The Star Of The Week(12/12/99-19/12/99j

1999 Dec 14, Digital Hindustan Times

The star of the week , and indeed of the whole year, is undoubtedly Salman Khan. Just look at his career statistics from 1999. Five releases, two hits and a super-hit. And a guest appearance in another hit (Sirf Tum).
The year started auspiciously for Sallu. The mega hit of 1998,
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, continued its dream run through the first half of this year. True, the movie was a Shah Rukh vehicle, but at least it got the tiny muscleman his first ever Filmfare Award (for best supporting actor).
Then followed Jaanam Samjha Karo with Urmila. Sure it was a flop, but Sallu escaped with his star appeal intact. As was proved by the twin successes of Biwi No.1 and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. The fact that two movies with the same star -- released within a space of a fortnight of each other -- could attract such fantastic initials, proved that Salman's fans had forgiven him for the blackbuck-shooting fiasco.
Biwi No. 1 went on to become a superhit - and the biggest commercial success of the year. Although the film boasted of a huge star cast (Anil Kapoor, Karisma, Tabu and Sushmita Sen), no one was under any illusion about the major draw of the movie.
As for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, though co-star Ajay Devgan came up with a terrific performance as the strong, silent husband of the heroine (Aishwarya Rai in her first ever commercial success), it was Salman's usual loverboy routine that pulled in the crowds.
Then came that atrocity called Hello Brother. A deserved flop, but it was Sallu's brothers Arbaaz (Sallu's co-star) and Sohail (the director) who got all the flak. Leaving Salman with his halo of stardom intact.

As was proved by the tremendous initial commanded by Sooraj Barjatya's Hum Saath-Saath Hain.
True, the collections are dropping off by the fourth week now. But not before it has already accumulated a rich haul of almost Rs 25 crores. Mainly due to its fantastic business abroad (the domestic market perhaps did not appreciate the fact that Mohnish Behl had a better footage than their darling Sallu!). The year draws to a close in two weeks time. Another new year, a new millennium. Wonder what it has in store for the tallest 'short guy' of Bollywood.

Arnab Kumar Choudhury