Posted on February 27, 2023 at 11:07 pm

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Best Romantic Films of Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s Everlasting Superstar

Pathaan, the year’s release, arrived at a time when Bollywood desperately needed a savior. The spy action thriller appears to have revitalized the Hindi-language film industry, becoming the fifth Indian film to gross more than 10 billion rupees at the box office. And it was all thanks to Shah Rukh Khan‘s incredible comeback!

Throughout his three-decade career, he has consistently demonstrated a willingness to experiment, currently gravitating toward action roles. He did, however, establish his distinct reputation through a series of iconic performances in romantic comedies. Among the three Khans of Bollywood, it appears that Shah Rukh Khan distinguished himself with the inimitable charm that he could bring to romantic roles. The Indian film audience has yet to find a star who can compete with Khan’s magical charm. Here are the best romantic films of Shah Rukh Khan, many of which have become legendary in Bollywood history.

Mohabbatein (2000)

Mohabbatein was written and directed by Aditya Chopra. It is remembered for its grand storytelling, timeless musical numbers, and the performances of the entire cast. The film is set in a prestigious school run with an iron fist by a stern and cold-hearted principal played by Amitabh Bachchan. As three new students learn to cope with the school’s oppressive environment, a new music teacher, played by Khan, begins to inspire them to follow their hearts, and quite directly tells them to go out there and fall in love. The main theme of the film is the conflict between love and society, and this theme is prominently featured in the plot. Even in Bollywood, such purity is rare.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is the film that solidified Shah Rukh Khan’s position as the undisputed king of Bollywood romance. Nearly 30 years after its initial release, the film is still regarded as a hallowed entry in Bollywood history. He plays a fun-loving hooligan living in London who spends most of his time partying with his friends in the film. All of that changes when he meets a quiet, introverted woman, played by Kajol, on a train ride. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is a film about the power of love to transform people, and it is filled with iconic musical numbers throughout.

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai is a film in the same league as Dilwale. Karan Johar wrote and directed the film, which tells the story of love lost and found. It begins with a love triangle involving three college students. Kajol plays Anjali, a tomboyish character who is best friends with Khan’s Rahul. Anjali realizes she is in love with Rahul when he falls for the new student Tina, played by Rani Mukerji. She, on the other hand, is powerless to interfere with their budding romance. Tina died of an illness years later, leaving Rahul with a daughter. A posthumous letter from a mother to her daughter inspires the daughter to devise a plan to locate her mother.

Veer-Zaara (2004)

Veer-Zaara, the directorial debut of veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, is a story about the enduring power of love set in the context of political enmity between India and Pakistan. Shah Rukh Khan plays Veer, an Indian Air Force officer, in the film, alongside Preity Zinta, who plays Zaara, the daughter of a prominent Pakistani politician. The two meet briefly during the latter’s solo trip to India and quickly fall in love. Zaara, on the other hand, is already engaged to marry someone in what will be a political union. When Veer decides to pursue his love in Pakistan, he is entrapped in a false case by his fiancée and spends 22 years in a Pakistani prison until a new government policy allows him to fight for his freedom and reunite with his love.

Dil Se (1998)

Dil Se, directed by Mani Ratnam, is a haunting love story about a journalist from the Indian heartland and a Liberationist terrorist from a peripheral Indian state. Khan appears in the film as a journalist who travels across the country reporting on unrest in the country’s outlying regions. On one of these journeys, he sees a mysterious woman, played by Manisha Koirala, who completely captures his imagination. During subsequent trips across the country, he gradually becomes acquainted with the woman, never learning her true story. Ratnam employs all of his trademark filmmaking techniques in this film, including an ambient visual style, an A.R. Rahman soundtrack, and a deft blend of harrowing realism and archetypal structures — in this case, the seven shades of love from ancient Arabic literature. Every time Khan meets Koirala, his character goes through each of these shades.

Devdas (2002)

Devdas, another of Shah Rukh Khan’s many iconic films, holds a unique place in Indian cinema. Devdas is Khan’s Romeo & Juliet, based on Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s eponymous novel and crafted with a gorgeous visual style by Bollywood’s best period genre filmmaker, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Devdas is a tragic love story set in the aristocratic society of British colonial India, and Khan plays the title character. The film explores Devdas’ love for and eventual separation from his childhood love and best friend, Paro, played by Aishwarya Rai. The film captivates the audience with its visual splendor, classical melodrama, and numerous visual symbols that enhance the storytelling. While Mohabbatein and Dilwale depict love’s triumph over society, Devdas depicts love’s defeat under society’s oppressive rules.

Paheli (2005)

Paheli is a film based on a folklore tale from the Indian state of Rajasthan, and it is made in a fable-like style, set in a different period setting than Khan’s iconic romantic style. However, he was the ideal choice to play a ghost who falls in love with a married woman in this film. The film begins with a young woman, played by Rani Mukerji, marrying into an affluent family in a remote village. Before she even gets to know her new husband, played by Khan himself, he is called away to handle urgent business matters in another part of the country. A shape-shifting ghost steps in to fill the void left by the new husband, and this romance gradually teaches Mukerji’s character about her own self-worth and volition.

Om Shanti Om (2007)

Om Shanti Om, possibly one of the last grand romance films in Khan’s classic style, was the highest-grossing Bollywood film in 2007, a year dominated by comedies and action thrillers. Farah Khan directed the fantasy romance film, which marked Deepika Padukone’s feature film debut. In the film, Shah Rukh Khan and Padukone play two aspiring actors who are murdered by a jealous star, played by Arjun Rampal. Khan’s character is reincarnated 30 years later and achieves success in Bollywood. After recalling the events of his past life, he decides to exact revenge on his own murder and recruits a doppelganger of his former lover to assist him.

Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)

Nikhil Advani’s romantic drama Kal Ho Naa Ho stars Khan, Saif Ali Khan, and Preity Zinta. The plot revolves around Naina, played by Zinta, an uptight and pessimistic individual who has suffered a major childhood trauma. When the charming and upbeat Aman, played by Khan, moves in next door and inspires her to see things with a joyful perspective, her outlook begins to change. However, he has a terminal illness that prevents him from accepting Naina’s romantic advances. The moving story of Kal Ho Naa Ho delves into some timeless themes, including love, loss, and the importance of living life to the fullest.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)

Jab Tak Hai Jaan, a love story starring Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, tells the story of a bomb disposal expert (Khan) whose diary is discovered by a documentary filmmaker (Anushka Sharma). The film follows his life as an immigrant in London, his romantic relationship with Katrina Kaif’s Meera, and his self-destructive journey to make her lose her faith in God. The film contains a number of typical Bollywood twists along the way and is an emotional rollercoaster for the duration of its nearly three-hour runtime.

Dil To Pagal Hai (1997)

Dil To Pagal Hai is a musical romance film that follows the love life of a passionate dancer. Rahul, the main character in the film, is played by Khan. He believes he has found his soul mate when he meets the talented dancer Pooja. However, things become complicated when he learns that his childhood best friend and dance partner, Nisha, is also in love with him. Dil To Pagal Hai tells a touching story of love and friendship, showcasing the best of Bollywood’s acting and musical talents. In the end, this is a film about following your heart no matter where it leads you.

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi marked Aditya Chopra’s return from an eight-year hiatus, and was his first film following Mohabbatein. Khan plays the mild-mannered Surinder, who marries Taani, played by Anushka Sharma, after her entire family is killed in an accident. The young woman is distraught and refuses to communicate with her new husband. Surinder takes a drastic step in his attempt to win her heart by posing as the cool and hip Raj.

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