SRK: The Man, The Myth, The Hair (Part I)

What is the magic of Shahrukh Khan?  The essence of the Baadshah?  The elemental nature of the Bollywood blockbuster himself?  This international phenomenon, more widely recognized than Brad Pitt, received the most votes for the "world's sexiest man" because, as he sheepishly described, "there are a lot of Indians in the world."  What exactly is it?  World obsession with his fabulous hair (always a possibility)?  A certain rakish charm he projects?  The ability to cry onscreen at the drop of a hat?  The fact that he looks like he's having the time of his life in each and every single dance number he's ever been in?  The skill to die engagingly over the course of an hour and a half in numerous movies?  Or the fact that he's starred in innumerable romantic comedies that require at least a box of kleenex to get through?  Whatever it is, he's not the Baadshah for nothing.  Here are the top movie reasons why SRK is the actor to watch:

Best Sappy Love Story:   DDLJ
The classic SRK-Kajol romance.  Despite the fact that the film's a bit sexist and the mandolin riff gets a tad annoying about the millionth time, DDLJ qualifies at the quintessential SRK charm fest.  SRK and Kajol running across mustard fields in "Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jana Sanam" remains a timeless Bollywood moment.

SRK In a Nutshell:  Devdas
What's not to love in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's hypnotically lavish epic:  Aishwariya Rai plays a tortured, unrequited lover, Madhuri Dixit as tragic and enchanting courtesan, and SRK as the fabulously conflicted and self-destructive alcoholic.  Madhuri and Aishwariya get all the dancing credit in this film, but Shahrukh deserves all the accolades for a wrenching performance.

Best Slow Demise:  Kal Ho Naa Ho
There's much to be said for the ultimate tragic love triangle- SRK sets up the woman he loves with a friend while he dies from an unexplained heart ailment.   No one makes dying look as good as SRK, especially when it takes the entire second half of the movie.

Best Moustache:  Paheli
Paheli is a charming little movie set in Rajasthan and narrated by puppets.  It supports not one but two SRKs, sometimes in the same frame (one of them is supposed to be a ghost).  Throughout Shahrukh sports a fabulous fake mustache, much better than what he sports in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.  Rani Mukherjee is great in this movie.

Best Navel Gazing:  Om Shanti Om
It really doesn't get any more SRK than Om Shanti Om.  Although the movie has a plot (including a reincarnated SRK), the film is really only about Shahrukh and how Shahrukh sees Bollywood (which is the only view of Bollywood there is, right?).   However, it does provide some fabulous songs, which will be explored in the coming post- SRK:  The Man, The Myth, The Hair (Part II)