Best Performances of Shahrukh Khan

Article by Navneet Mundhra

As Shah Rukh Khan turns 48, I pick five top-notch performances, among many, of his fabulous career spanning three decades.

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa - Shahrukh Khan

Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa – Shahrukh Khan

1) Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na: The foundation of Shah Rukh’s initial success was based on his courage to defy the conventions and topple the taboo. He bagged ‘Baazigar’ because Salman Khan did not want to portray a negative character as he (Salman) thought it would be detrimental for a mainstream leading actor’s image. SRK saw the great potential in the role and made it memorable. In ‘Darr’, a movie which was first offered to Aamir Khan, he enacted the role of a psychopath with elan and won rapturous applause.

But the movie which cemented SRK’s credentials as an actor to reckon with was Kundan Shah’s ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na’. He played the role of a guy who unites the girl whom he loves with a guy (his best friend) she loves. SRK depicted a gamut of emotions (love, joy, envy and magnanimity) with fetching felicity. He exudes radiant vim and is remarkably subtle in the poignant moments. Watch the climax scene of the movie when he feigns ignorance even afer spotting the wedding ring and let Chris (Deepak Tijori) fetch it for Anna (Suchitra Krishnamoorthi). SRK triumph lies in the fact that despite the grey shades, he made the character of ‘Sunil’ eminently endearing. It’s one of the rare heartwarming movies which brings smile on your face while leaving a lump in the throat. Any lesser actor than SRK and the movie would have fallen flat on its face.

He won the Fimfare Best Actor (critic) award for the movie and has often stated that this performance is his personal favourite.

DDLJ - Shahrukh Khan

DDLJ – Shahrukh Khan

2) Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge: This is, unarguably, SRK’s most successful and loved movie. The role of a lifetime earned SRK the tag of a quintessential ‘romantic hero’. Raj’s incandescent innocence, impish ebullience, boyish charm and intense love for his soultmate mesmerized the women of all age groups – from 16 to 60. Exotic locales, stunning script, melodious music, marriage of Indian culture with modern outlook, cracking chemistry between SRK and Kajol and the distinguished direction by Aditya Chopra culminated into one of the greatest love stories on the silver screen. Renowned critic Anupama Chopra reveals in her book ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: The Making of a Blockbuster’ that inititally SRK was hesitant to do the movie as he felt it would be a regular love story but Aditya Chopra finally convinced him after a lot of prodding. SRK won his second Filmfare Best Actor Award (popular) for this movie.

The movie shaped the vision of a lot of filmmakers who went on to become hugely successful. Karan Johar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have asserted that the one movie they wished they would have directed is ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’. The movie reinforced the bond between SRK and the ‘Chopras’ who continue to enjoy a supremely fruitful association. The movie is running in the ‘Maratha Mandir’ theatre of Mumbai even after 18 years of its release which is an unparalleled record in the history of cinema.

Kal Ho Na Ho - Shahrukh Khan

Kal Ho Na Ho – Shahrukh Khan

3) Kal Ho Na Ho: Though the movie was the directorial debut of Nikhil Advani, the mojo and pizzazz of Karan Johar, the producer and writer of the movie, was abundantly evident. It was a role tailor-made for SRK and he pulled it off with charismatic ease packing the esurient emotional wallop. Playing the character of ‘Aman’, who transforms the nondescript and prosaic life of ‘Kapurs’, SRK pitched in a winsome and wistful performance which is completely in the tune with the essence of the movie – the bittersweet symphony.

He charms the audience in sparkling scenes and makes them shed a lot of tears in emotionally-resonant sequences. Watch him emote exquisitely in the soulfully sonorous, and tastefully choreographed, title track of the movie which captures the philosophy of life beautifully. Also, it’s to his credit that the ‘homosexual’ undertone between his and Saif Ali Khan’s characters in the movie turns out zany without being kinky.

Swades - Shahrukh Khan

Swades – Shahrukh Khan

4) Swades: The superstar became an excellent actor transmuting his charisma into craftsmanship. SRK has often been accused of playing himself in most of his movies with little and no experiment in his choice of roles. But ‘Swades’ was a delectable detour which the actor undertook with earnest conviction. Though the movie tanked at the boxoffice, SRK received universal, unanimous and unequivocal critical acclaim from all quarters. He dismantled his lover boy image and sank his teeth into the character ‘Mohan Bhargav’, a man of earthy sensibilities, to get the intricacies right and came out with flying colours. Rarely has SRK looked so convincing in a role bereft of histrionics and grandeur.

