Shahrukh Khan and Filmfare Best Actor Awards

It’s common knowledge now that Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan is tied with the legendary Dilip Kumar for the highest number of Filmfare Best Actor wins with 8 awards each. What a few sections of the general public debate about, is if SRK really deserved all those 8 awards. In this piece, I will discuss each of those 8 wins of Shahrukh and analyse what made him win those awards, look at the competition for that particular year and if he really deserved to win it. As is obvious, it is an opinion piece, respect the opinions and if you have any qualms about anything feel free to let your opinion be known in a civilized manner.

A few things to keep in mind are that when SRK arrived the Bollywood was ruled by the earlier generation (Sunny Deol/Sanjay Dutt/Anil Kapoor/Jackie Shroff) and they were not breaking any new ground. Salman and Aamir were there too, but with the arrival of SRK in Bollywood the stakes increased, freshness was attained yet again and other actors stepped up their game – most were slow, though. At the turn of the new millenium, the competition became really ardous and it would not have been a cake walk (not that it ever was) for anyone to win the Best Actor award from thereoin (with the exception of a few years).

Also, Filmfare has almost always awarded the actors and actresses who received widespream critical AND commercial acclaim for their performances. That is why, only critical acclaim was never enough to win the Filmfare Best Actor award. Sometimes though, the great performance of an actor’s film translated into him winning the Best Actor award by default. Now that I have dissected the award giving mechanism and the thought behind it, let’s dig into analysing SRK’s 8 Filmfare Best Actor awards.

Shahrukh Khan Filmfare Awards

Shahrukh Khan Filmfare Awards

1st Filmfare Best Actor Award: Baazigar (1993)

SRK won his first Filmfare award for a negative character in this cult Abbas-Mustan thriller. His performance received widespread acclaim and he became a household name soon after. The only credible competition that year came from Sanjay Dutt (he also played a negative character in Khalnayak) and Jackie Shroff (Gardish). A lot of people would say †SRK did not deserve this award ahead of Sanjay Dutt, but what made him win it was Sanjay Dutt’s supposed involvement in the Bombay Blasts and the negative publicity that he received. Khalnayak and Baazigar were both big hits, and it might have been a toss-off in the end. Either way, SRK was established as a star after Baazigar.

2nd Filmfare Best Actor Award: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Even Shahrukh’s most ardent haters will reluctantly agree that there was no way SRK was not going to win the Filmfare Best Actor for delivering one of the biggest hits and one of the most memorable and talked about performances of Hindi cinema. The only real contender that year was Aamir Khan for Rangeela. But, no one could have taken the award away from SRK that year. DDLJ transformed SRK into a Superstar.

3rd Filmfare Best Actor Award: Dil Toh Pagal Hai (1997)

SRK won his third Filmfare best actor for this movie. If ever he got lucky, it was this year. Looking back, it’s evident that the performances of Anil Kapoor in Virasat and of Kamal Hassaan in Chachia 420 were better. But the jury then did not have the advantage of hindsight. Simply put, they awarded SRK for being part of one of the biggest hits of the year. Also, the charm of this film may have faded away a bit now but at that time, the music of the film and the film itself became quite a rage.

4th Filmfare Best Actor Award: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Another no-brainer like DDLJ. Another all-time blockbuster like DDLJ. Not only did this film redefine friendship in Hindi cinema, but also gave SRK a new identity. The only real contender that year was Aamir Khan for Ghulam and Ajay Devgn for Zakhm. But yet again, they did not have the commercial recognition behind them for both their films and their performances.

5th Filmfare Best Actor Award: Devdas (2002)

2002 was a particularly bad year for Hindi cinema when you know that Bobby Deol and Vivek Oberoi were nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award that year. SRK won his 5th Filmfare after a rather barren patch of 3 years. His performance as Devdas Mukherjee received critical and commercial acclaim. Time Magazine listed the movie as one of the Top 10 movies of the new millenium. Ajay Devgn (The Legend Of Bhagat Singh) gave him tough competition and eventually walked away with only the Critics’ award for lack of commercial appeal.

