Cheering moviegoers packed into Indian cinemas before dawn on Thursday, popping firecrackers and dancing in the streets to welcome the latest film from one of the country’s biggest stars.
Some screenings began at 5 a.m. as Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan’s die-hard fans flocked to theaters to watch the national premiere of “Jawan,” his latest Hindi-language action thriller.
Videos and photos posted on social media showed thousands of fans lining up outside cinemas across India, chanting slogans and cheering for Khan, then dancing in crowded cinema halls as they watched the very expected.
In a social media post, Khan thanked his fans and said he was staying up late to watch the commotion unfold.
“I love you boys and girls, hope you enjoy the entertainment,” Khan posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I stayed awake to see you go to the theater. Much love and thank you.
Produced by Khan’s wife, Gauri Khan, and directed by prominent South Indian filmmaker Atlee, ‘Jawan’, meaning soldier, is set to skyrocket box office receipts, already raking in around $6 million. worldwide thanks to advance bookings, according to local media.
This film is the actor’s second this year, after a four-year absence from the screen. Also known as ‘King Khan’ and ‘King of Bollywood’, he rose to demigod status in India, starring in over 90 films and winning numerous accolades.
From humble beginnings to the difficulties of his early career, Khan’s story resonated with millions of his fans, leaving an indelible legacy on Indian culture.
But he told CNN in a 2008 interview that he had never been interested in a move to acting; it was one of his most defining – and tragic – moments that forced him to take the plunge.
“My parents died prematurely so I was sad in Delhi. I said to myself: OK, come (to Mumbai, the capital of Indian cinema) for a change of scenery,” he said. “I never tried to be a movie star, I became one by chance.”
Khan won hearts with the 1995 hit ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ – which translates to ‘The big heart will take the bride’ – as Raj, the son of a widowed wealthy industrialist, who falls in love with Simran , the gentle and obedient. daughter of a traditional father who arranged her marriage to another man.
It’s such an inspiring love story that it continues to be played daily in a Mumbai cinema nearly three decades later.
His portrayal of the ideal romantic hero, unafraid to cry and confess his love on screen, departed from the traditional concept of Indian masculinity.
He capitalized on the success of ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’, teaming up in the years that followed with some of Bollywood’s most well-known directors and production houses.
Khan received the Padma Shri award, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor in 2005, and a spot on Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list that year.
He returned to the limelight this year with “Pathaan”, breaking almost all Bollywood earning records. The film has grossed $130 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing Indian film of 2023 so far, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks the film’s earnings, and the second-highest-grossing Hindi film of all. time.