After the commercial and critical failure of ‘Asoka’, SRK vindicated in ‘Swades’ that there’s more to his armoury than just romance and insouciance if a competent director thrown down the gauntlet at him with a brilliant concept and screenplay in tow.

My Name Is Khan - Shahrukh Khan

My Name Is Khan – Shahrukh Khan

5) My Name is Khan: The movie dealt with a sensitive subject and both SRK and Kajol conjured up superlative performances matching the content to the tee. SRK played the role of a autistic Rizwan Khan who sets out on a journey, following the death of his son, to meet the president of the USA. He lent immense gravitas to the character who tugs at the heartstrings without evoking pity or sympathy. The assiduity, warmth and kindness Rizwan Khan reverberate throughout the movie illuminating it with resounding radiance. Kajol deserve a special mention becasue without her SRK wouldn’t have been able to deliver such a commendable performance and vice versa. Both actors put up one of their finest performances of their gleaming careers.

Though the movie was not as successful in India as the previous collaborations of Karan, SRK and Kajol – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham – it is, arguably, the most superior product among the three. SRK notched up his 8th Best Actor (popular) award at the Filmfare ceremony.

PS: Chake De India, Darr and Mohabbatein miss out by a whisker.

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  • The yardstick for the selection of top five movies is either a) SRK rising above the movie (Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and Kal Ho Na Ho); b) Seems irreplacable (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge); or c) Departure from his conventional roles (Swades, My Name is Khan).
  • The role of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Slightly more mature) was on the lines of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge so the latter is preferred as it released first and created a prototype.
  • Swades is chosen above Chak De India as the former is more performance-oriented. Chak De India rode on patriotism flavour and incendiary dialogues.
  • The choice of top five performances has nothing to do with boxoffice success of the movies.
  • Since only five movies can make it to the list, it doesn’t denigrate or overlook other splendid performances of the actor.
  • All lists have an element of personal like no matter how objective the author is. No list can satisfy all the readers as everyone has their personal favourites. Hence, this list reflects my personal opinions and observations. The website doesn’t necessarily share the same thoughts as presented in the article.


  • It is not possible to pick just 5. His best performances are Darr, Baazigar, DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Swades, My Name Is Khan, Chak De! India.

  • Here is some Records of SRK-
    1) Highest First Day Collections ==== Chennai Express (23 cr)
    2) Highest First Weekend Collections = Chennai Express (42 cr)
    3) First Movie To Cross 100 cr Overseas= My Name Is Khan (120 cr).
    4) Highest All Time Blockbusters Overseas== 9 times
    5) Highest Number Of Blockbusters Overseas =7 times.
    1) Highest 1st day collection= Chennai Express (56cr)
    2) Back-To-Back 200 cr Grossers Worldwide = 5 times. (CE= 400cr+)
    2) Highest All Time Blockbusters Worldwide= 11 times
    3) Highest Blockbusters Worldwide======12 times
    4) Highest Diwali Grosser Worldwide1st Day =Ra.One (25cr)
    5) Highest Worldwide Diwali Grosser===== JTHJ (252 cr).
    6) Highest Lifetime world-wide grosser = Chennai Express (430cr)
    INDIA :-
    1) Back-To-Back HITS In India ==== 10 times
    2) Longest Running Indian film As Well As World
    Cinema Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (937 Weeks approx) still running.
    3) Highest Diwali Grosser ====== Ra.One (125 cr)
    4) Highest Diwali Weekend ===== Ra.One (59 cr)
    5) Highest Lifetime collection=== Chennai Express (228cr)
    1) Highest Number Of Brands
    2) Most Number Of Awards
    3) First Indian To Get U.N.E.S.C.O award For Charity.
    4) First Actor Invited To Give Lecture To Students In Yale University, Harward University.
    5) Highest Number Of Worldwide Honours In Different Countries (a Record For Any Actor In The World).
    6) Most Number Of Twitter Fans In Present Generation.
    7) First Actor In India To Do Live Concerts In Many Countries.
    Richest Actor In Bollywood.
    9) Most Number Of Wax Statues In The World For an Indian
    10) Most Number Of Fans Around The World For any Actor. And SRK Is Known In Places Where Bollywood Movies Doesnt Releases.
    11) UK media and Loss Angeles Times decleared him as Most Popular Actor in the whole World.
    ______________ _________________________________
    Shah Rukh Khan Is Called”KING OF BOLLYWOOD”For his Achivements In Which He Is NUMBER 1….

