x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

SRK feels the love in Dubai

Shah Rukh Khan hit all the right notes at the premiere of his movie, Ra.One, in Dubai last night.

:Stars of the Bollywood movie Ra. One, from left, Shahana Goswami, Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor at a press conference in Dubai before the world premiere of the movie at the Grand Cineplex yesterday.
:Stars of the Bollywood movie Ra. One, from left, Shahana Goswami, Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor at a press conference in Dubai before the world premiere of the movie at the Grand Cineplex yesterday.

DUBAI // Shah Rukh Khan chose to hold the world premiere of his biggest blockbuster in Dubai because it holds a special place in his heart.

The Badshah of Bollywood, king of the Indian movie scene, walked the red carpet at the Grand Cineplex cinema yesterday for the premiere of Ra.One, the superhero extravaganza with a Dh73 million production budget.

“It gives me great pleasure to be here and to have the premiere here because Dubai has always given me and my acting fraternity a huge boost,” said Khan. “I always remember the warmth and kindness that all of you show me. I can feel the love here.”

Khan plays G.One (the Good One), a blue-eyed hero who uses supercharged bolts of electricity to fight off the villain Ra.One, played by Indian actor Arjun Rampal.

The Indian festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated tomorrow and Khan said his new movie was the perfect family entertainment with which to celebrate.

“The film’s message is, as long as you have goodness in your heart you will always be a superhero,” he said.

The villain’s name, Ra.One, bears a close resemblance to the name of the mythical Indian demon Ravaan, who is defeated by Rama, the king of Ayodhya, whose return home by the light of villagers’ lamps is celebrated on Diwali.

“Essentially it has all the qualities of a Diwali film,” said Khan. “It’s happy, it’s nice and it’s got great songs – it’s just what people want to see.”

Khan said wearing the fitted black, silver and blue superhero costume in Ra.One made performing stunts – including falling off a skyscraper and leaping between train carriages – more difficult.

The red carpet leading to the cinema entrance was lined with hundreds of screaming fans, who waited for more than an hour to catch a glimpse of the stars of the film.

Lalita Waghmare was among the crowd. “I love Shah Rukh,” she said. “I see his movies at least four or five times and I will see this one as well.

“He has such star power that no other actor has. You can see it in his eyes and his smile.”

The movie’s supporting cast were also full of praise for Khan yesterday.

The Bollywood beauty Kareena Kapoor, who plays Khan’s partner in the movie, said, “[Indian actors] are all tigers in their own right. But of course, Shah Rukh is the Badshah of Bollywood.”

Khan also reportedly explained the nuances of cinema to 12-year-old Armaan Verma, who plays his son in the movie.

“Shah Rukh talked to me a lot about acting,” said Armaan of his debut filming experience. “He said you should never act; you should react.”

The witty and charming Khan has a large fan base, both in India and overseas.

He was first seen on the small screen in a 1998 mini-series Fauji (Soldier).

A year after his 1992 movie debut he had a string of big screen hits with Darr (Fear) and Baazigar (Risk-taker) followed by the 1995 blockbuster Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (The Large-Hearted Will Take the Bride).

After yesterday’s premiere, he attended a charity auction dinner for the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre.

When thanked by a mother for taking the time to help the centre for children with special needs, the actor became emotional.

“We don’t think it’s anything special we are doing, we don’t think we are doing anyone a favour,” said Khan, who has starred in 75 Bollywood movies since his 1992 debut. “Allah has been kind to us for a reason: he has been kind to us to spread this kindness around.”

Khan leaves Dubai today for premiere events in London and Toronto.

rtalwar@thenational.ae