I am down to my last nine films in my quest to watch all of Shah Rukh Khan's major films before his next movie, Dear Zindagi, is released in November. The final nine, as I explained in a recent post, tend to be hard to find for a variety of reasons. Some were made early in his career; some were box office flops. Guddu (1995) was both. For each film, I plan to do a (very) brief synopsis, give the reasons it is worth watching, and let you know how I was able to access it.
Synopsis: Boy meets girl, they fall in love, TRAGEDY, family conflict, bittersweet ending. This was SRK's third film released in his most prolific year, just two months before his award-winning breakout role in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. He released SEVEN films in 1995, six of them between July and December. Four were flops, but the other three were the clear hits (DDLJ, Ram Jaane, and Karan Arjun). One of the flops -- Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India -- was well-received critically, though it didn't win popular success. Not too shabby for a fledgling actor just turning thirty.
Worth watching for: The performances of both Shah Rukh Khan and Manisha Koirala (Dil Se). How did I miss this for my "first date" series? They work so beautifully together, and their chemistry makes up for the plot, which swings between predictable and totally ridiculous. It even made up for fact that I had to watch it without subtitles. If you can only watch one part, zero in on the scene when Guddu and Salina run into an ancient temple to escape the rain. The temple walls are decorated with sculptures depicting sensual couples in amazingly explicit activities. Which leads to this musical number (check out the mood transition at 1:15):
SRK also gets to do some Olympic-level scene chewing. Some people dislike his over-the-top, melodramatic roles, but frankly, they have grown on me. One of the reasons for his popularity, I think, is his total commitment to every line, every reaction shot, every dance number. I have not yet seen a film where he just "phones it in". Even when he is subtle, he is focused and intense. You want to feel the agony of a crippling, blinding headache? Shah Rukh Khan gives it to you in Guddu. Several times.
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