  • I would replace Kal ho na ho with Chak de India. His performance in KHNH was great but Chak de India required more effort and is more memorable.

  • Correction please.
    DDLJ is still running in Maratha Mandir (Mumbai) & not Minerva theatre.
    Please make the correction to King Khan’s exclusive list of Gems :)

  • Kal ho na ho can have at least 90% of the audience shedding unstoppable tears.And I am quite sure of that.Even haters can not deny that SRK is one of those actors capable of shedding any one into burst of emotions which no other actor probably in Bollywood can and ever will!!!!!!!!!!!!!Happy birthday to the king khan SRK!!!

  • My top 10-
    1-Rab ne bana di jodi
    2-dil wale dulhaniya le jaayenge
    3-Dil se
    4-Veer Zaara
    5-My name is khan
    8-chennai express
    9-Jab tak hai jaan

  • In all movies king khan performed very well,specialy,darr,dtph,ddlj,devdas,swades,cdi,mnik,jthj,ce,kkhh,kal ho na ho,k3g

  • for me top 5 movies r:
    1. Swadesh
    2. Chak De India
    3. Veer Zaara
    4. Darr
    5. My Name Is Khan

    for me top 5 crap movies r:
    1. Chennai Xpress
    2. Om Shanti Om
    3. Don 2
    3. Main Hoon Ha
    5. Duplicate

  • Lovely Article By Indicine !
    My Top 5 Favorite Srk’s performance is

    1. DDLJ : Obviously, even srk haters can’t hate this movie…. A epic love story

    2. Veer Zaara : No words! Simply Outstanding

    3. Chak De India : One of my favorite movie , loves Srk’s acting

    4. My Name Is Khan : Srk in Rizwan’s character is truely inspired me a lot

    5. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi : A simple man’s story… How he gets love is simply awesome

    meanwhile! Happy Birthday To Badshah & King of bllywood SRK

  • SRK is a good actor but not great. Indian audience are very emotional by heart. Aamir and Big B can only emotionally connect with the audience. When you watch Aamir’s acting many people get goose bumps because the emotion he brings is unmatchable. As far as acting is concerned SRK comes fifth after Big B, Aamir, Hrithik and Akshay . I also like Salman but I admit SRK is better than Salman in acting department. The only film SRK acted well is MNIK.

  • Its very difficult to pick just 5 movies. Here is my 10 picks

    2.Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa
    3.Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
    4.Dil Se..
    8.Chak De India
    9.Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
    10.My Name Is Khan

  • I still feel DDLJ is his most overrated movie,and personally I did’nt liked his performance a bit.He hammed in the film like anything.
    SRK’s best performances:
    My Name Is Khan
    Kal ho Naa ho
    Chak De India

  • Happy B’day SRK, Wish you a great life ahead…
    He is one of the Great Superstar in India and A very good Actor, A person who having no connection to Film Industry and became one of the Great Pioneer of Indian Cinema is the great example of self Believe,determination, hard work,commitment & talent of a man, a person who almost achieved everything in his life whether on personal level or professional level. Hats off to you Sir.
    I am not agree with the list of his Top 5 , no doubt these all are good performance but my favs are:
    1. Chak De India
    2. DDLJ
    3. Veer Zaara
    4. Baazigar
    5. Swades.

    For me a performance of an actor is only become best when you prove to others that only you can do this role, can’t Imagine any other actor for this role
    all above mentioned movies are great examples of srk talent for me characters of all these movie which played by srk is truly belongs to him, i can’t imagine any other actor in these film.
    Put CDI on top because this movies was One man show no popular director or heroine in the film but become Blockbuster only due to srk, DDLJ and Veer Zaara can’t be imagine without srk for me He is India’s Best Romantics Hero Ever. Baazigar would be my pick because in this movie he was solo actor and doing a negative character is a big risk and he made this so simple in his Early phase of his career, i liked his Darr role but in that movie he was villian and Sunny deol is hero and that time sunny can pull movies on his name so there is not big risk on srk shoulder for the success or failure though after release Darr would be Remember for all time due to srk only, and last but not least Swades a great work by srk in this movies.