6th Filmfare Best Actor Award: Swades (2004)

2004 was well and truly Shahrukh Khan’s year. He had 3 of the 5 nominations. Veer Zaara and Main Hoon Na were much bigger hits but SRK won his 6th Filmfare Best Actor Award for the commercial failure Swades. It was bold (but not wrong) on their part to give it to SRK for Swades since he would otherwise have received the award for either Veer Zaara or Main Hoon Na. Swades, in my opinion, was SRK’s best ever acting performance and it is a pity that he did not win the National Award that year.

7th Filmfare Best Actor Award: Chak De! India (2007)

Unlike Swades, which was a commercial failure, Chak De India became a Super Hit and SRK’s brilliant performance as the Indian Hockey Team coach Kabir Khan got due recognition from the audience (alongwith the critics). He won over his detractors with this film. The contenders that year were Abhishek Bachchan for Guru and Darsheel Safary for Taare Zameen Par (Darsheel won the Critics’ Award eventually). Abhishek was very unlucky that his best acting performance came in the year of Chak De! India and Taare Zameen Par.

8th Filmfare Best Actor Award: My Name Is Khan (2010)

SRK’s latest Filmfare Award came for his International Blockbuster My Name Is Khan. The competition that year was the toughest yet. Ajay Devgn for Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, Ranbir Kapoor for Raajneeti, Hrithik Roshan for Guzaarish and Salman Khan for the mega Hit Dabangg 2 gave credible and lauded performances. Hrithik lost out due the commercial failure of his film. Ajay Devgn lost out for the genre of the film he was a part of, since action dramas are looked down upon these days. Ranbir Kapoor lost out because he was a part of a highly talented ensemble cast and it would’ve been wrong to just award him and not the others. Salman Khan gave one of his best and most appreciated performances ever as the boisterous and funny cop Chulbul Pandey. It came down to awarding either Salman Khan or SRK. But the jury chose SRK because his was the most appreciated performance of the year (even though the film’s domestic performance was not record-breaking). SRK played a mentally disabled person and the biggest thing that went in it’s favour was that he did not make Rizwan Khan look like a caricature. That’s where his victory lay. Salman, as Chulbul Pandey, according to most people was just being himself (that is what worked, hey!) but SRK was more or less sure to take away the award. (I personally would have given it to Hrithik).

This was a piece about dissecting and trying to understand what went behind awarding Shahrukh those 8 Filmfare Best Actor awards. I think it’s very clear for me by the end of this piece that he deserved at least 6 of the 8 awards he received looking at the success of those films, the competition he had that year and the general sentiment among the public at that time. He did not win any Best Actor award for Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Kal Ho Na Ho, Mohabbatein, Don, Dil Se and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, which were some of his other appreciated performances. On any other day, he could have won awards for these performances as well. But he did not. So, 8 awards are more or less indicative of the dominance of his films and his performances in the last 20 odd years.

The criteria for awarding the Best actor award goes in the following order (looking at the awarding patterns tells me this):

  • Commercial AND Critical appreciation of the performance.
  • Commercial appreciation and success of the film(s). Only critical acclaim has never been enough to win the Filmfare Best Actor award. Sometimes though, the great performance of an actor’s film translated into him winning the Best Actor award by default.
  • The competition between performances for that particular year.
  • Critical appreciation of the film.
  • The type of character the actor is playing. Actors who play characters with mental or physical disability tend to have better chances. For example, 3 of the 4 award winning performances of the last year were won by actors playing these sort of roles – Amitabh Bachchan for Paa, SRK for MNIK and Ranbir Kapoor for Barfi.
  • The genre of the film. Action movies or comedies are generally looked down up whereas dramas (be it romantic dramas or family dramas) get more acclaim.

In the early 90s, not many performances fulfilled the first criteria of being commercial appreciated and hence, the competition was much less. With the passage of time our films have evolved and our actors are giving better performances with each film. Hence, the competition SRK received for MNIK was way more than what he received for Baazigar. That is also probably why he did not win the award this year for Jab Tak Hai Jaan as Ranbir Kapoor’s performance was unanimously praised by both critics and general audiences. Henceforth, if Shahrukh is to win another award he has to be a part of a commercially successful film and his performance in that film has to be loved and praised by critics and audiences alike.

