The language of the article has been retained to maintain originality of the piece.
Once upon a time in India, Lagaan released.
The film was a smash hit, was sent as our choice for the Oscars (but couldn’t win, as the jury grew old and died during the interval) and Aamir Khan suddenly became the thinking man’s conscience. The guy who would never attend film awards because he didn’t believe in them, suddenly seemed to be jumping up and down the red carpet, promoting his film. But of course, he was doing it for the nation.
When Lagaan lost out to No Man’s Land, Aamir Khan told the press that the other film deserved to win. When I saw it, said Khan, I knew that it was better than ours. From that moment on, Aamir Khan has somehow projected and marketed himself as the voice of the nation/youth/continent/solar system.
And it’s fucking annoying.
Alright, so he chooses to do one movie at a time, reads his scripts, and does extensive preparation for it. But all that is fucking expected from an actor in the first place. Just because ours is a hare-brained industry, doesn’t make someone a goddamn Socrates.
A few months before the release of Rang De Basanti, Aamir Khan sat with the Narmada Bachao Andolan protesters to speak up for their rights. Since then, there has been no word of his involvement with the issue whatsoever.
He then made a film on Mangal Pandey, and has been on a Bhagat Singh trip since, telling the nation what’s right, and what’s offensive. In Taare Zameen Par, he showed us how we are all a cruel, insensitive nation that doesn’t know how to deal with special children. In 3 Idiots, he showed us what is wrong with our education system. In PK, he showed us the problems with religion and Godmen.
And tactful and insightful that our media is, we made him the voice of the nation. Aamir Khan tells the nation not to litter. Aamir Khan tells the nation to be nice to foreigners.
Aamir Khan is a thinking man. How? Because all his films have long shots of him staring into the distance, thinking about the welfare of the cosmos. Aamir Khan is a perfectionist. Why? Because he undergoes a physical transformation for every role (which, as any theatre actor will tell you, is the fucking basic thing to do. Also, he gets paid crores for every film). Aamir Khan is a socially aware star. How? Because he blogs about issues.
However, as we all know, even Vishwamitra’s penance was disturbed. So Aamir Khan, the ever-aware thinking man’s Gautam Buddha slipped out of character and blogged about Shah Rukh Khan licking his toes while he sat on his table.
And of course, there is Satyameva Jayate. Now, I personally have no problems with the show. A star like Aamir Khan talking about issues that we Indians never bother to speak about, is commendable. Kudos.
I also have no problem with him projecting himself as this new-age Carl Shehnanigan who tells the nation how to live – much of an actor’s image comes from this. It is no different from Salman Khan being the large-hearted bhai, Ranveer Singh being a horny guy, and Honey Singh the nation’s Mahalingam. I have no problems with that.
My only problem is with Aamir Khan’s opinions on other artists. You see, Mr. Perfectionist doesn’t give a fuck about other artists. His work is sublime and pure and unadulterated and heavenly. The rest can go fuck themselves.
Take for example the controversy regarding 3 Idiots.
Now, even though Chetan Bhagat is the Rakhi Sawant of Indian literature, he wrote the book and sold millions, and no one can take that away from him. If you’ve read 5 Point Someone, and watched 3 Idiots, and you possess the IQ of a garden lizard, you’ll know that the film is more or less an adaptation of the book. However, since it is Bollywood (and fuck writers!), Bhagat wasn’t given opening credits. He raked up the issue and Vidhu Vinod Chopra asked a journalist to ‘Shut Up’. Which is at least an honest response.
Mr. Khan, however, using his special 8th Sense, somehow had it all figured out. He told Bhagat off in public, calling him a cheapskate who will do anything for publicity. Which is fine, till someone asked him if he’s read the book. To which his response was – ‘Ahem, no.’
How the fuck do you know that it isn’t an adaptation, if you haven’t even read the Goddamn book? But Aamir Khan, yo. Intellectual actor.
When he released Delhi Belly, he appeared on Aap Ki Adalat (that classy, artful show with a completely non-creepy looking host), and justified the language in the film. His logic was – the youth of the nation today talk in that manner. If you can not stand such language, please don’t watch the film. All good.
Now, the AIB controversy. Since our media has no fucking work, they went and asked Aamir Khan, the brahmaguru of wisdom, what he thought. Aamir Khan first looked at the sky, blinked seven times, sipped some water, and then gave out his thoughts. That the show was offensive, hurt people’s sentiments, blah blah blah.
But then, here’s the key – He hasn’t watched the fucking show.
If you haven’t watched the show, and someone randomly told you there were jokes on body shape, sexuality, and religion without providing any context, it’s the partial truth. You’re like the blind man of Hindustan who held the elephant’s ass and thought that’s what an elephant looks like.
But no. Aamir Khan ko kaun samjhaye? He is the voice of the cosmos.
The universe works in perfect motion because he approves of it. Every time Aamir Khan sheds a tear, a kid in Africa gets cured of AIDS.
It’s bloody annoying.
Dear Aamir Khan, this isn’t the 60s where you could do a few patriotic movies and become a national hero. The audience you deal with is thirty years younger to you, a completely different generation.
They understand subtleties, read between the lines, and can tell an actor from a chutiya. Just because you did regressive shit for 20 years, and suddenly conscience struck you like lightning, doesn’t mean the rest of the nation is a bunch of chimpanzees.
Also, like Russel Peters said, you are an actor. You appear on the set, mouth lines written by others, get numerous takes to perfect your craft, and get paid a bomb for it. Which is all fine.
But just like you’re an artist, there are others too. Who are attempting to make an honest living by pursuing what they think is art. If you really are an artist, at least have the fucking decency to look up their work before commenting.
Like I said, you’re not fooling anybody. This is a generation that sees through bullshit. And right now, for all your decades of carefully constructed PR, you come across as an ageing douchebag.
I hope you aren’t offended by this blog. But if you are, I hope you at least read it before getting offended.
This post was originally published in the author’s blog.