This was when Sooraj Barjatya came to Salman's rescue all over again. The team, with inclusion of Madhuri Dixit, was in full fervor all over again as something magical was created in Hum Aapke
Hain Kaun which stays on to be popular even decade and a half after its release. The marketing and release model of this film, termed as an extended family music video by many a critic, was the
same as Maine Pyaar Kiya. It was released only on a dozen odd prints across the country but went on to be an all-time blockbuster at the box office.
Salman Khan impressed one and all with his endearing performance and it was hard to believe that he was the same lover boy who was just not in his elements in last half a dozen films. This was the
time period when one could truly claim that 'he was back in form' and from here began a golden phase which was to be interrupted only after a decade. But more about that later.
Meanwhile, he also had Andaz Apna Apna to his credit in which many believe that he stole the show from Aamir Khan as well. The film was loved by those who saw but a delay in its making
coupled with poor release and marketing meant that this laugh riot went completely unnoticed. Ironically, the film is hailed as a classic today and is THE most popular film of Salman on home video
Action proves to be a savior
Just like after Maine Pyaar Kiya, Salman didn't go on a rampage signing romcoms, he did the same after Hum Aapke Hain Kaun as well by going slow on family films. He tried different
genres at this point but the results didn't go in his favor. Chaand Ka Tukda, Sangdil Sanam and Yeh Majhdaar were all colossal failures and this is when action came to his rescue.
His Karan Arjun proved to be a blockbuster at the box office and opened new avenues for him. His un-stated anger was there for all to see and his no-nonsense act was loved by many out there
who hailed him as a born-again superstar even as Shah Rukh Khan enjoyed his own share of accolades from a film which he admittedly didn't enjoy doing.
Coming back to Salman, his first attempt to sell a movie on the basis of his bare body, Veergati, didn't quite get favorable results and just about passed muster. He was clearly the distant
second lead in Sunny Deol's Jeet and though the film was a super success, it was all credited to Deol's howls, cries and the most remembered 'dance step of the century' in Yaara O
Yaara. There was more action that followed in Auzaar but despite its slick production values, it didn't find many takers.
Let's try some comedy
Salman Khan was continuing to reinvent himself as a complete hero with every passing year, something that was seen in Judwaa where he gave a different meaning to comedy. He was a riot
playing a double role in this David Dhawan flick. Teaming up with the director (who till then had given many a hit with Govinda) for the first time, he went on to form a 'jodi' with him in half a
dozen other comic outings, most of which were successful at the box office. They went on to work together in Biwi No. 1 (super hit), Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge (hit), Chal Mere Bhai
(average), Yeh Hai Jalwa (flop), Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya (hit) and Partner (superhit), hence making it a mutually beneficial outing together.
All in the family
Meanwhile Salman Khan also played the central protagonist in an all-family affair Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya which was a big success at the box office. Produced and directed by Sohail Khan with
Arbaaz Khan in a strong character role, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya was a film which was picked up across all age groups, hence bringing him closer to the family audience. However, he didn't
enjoy similar success in half a dozen odd other films that he did with Sohail.
Sohail Khan directed him in Auzaar as well as Hello Brother but both were flops at the box office. Salman also acted with him in God Tussi Great Ho, Main Aurr Mrs Khanna and
Veer - all of which flopped at the box office. Even in other films where they didn't really share screen space together - Heroes, Hello and Salaam-E-Ishq - didn't have much
cheers coming their way. The only exception has been Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya and Lucky - No Time For Love, both of which have been Sohail Khan's productions.
On the other hand, Arbaaz Khan has been more fortunate with a home run in their very first association together, Dabangg, but more about that later.
(To be continued in Part III)