P.S. SRK’s haters will very obviously believe that he deserved none of the 8 awards he got. Hate subsides with bias and goes against logic, much like love. This piece is an opinion piece and respect the author’s opinion while commenting. You are free to put up your own opinions but only in a civilized and abuse free manner.

Zayden tweets @ManvsHandle

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82 Comments

  • Please stop analysing the past. One who deserved has won. SRK is a far successful person than anybody in the industry, whether it’s his movies or any other business idea (IPL, Redchilles,…). He is a business man who has a passion for art, sports and above all success. 70% of his time is spent in other engagements and only 30% in movies. Hence a part time artist if gives bottle neck competition to all others then he is something special. He has made his position on his own and all 8 awards are rewards for his hard work, I wish him all luck in future. All jealous people, get lost.

  • srk is undoubtedly the most VERSATILE actor than any other actor in indian cinema.
    that makes him the second best after bigb.
    dilip kumar is a great actor actor but has done same kinda roles.
    can dilip kumar paa,rnbdj and don or don2 ?? a big no

    great list by rowdy.

  • Hey SRK haters its too shameful to make this article at all,you made it just because u are jealeous of him,if u talk about he is not deserve for some awards he get he also deserved to some and he did not get like Mohabbatein he get critical aclain and commercial success while Kaho Naa… Its only commercial success, then Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi its commercial success and critically better than Hrithik Jodha Akbar, then Don2 its also commercial success and he give award winning performance better than Ranbir’s rockstar who is only struggling in the road like a dog, recently Jab Tak Hai Jaan he also delivered one of his best performance and its commercial success but they give award to Rubbish performance Ranbir in Barfi which SRK play mute/dumb role better than Ranbir since 1997 Koyla, look at the films like Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Kabhie Kush Kabhi Gham, Don 1 and Kal Ho Naa Ho all are good film to win the Awards

  • ha ha ha ha all of a sudden analysis and counter analysis!!! SRK is the best that has ever been, like or not!!!! He is the one who changed the image of this industry!!! before him all were mediocre actors!!! Sunny deol had only one great performance. Sanjay Dutt had also the same, anil kapoor please let us not mention this guy a luckysuperstar he had his lady luck always with him sridevi and madhuri!!! then came Aamir what new did he bring? and the salman? after coming of srk these guys became more serious in selecting of the movies. even now new actors like ranbir they have to work out the role better, even saiif today he has become seious after kal ho na ho

  • I think the only times where he truly deserved the award were for Swades, DDLJ, and KKHT. Although he was great in Chak De, i’d have given the award to Darsheel for TZP. So at maximum, he should have 3-4 Filmfare Awards. What irks me is that he is nominated for literally EVERYTHING he is in. Last year if he didn’t have Don 2, I’m pretty sure he would have been nominated for the crap Ra.One. And for MNIK, the winner should have been the not-nominated Rishi Kapoor or Salman Khan (yes, Salman in his best performance yet.)

  • SRK is not deserve to win the 8 film fare awards. He bribe the jury members to receive the
    filmfare awards. He only deserve only one award.

    1993: Sanjay Dutt deserved for Khalnayak not SRK
    1995: Aamir for Rangeela
    1997: Anil Kapoor for Virasat
    1998: Ajay for Zakaham not srk. Ajay won national award but didnít win Filmfare
    2002: Ajay for The Legend of Bhagat Singh. Ajay won his 2nd national award but again lost out on Filmfare
    2004: Srk deserved for swades
    2007: Abhishek Bachchan for Guru
    2010: Salman for Dabangg.
    2012: Salman for Dabangg2.
    Itís pretty evident that Filmfare is biased towards Shahrukh khan.
    Most deserving performances. Filmfare is not fair at all.

