From winning awards without attending award shows to bringing a new wave in the business of Indian cinema, actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan not only broke all the rules to establish his stardom over the last 30 years but also remains a watchdog of the film industry.
He believes the changing sensibility of the Indian audience is one of the best things happened in few decades.
During a media interaction on Wednesday, Aamir said: “I do believe that the sensibility of the audience has been changing from last 30 years that I have been acting. I know that films like Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar if made today would have been a massive hit (at the box office) because this is the kind of films that today’s audience love. When I came to the film industry, I was a minority, a lone ranger.
“I was someone, doing films that I believed in, but the market, the host of other people did not believe in such films. Only a few of us did. I was constantly swimming against the tide. Now the time has changed. Now, these films are considered mainstream.”
While the rest of his contemporaries like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan are trying to find a balance between content driven and commercial films with some of their films like Swadesh, Raees, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Aamir has managed to maintain the balance with most of his films, whether it is Taare Zameen Par, Rang De Basanti, Dil Chahta Hai, 3 Idiots or PK.
“I do not think about commercial and content driven film so sharply in my head. For me, a cinema should be good and I want it to be loved by as many people as possible. Now, ‘good cinema’ is considered as critically acclaimed, and ‘loved by people’ means commercially successful. These two are different things from outside…but these words don’t enter my head,” said the man who produced films like Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Naa, Peepli Live, Delhi Belly, Dangal and Secret Superstar.
“As a creative person, I want to do good work. And I want more and more people to like my work. When I am trying to do these two things, it automatically translates into my work as commercial cinema and critically acclaimed cinema,” Aamir explained.
Known for going by his instinct while choosing a script and judge a film like an audience first before as an actor, Aamir is well aware of the potential business of a film. However, that does not bother him.
He said: “My thought process is still the same. When I am doing a film like ‘Talaash’ I know it will not be the biggest blockbuster of the year but I want to do that film because I believed in it.”
No wonder the recipient of the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan build his career of three decades brick by brick with conviction and setting an example for his own, to push himself to reach the top.
“After Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (first commercially hit film), though I had a successful film, did not have money to buy a car. I used to use public transport until I started getting mobbed by people who recognised me in public,” said the filmmaker who started his career by earning Rs 1,000 per month for his first film.
“I earned Rs 11,000 for QSQT,” smiled Aamir whose film Ghajni created the ‘100 crores club’ in Indian cinema.