Few actors polarise the Indian audience like Salman Khan. Amidst a plethora of mediocre roles, Salman Khan has given us glimpses of what he is capable of when he commits to a meaty role and the director's vision. His performances in Khamoshi, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Phir Milenge and, more recently, Sultan come to mind. Even Tubelight was an earnest attempt at doing something different. But for me, his biggest triumph has to be Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Released in 2015, at a time when the Indian audience wasn't exactly waiting to lap up a film promoting communal harmony and better neighbourly relations, Salman gave us Pawan Kumar Chaturvedi. A not-so-bright everyman, full of devotion and prejudices in equal measure. His Pawan was our window into a world that exists all around us but slips by unnoticed, helping us realise how even across borders (physical and mental), we have more in common than differences from each other.
In a role he fully embraced, Salman traded – for once – his invincible one-man army act for a role that allowed us to see how sensitive, vulnerable and genuinely loveable he can be. He allowed us to see what Salman Khan is capable of. He allowed us to see the actor who lies somewhere within the megastar. And that's why it's my favourite Salman Khan role.
And hopefully this writeup serves as evidence that not all Salman Khan fans are blind!