A little before he made his sparkling Bollywood debut with the romantic drama Deewana, SRK’s magic was witnessed by lakhs of viewers who were clearly unaware of the heights this performer would ultimately reach, in Aziz Mirza’s endearing 1989 TV show Circus. It’s a kind of performance which exudes so much honesty and purity that it invariably becomes a must-watch for all the fans of the superstar who believe that his current big-screen persona lacks a sense of realism. Shekharan, the character played by SRK is a young man who is handed the responsibility to manage the circus his ailing once father ran with love and warmth. He struggles to find his place amidst this chaos and yearns to work on a factory project which he believes is his true calling. Every episode of the show depicts the everyday problems faced by the circus family and Shekharan is the one who’s shouldered the responsibility of making sure everything runs smoothly.
SRK wonderfully humanizes this character who can be easily dismissed as one who lacks empathy for the very business he’s engaged in. But what drives him is the promise he made to his father, i.e, he would take care of his belonging, the home his he had built with conviction and dedication for nearly 25 years. The character is utterly relatable and SRK portrays him with a sense of believability that one can identity with him even after 30 years of its conception. At times we see him struggling with the finances and at others, with everyday problems faced by the circus performers. Even though it’s evident that he doesn’t really enjoy what he’s doing, his relationships with the employees of the circus are warm and fuzzy. Especially the scenes with several characters in the frame, SRK shows no intention of being the scene-stealer, but becomes a part of the collective joy of the ensemble. In a particularly beautiful moment in which the characters are immersed in Holi celebrations, SRK can be seen in the corner of the frame, content being a part of this family, unwilling to be any sort of a standout performer.
Unpretentious and filled with heart warming honesty, SRK in Circus is a joy to watch and one shouldn’t miss this humble beginning of our country’s most celebrated star.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.