Aamir Khan turns 49 today and Naomi Datta says that the actor needs to have more fun in the year leading up to his 50th. A bit of drunken debauchery would help

Voices Sunday, June 08, 2014 - 05:30
By Naomi Datta In an ideal world, the Dhoom franchise would get the Nobel Prize for silliness. And not because it has Uday Chopra in it. Or rather not just because it has Uday Chopra in it. Then again – let’s not make this about soft targets. Let us set our standards a tad bit higher. Let’s make this about Aamir Khan, one of the biggest stars in the country who turns 49 today. And I really hope he is celebrating by doing something silly and improper and well fun. By that I don’t mean a drunken brawl (though that would be fun) and I definitely don’t mean drinking and driving (that would be NO fun- no debate on that). But well ....fun. But I get this sneaky feeling that the man is now incapable of not taking himself seriously. He is more myth than man and being Aamir Khan is serious business. It borders on the self righteous. And it is turning him into a boring actor on screen. The type who gets in a subtext of scowling serious to even something as unpretentiously silly as the Dhoom films. Yes –his presence turns a film about middle aged men on motorbikes going through a mid-life adolescence into a film about middle aged men on motorbikes going through a mid-life adolescence getting their righteous knickers in a knot over crippling lending rates by heartless bankers. Yes. Whew. In a film which is about actors being uninhibitedly silly, Aamir Khan remains self consciously sullen and grim. A bit like those Satyamev Jayate promos where he is self consciously sullen, grim and also superior smarmy for good measure as he passes judgement on who makes the cut as a Satyamev Jayate viewer. Don’t get me wrong – Aamir Khan gets most things right. His films ( blank out Dhoom 3 immediately- and yes I know it made 300 crores), his productions ( clasp Lagaan in a heartfelt embrace at this point) and even his television show ( you know the spiel – he could have done an inane game show but he chose to give social issues a mainline platform and for that deserved applause). Also time to put in placatory disclaimer about how I cried when he didn’t get the Filmfare Best Actor award for Rangeela in another century. Aamir Khan the nation’s conscience keeper doesn’t bother me – what it is doing to Aamir Khan the actor though is a concern. Over the years, Aamir has developed an aura of infallibility – the guy who gets it right all the time. But that now has transmogrified into a rather potent persona of righteousness. And because that persona is so pervasive, he seems to have stopped having fun even in his films. Or writers and directors guided by that halo of nobility now only write him roles where he is always right and one-dimensional. No flaws. No false steps. He has it all figured out. His off screen avatar has gobbled up his on-screen persona and it is boring to see a man who is always right and righteous about it. Both on and off screen. (Maybe Raj Kumar Hirani and Peekay will correct that – we live in hope) So this birthday – Aamir, let that hair down and do something more fun than moralizing about people breaking traffic signals. If you must moralize, let it at least be in a more debauched place – like a rave party or something. Happy Birthday! (Naomi Datta is a television presenter and producer. Former broadcast journalist. Currently tweets.) The opinions expressed in this articles are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in this article do not reflect the views of The News Minute and The News Minute does not assume any liability on the same.