    1995 — Aamir — Rangeela
    1997 — Anil — Virasat
    1998 — Ajay — Zakhm
    2003 — Salman — tere naam
    2008 — Naseeruddin Shah — A Wednesday
    2009 — Salmanís Wanted overshadowed all actor that year and performance-wise was better than Dabangg
    2010 — Salman for Dabangg
    2012–Salman for Dabngg2 and ek tha tiger.

  • SRk deserve filmfare awards for following films
    baazigar
    ddlj
    mohabatein
    devdas
    swades/veer-zaara
    kal ho na ho
    chak de india
    rnbdj
    mnik

  • 8filmfare awards by SrK is nothing in front of 2 National Award by Ajay Devgn.
    Best Actors today in India according to Acting:-
    1.Aamir Khan-Ajay Devgn
    2.Shah Rukh Khan
    3.Hrithik Roshan
    4.Akshay Kumar
    5.Ranbeer Kapoor

  • KAMAL HASSAN won filmfare awards for 17times in his career, Rajnikanth is known as God of south indian cinema, he won filmfare only 1 time in his career….

    same as in bollywood also there is only one KHAN who doesn’t care about awards, for him his fans is everything… He is the king of box-office as well as king of hearts…

    Thats only one ‘SALMAN KHAN’

  • i don’t say he did not deserve the awards he got but at some point some characters and performance were stronger than of his, like ajay in the legend of bhagat singh, jakhm, whatesever thd negativity of sanjay dutt he deserved award for khalnayak, of my name is khan, chak de India were great one and no one can denie but it is amazing that salman,ajay,sanjay were given clean cheat..

  • I seriously think you haters are sick! The problem is that you’ll cannot see anyone furthering the expectations that you’ll have for your “favorite” star. This is why the world is apart. Jealousy and ego. Why can’t you’ll just accept that SRK did win those awards and that YOU cannot change that! Like seriously haven’t you read the part where the article clearly mentions that they win the award for CRITICAL and COMMERCIAL acclaim and don’t you dare say that rangeela or what ever movie did better than ddlj. I personally feel that it was really sad that many in India don’t know what ART is. Therefore movies like Swades, My Name Is Khan or Guzarish didn’t do well compared to some utterly mindless movies that has done well. Haters learn to love and if not love then learn to RESPECT other peoples lives, decisions and achievements! I hope this sends some positive energy to people who really need it!

  • i don’t understand what is the purpose of this article.
    why counting SRK awards.
    his performances does not need to be appreciated only by counting awards.
    SRK is best as he live in millions of hearts.,
    and he made space in every heart by his class performances.
    his every performance is just needed to be appreciated.
    but all the time they can not give filmfare award to SRK as filmfare award needed to represent industry not only SRK. but SRK is best all the time and for every performance.

  • Does SRK deserve the awards?
    1.All the SRK fan believe he does….me too.
    2.All the aamir and salman fan think SRK does not.
    3.Some people think himself as a VERY GOOD CRITIC.So they remain in the middle.
    When one becomes the king of bollywood then some will come forward to share their great thought!!!!!!

    Awards don’t make u the best but it surely tell u r one of the best……awards r just a reward of ur work just like man of the match.

    Someone said in the comment that salman should win award for dabangg….really u think salman khan has acted in this movie.Salman khan has gave up acting after TERE NAAM.Now he makes movies to compete with SRK and AAMIR bot it isn’t possible.U need to act to make u one of the best besides ur fan folowing.Salman khan only makes movies for his fans.Once he was my fav..but it is WAS.

  • If someone says that MNIK’s performance is not award winning then he must to go to Psychotic. Anjam , Don , KHKN , KANK , we’re truly Award Winning Performances. Nd also KKKG nd Ashoka. So at least SRK Deserves 14 FF Awards. And He Will Achieve we know that. Qnke Haar Kar Jeetnay Waalay Ko BaZigar Kehtay Hay…

  • I THINK SRK DESERVED NATIONA AWARD FOR “SWADES” IF KANGANA GOT IT FOR QUEEN THEN WHY NOT SRK FOR “CHAK DE INDIA” OR “SWADES”

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