It’s that time of the year again when we celebrate the legacy of Bollywood’s beloved ‘King Khan’ as Shah Rukh Khan turns 58 this year.
Shah Rukh Khan, or SRK, has been a force to reckon with in the Indian film industry for decades now. With a career spanning over three decades, he has given us countless memorable performances.
On November 2nd, 2023, Netflix is treating fans to the extended cut of his latest mega-blockbuster, Jawan, bringing the hit film to the platform on his birthday. Currently, Jawan is the highest-grossing Hindi film, a testament to his enduring stardom.
This monumental success comes from another blockbuster earlier in the year, Pathaan. Shah Rukh Khan’s consistent ability to deliver hit after hit this year has played a pivotal role in reviving a fledging post-Covid Bollywood when other big stars, from Aamir Khan to Akshay Kumar, have faced one setback after another after enjoying a golden stretch of stellar performances.
While the extended cut of Jawan may be the season’s flavour, let’s not forget the classics that have defined Khan’s illustrious career. Here are five essential Shah Rukh Khan films available on Netflix right now that speak volumes about his versatility and on-screen charisma, as well as his personal politics. What he cannot say in the press, he does so through his films with finesse and subtlety—barring a few misses, of course.
So, grab your popcorn, settle in, and let the charm of SRK transport you into a world of unforgettable stories and unforgettable performances, all available on Netflix right now.
Five of Shah Rukh Khan’s best movies to binge on Netflix:
Dil Se (1998)
Directed by the visionary filmmaker Mani Ratnam, Dil Se is a masterpiece that combines a passionate love story with the backdrop of insurgency in the northeastern region of India. Shah Rukh Khan’s performance as an All India Radio journalist is nothing short of electrifying.
The film’s iconic soundtrack, composed by A.R. Rahman, featuring the unforgettable ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ song, only adds dollops of cine-magic to its enduring appeal.
Shah Rukh Khan ventured into the historical epic genre with Santosh Sivan’s Asoka in 2001. The film beautifully portrays a fictionalised account of the life and conquests of Emperor Ashoka, and SRK’s portrayal of the conflicted ruler may not be historically accurate.
Still, his chemistry with co-star Kareena Kapoor and the grandeur of the film make this a must-watch. And the songs, mostly penned by Gulzar, are like gorgeous poetry in lyrical form.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)
K3G is a quintessential Bollywood family drama that has become a cultural touchstone. Khan, along with an ensemble cast consisting of some of the biggest names in the industry—Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, and Hrithik Roshan—delivers a melodramatic yet heartwarming performance in this tale of family, love, and reconciliation.
Director Karan Johar managed to bring together three iconic romantic pairs in one of his milestone films that was crucial in changing the course of Bollywood in 2001.
Ashutosh Gowariker’s Swades is a poignant, soul-stirring, and tremendously politically relevant film that showcases SRK’s acting prowess. He plays the now-iconic role of Mohan Bhargava, an NRI who returns to India only to go on a journey to bridge the gap between his homeland and himself.
The film is a testament to Khan’s commitment to meaningful cinema, similar to Chak De! India, which is unfortunately not available on Netflix despite being one of his finest works.
Om Shanti Om (2007)
Directed by Farah Khan, Om Shanti Om is a delightful mix of romance, comedy, drama, and everything that makes Bollywood masala to be as good as it is. Shah Rukh Khan plays a double role in this film along with Deepika Padukone, who made her Hindi film debut with this over-the-top homage to mainstream Hindi cinema and all the diehard fans of it. The film is a love letter to the glamour of Bollywood and its evergreen appeal, with a spooky murder mystery and reincarnation story thrown into the mix of it all.