a BabyFace Khan was not his finest hour. In fact, he often had to shuffle off the angst part of his angst-ridden songs to his co-stars (like so). However, he is one of the few BFK’s that received the Pankaj Udhas Sulk treatment. I feel he fits in perfectly with others who’ve taken full advantage of the PUS, which allows an actor to look slightly overwrought (perhaps while knocking back glasses full of an unknown amber liquid) as the song does all the acting required.
6. As each BFK grew up, there was always another to take his place and carry the standard high. The man who screwed it all up, I feel, is Shahrukh Khan. Not only did he lack the main ingredient (baby face!) but he spent his BFK years relentlessly pursuing other men’s wives (in his debut movie, he makes off with Rishi Kapoor’s wife; in his breakout role, he tries his best to make off with Sunny Deol’s wife; and then, to top it all off, he even tried to make off with Deepak Tijori’s wife! The ignominy!) instead of nice, sweet, girls who were waiting, chastity belts firmly in place, for him to come wake them with love’s sweet song. They probably dodged a bullet, given the above, Ajooba suit and all, is what passed for a declaration of love in his BFK years.