TALKING FILMS

Dare to bare like Salman Khan

Salman Khan has turned 50, and he has spent a little over half of his life and career sharing the secrets of his torso with his numerous fans.

There are actors, stars and superstars, and then there are supernovas who emote through their naked torsos. Several Hindi movie actors have exposed their upper-body musculature for the pleasure of their fans, including Dara Singh, Dharmendra and Sanjay Dutt. But nobody quite does the open chest routine like Salman Khan, as a potted tour of his movies reveals.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) The 24-year-old Khan, in only his second screen appearance and already a star, glowers and flexes muscle for his lady love (Bhagyashree). The movie poster, in which his shirtless self (with hair) towers over his demure lover, set up a he-man image that persists till date. An enduring sequence from that movie, which has more visual innuendo than is usually permissible in a Rajshri Productions title: Khan clad in blue jeans and nothing else doing push-ups as Bhagyashree tests his resolve.

Play

Baaghi (1990) Khan plays Saajan, the obedient son of an Army colonel, whose love transforms him into a man of action and a rebel with a cause (the object of his desire is a victim of trafficking). The opening frame sets up Khan as the angry young man of the 1990s: he runs towards the camera yelling at the top of his voice, lunging his sword into an unseen enemy. But it starts badly for Saajan. He is ragged at college and forced to run through the campus in a bikini. Deepak Shivdasasni’s movie finds a more conventional way to get Khan to show off the positive effects of exercise: Saajan pumps iron in a gym and spends the rest of the movie in a variety of singlets.

Play

Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! (1994) The animal passion that Khan was able to evoke in Sooraj Barjatya’s Maine Pyar Kiya had been tamed by the time Barjatya re-united with the actor for Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! A family-friendly reboot of Rajshri Productions’ Nadiya Ke Paar (1982) that is dipped in the goodness of clarified butter and sugar syrup, HAHK allows a flash of Khan’s newly shaven chest in a bath-tub in the song Chocolate Lime Juice Icecream. He later emerges from a swimming pool in lycra briefs in a fantasy song. “Salman started shaping his body from his struggling days,” Jasim Khan writes in his biography Being Salman (Penguin Random House India). “He was a regular member of the gym at Hotel Sea Rock. This was the reason Salman could take off his shirt in his very first movie. Madhuri Dixit reportedly asked him during the shooting of Hum Aapke Hain Koun . . . ! if he waxes his chest. ‘I am a man, I shave it,’ answered an unfazed Salman. His clean-shaven body was displayed for the first time in that movie, and has been Salman’s trademark ever since.”

Karan Arjun (1995) Rakesh Roshan’s reincarnation vendetta drama features Khan in one of his best performances. Appearing alongside Shah Rukh Khan as brothers in a previous life who are reunited in the present one, Salman Khan has every reason to take off his shirt: he plays a street fighter. Khan was still a few years away from resembling an action figurine, and his torso remained in proportion to the rest of his body.

Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998) Behold the new Salman Khan at the end of a most successful decade: his chest expanded in all directions, glistening in the sun, and the blue jeans soldered to those stocky legs.

Play

Tere Naam (2003) A bona fide male weepie aimed at young men the world over who believe that love equals madness and death. Satish Kaushik’s Tere Naam is a remake of Sethu, Bala’s sleeper hit in Tamil that made a star out of its lead actor, Vikram. Khan plays Radhe, a rowdy with his hair worn in bangs on either side of his face who loses his mind to love. Keen watchers of the career graph of Khan’s bare chest will remember the scene in which he balances a feather between his breasts after fantasising about Nirjara. Anurag Kashyap paid a witty homage to Radhe in Gangs of Wasseypur 2 through the character of Definite, who wears his hair in a similar style and exposes his upper body in tribute, moobs and all.

Wanted (2008) The Yojimbo-inspired actioner signalled Khan’s comeback after a dry spell as well as laid the groundwork for Dabangg. Khan plays an undercover cop who finishes off rival gangs, which means there is plenty of verbal and physical action and at least one inspired shirt-free moment. As the villain hurls a fireball at our khaki-clad policeman, he swats off the flame and takes off the ruined garment. Game on.

Play

Dabangg (2010) Filmmakers have found innovative ways to get Khan to divest himself of his upper body clothing since Wanted. A fierce spray of water does the trick in Bodyguard (2011). In Dabangg, Abhinav Singh Kashyap’s meta-movie about the Salman Khan persona, a mighty wind blows as Khan’s Chulbul Pandey faces his nemesis. Chedi Singh (Sonu Sood) has caused the death of Chulbul’s mother, but why is he bare-chested when the uncrowned king of the unclothed torso contest isn’t? The answer arrives in a series of frenetic zoom-ins set to pounding music. The force of the flashback shreds Chulbul’s shirt just like in the closing minutes of Kung Fu Hustle, and he stands there before the world, not a hair on the chest. Just the way we always like to remember our birthday boy.

Play
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.

Play

So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.