Aamir Khan, the Bollywood superstar with a conscience, says his next movie about a small town teenage girl who uses the Internet to become a singing sensation will be much bigger than his last film, which was India’s highest grossing ever.
Khan, 52, plays a sleazy music producer in the film Secret Superstar and says he is second lead to teenager Zaira Wasim, playing a schoolgirl who defies her conservative Muslim family to pursue her dream of a singing career.
Khan’s last film Dangal, or wrestling pit, was based on the true story of a former wrestler who trains two of his daughters to become champions in the sport. It was the highest grossing movie for Bollywood, as India’s Hindi film industry is known, and was powered by huge collections in China. “While both are about the empowerment of the girl child, I feel it (Secret Superstar) is a much bigger film,” Khan said in an interview in Singapore ahead of the movie’s release later this month. He and his wife have produced the film.
“While Dangal was about the dream of a father which a daughter fulfills, this is about the hopes and aspirations of a 14-year-old girl from a small town in India. I don’t know what the box office will be but it’s a bigger film than Dangal in what it’s trying to say.” Three of Khan’s films are in Bollywood’s top four all-time hits. Besides Dangal, these include PK, in which he played an alien dealing with religious divisions in India, and 3 Idiots, about the frailties in India’s education system.
Originally published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2017