Some of Bollywood’s biggest hits and family entertainers have been gifts from Salman Khan. In a career spanning three decades, he has minted millions at the box office with his films like Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Dabangg.
This Friday, he will be back on the big screen with Race 3. The third part of a hit franchise, it is already creating waves among his sea of fans. Before the release, we count down his 10 best films to catch up on while you wait. Let us know if we missed any of your favourites.
Maine Pyar Kiya
The one that made him the eternal Prem, Maine Pyar Kiya was one of Salman’s earliest and most loved films. Sure, almost all the songs were rip-offs of hits like The Final Countdown and I Just Called To Say I Love You, they still fit the film perfectly. It was the sweet story of two kids falling in love for the first time and their unrelenting parents acting spoilsport. It showed Salman as the sometimes temperamental but usually loveable boy and Bhagyashree as the golden-hearted ‘friend’ he falls for.
Hum Aapke Hain Koun!
An essential part of every ‘90s kid’s life, Hum Aapke Hain Koun is a Bollywood classic. Everyone has watched it a hundred times either willingly or after landing on it while switching channels and not being able to say no to it. Salman and Madhuri Dixit were a match made in movie heaven as the beautiful Nisha and Prem. They meet at a wedding and fall in love. However, in between the all-singing-all-dancing soiree, their love is tested harshly but they emerge victorious in the end.
With not one but two superstars, Karan Arjun was bound to be a roaring success and it was. The action, the music, the weirdly perfect melodrama all came together to create this ‘most Bollywood’ movie ever made. Brothers Salman and Shah Rukh, murdered by the evil Amrish Puri, take rebirth to avenge their mother, bring peace to their old town and ride some horses in style and the audience loved every bit of it.
Andaaz Apna Apna
Salman paired with yet another super-Khan, Aamir, for this one and created a laugh riot for ages. Now called a cult classic, the film wasn’t a big hit upon its release but is now a mandatory watch for all desi sleepovers and pyjama parties. Salman plays the gullible Prem who often gets outsmarted by Aamir’s Amar but gets what he desires in the end. When he takes revenge, it is twice as mean, deadly and funny.
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
There’s a pattern here. Perhaps Salman’s best is revealed mostly when he pairs himself with another superstar. In Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, the anxious Salman is challenged by the charming Akshay Kumar in the race for Priyanka Chopra’s Rani. Of course, ‘wicked Sunny’ does his best to ruin his plans but Salman’s sweetness and clear conscience wins him her hand at the end.
The pattern is now complete. Bhai decided the best pairing he could have was with himself. He plays Prem and Raja in this double bonanza of a film. One is the street thug with a heart of gold and the other is a gullible, unsuspecting NRI. Their paths cross when the latter lands in India and weird things start happening. Together, Prem and Raja defeat the villain and land the girls in the end.
Tiger Zinda Hai
A sequel to 2012 hit spy drama Ek Tha Tiger, the film brought back the much-loved couple – Katrina Kaif and Salman together onscreen. While the first one focused on Salman pursuing Katrina, they were married in the second one and the frequent, comic calls for ‘Bhabhi’ topped the list of most cheered scenes in Tiger Zinda Hai. Salman’s fight with wolves, his banter with Katrina and RAW agents operating on code words like “Maa ki dal” and “Tu tu tu, tu tu tara” were perhaps the most seeti-worthy scenes in the movie that became the highest grosser of the year with Rs 339 crore in earning.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Hawa ka jhoka, Sameer enters Nandini’s life like a whirlwind and when he leaves, she is not the same anymore. Salman, Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgn give their career best performances in this yet another Sanjay Leela Bhansali film. Mischievous Sameer and temperamental Nandini fall hard in love against the wishes of her father. He gets her married to Vanraj, a complete opposite of Sameer in every way except he too loves her.
One of Salman’s most successful films also comes with one of his best performances. Bajrangi Bhaijaan was the sweet tale of a brave, righteous man winning everyone’s hearts by taking a lost little girl back to her home. The wholesome relationship between the two made the film incredibly heartwarming.
Salman gave all he had for this film. Sultan, also starring Anushka Sharma, was the story of a washed-up wrestler, trying to find meaning and purpose in his life. He wants to win over his estranged wife and make her realise the goodness that still exists in his heart. He plays a man consumed by his ego and also one who wants to purge himself of his sins, both quite spectacularly. The fight sequences and the climax make this one an entertaining watch.