When SRK defended ‘glorification of torture’ in Anjaam: ‘It’s just entertainment’

Shah Rukh Khan’s film ‘Anjaam’ completes 30 years of release on Monday. In an earlier interview, the actor had reacted to criticism around the glorification of torture in the film.

Anjaam, Shah Rukh Khan

Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Anjaam’ was released on April 22, 1994.

In Short

‘Anjaam’ featuring Shah Rukh Khan completes 30 years
SRK played a psychotic lover in ‘Anjaam’
The actor defended the film’s portrayal of violence as ‘entertainment’

Shah Rukh Khan’s 1994 film ‘Anjaam’ completes 30 years since its release on Monday, April 22. It was the actor’s third consecutive film, following ‘Baazigar’ and ‘Darr’, where he portrayed the role of a psychotic lover, determined to kill anyone who comes between him and the girl he loves. In an old interview, when Shah Rukh was questioned about the “glorification of torture” in ‘Anjaam’, he refused to take sole responsibility for it, saying the film was made for “entertainment”.

Defending the film, helmed by director Rahul Rawail, SRK said in a 1994 episode of ‘Aap Ki Adalat’, “In my films, I have used the love angle to defend killing people. But in the climax, we never show that my character gets any sympathy. You can call it glorification when he doesn’t face the repercussions of his actions. But if you watch the climax of all three films (Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam), I am beaten up so badly in all of them.”

The actor joked, “I have started calling myself a hit hero because everyone has beaten me so much. Even the heroines have beaten me.” But, on a serious note, Shah Rukh added, “It’s just entertainment. That is how I perceive films.”

Watch Shah Rukh Khan in Anjaam

‘Anjaam’, which hit theaters on April 22, 1994, had Shah Rukh playing millionaire Vijay Agnihotri, who falls in love with an air hostess named Shivani (played by Madhuri Dixit). While he wishes to marry her, Shivani refuses his advances towards her and marries Ashok (Deepak Tijori). Unhappy with the development, Vijay uproots Shivani’s life, killing her husband.

When asked if he thinks about what people take away from his actions on screen, Shah Rukh reasoned, “I am just a little part of the film. I will not take full responsibility for the film. But the logic is, if someone watches a film, the maximum they do is copy fashion. A normal intelligent person would not transform his life based on a film. A person who copies me must be mentally misbalanced from the beginning itself. A normal person would not do that.” However, he understands, that “it could have a detrimental effect.”

Shah Rukh Khan was a stalker in ‘Darr’ and a vengeful person who killed his girlfriend to take revenge on her father in ‘Baazigar’. However, he didn’t think his characters in either of the films were negative.

Ek beech ke roles hote hain. Main jinko human characters kehta hoon. Main unko negative character nahi kehta. Naa hi main unko positive character kehta hoon. Yeh black and white nahi hai… (These characters are human. They are neither negative nor positive. You cannot distinguish them as white and black),” Shah Rukh said.

After ‘Anjaam’, Shah Rukh didn’t feature in a grey role. He won the Filmfare award for the best villain for his role of a psychopathic lover in the film.

He was last seen in Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘Dunki’. His 2023 releases, ‘Pathaan’ and ‘Jawan’ were superhits.

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