    P.S.- Kabhi Haanand Kabhi Naa was great film and srk character too but i don’t think itwas one of his best, for KHNH i completely disliked that Film so not liked Srk, MNIK was great role done by srk but Movie as a whole will be disappointed for me though Srk was great in the movie but not as good as above listed characters for me. And I don’t like SRK Ever in his DON & Don 2 Avtar as i m not been impressed with his personality in those films.

  • Huhhh.. Itz a tough call…
    But i wil go wid swades n chak de cozz patriotic movies r ma favourite… Just loved his acting in both.
    Den baadshah… One of d best comic movies from ma pov.
    Don obviously bcoz of srk’s superb acting n a neva seen b4 climax in bollywood.
    N den devdas n kal ho na ho both but here khnh wil hav a upper hand cozz it consisted of everything from love emotions drama comedy n tragedy.
    choosing 5 best movies of srk was like climbing mount everest… Very tough
    Since i wasnt born in darr deewana or a baazigar era… I havnt opted dem.
    Besides mohabbatein,rab ne, jthj , dtph, ddlj , karan arjun were all epic movies n arguably among few of srk’s finest performance lagging behind d films mentioned above.

  • Finally my wait ended. Was so angry as to WY Indicine hasn’t posted even one article about SRK on his birthday.
    but really I would say the wait was worth every penny.
    one of the best articles posted on Indicine. Not just because its about king KHAN but because of the language and vocabulary used. the most suave of dialects used to describe his performances.commendable. job well done. really reiterates my loyalty towards u people Indicine.
    now coming to the top five.
    guess u people have got more knowledge and in depth analysis about the movies. but I feel
    CHAK DE should have been included.
    completely agree by the fact that it had lot of patriotism. but to bring in that reality with in the role and rise above his loverboy image , to deliver those dialogues with such poise and persona. I think no one else could justify that role but SRK. so I would include that.
    others all I completely agree with u Indicine
    thanks once again.

  • Romantic 10:
    1. DDLJ
    2. DTPH
    3. KKHH
    4. VZ
    5. RNBDJ
    6. JTHJ
    7. CC
    8. Pardes
    9. Dewana
    10. HTHS

    Tragedy / Emotional 5:
    1. Devdas
    2. KHNH
    3. Bazigar
    4. K3G
    5. KHKN

    Classic / Pathbraking 5:
    1. Chak De India
    2. My Name Is Khan
    3. Swades
    4. Darr
    5. Mohabbatain

    Masala / Comedy 7:
    1. Chennai Express
    2. Om Shanti Om
    3. Main Hun Na
    4. Karan Arjun
    5. Badshah
    6. R.A. One
    7. Yes Boss
    8. Duplicate

    Action 5:
    1. Don-2
    2. Don
    3. Josh
    4. Ram Janne
    5. Koyla

    Unfortunate But Classic 5:
    1. Dil Se
    2. Paheli
    3. Asoka
    4. Anjam
    5. Chahhat

  • S- Superb
    H – Heart
    A – Adorable
    H – Honorable

    R – Respect
    U – Unbeatable
    K – King

    K – Kind
    H – Hamhama ( something large or magnificent )
    A – Amor ( Love)
    N- eNormous heart.

    We all love and respect u king SRK
    may almighty bless u with loads of happiness.
    Happy birthday

  • Well said buddy.. @noam n sahir.. Yupp all d movies u mentioned above were awesome n i liked d way u presented.
    Eespecially dat ‘unfortunate but classic section’

  • Happy birthday to you srk.. I wish the best for your future, and keep entertaining us sir.. My top 10 srk’s performances are: 1.Pardesh(most of u wont agree), 2.Chak de india, 3.Swades, 4.ddlj, 5.khnh, 6.dil se, 7.ashoka 8.khkn, 9.baazigar, 10.mnik. @aks, well done bro, it was awesome to read your comments.. Hats off to you.. But i was little surprised you didn’t consider khnh, anyways its nice though.

  • @damn. thank u for Ur appreciation Bro
    really as u said picking top 5 of SRK s performances is like climbing a mount everest . well said

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