Bollywood has made significant progress when it comes to shattering stereotypes, introducing new stories, and better-addressing challenges. One may notably see how the filmmakers’ styles have changed considerably with the new wave of Bollywood movies. Recent releases have raised the bar, whether it’s by eschewing clichés or by creating stronger characters.

However, most Bollywood fans would concur that it hasn’t been easy for Hindi cinema to move past some stereotypical characters or themes from the ’90s or even earlier. Who even asked Judwaa 2, and that too without any revisions besides the actors?

Bollywood Hungama

And while we’re talking about underlying tropes, we should point out that the toxic masculinity, gundon se bachane wala hero has always been present and still is in our films’ narratives.

Shah Rukh Khan, on the other hand, frequently played a male protagonist who stood out in many ways during the era of these hyper-masculine heroes in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

These characters, at least by Bollywood standards, didn’t conform to the stereotype of a hero who stands in as a saviour for the female characters; instead, they went far further than that.

1. Raj Aryan in Mohabbatein 

Despite the fact that the internet may presently be drooling over the ‘softboi’, for us, Shah Rukh Khan’s Raj in Mohabbatein was the first. At first glance, we fell instantly in love with the endearing music teacher clutching a violin. And naturally, his students did as well, finding in him a confidant and friend. Raj stands out from the crowd of quintessentially romantic male characters to the point where we continue to feel the same emotions as we did when we first watched the movie.


2. Aman in Kal Ho Naa Ho

It is undeniable that SRK’s role in the movie had some flaws, but is it ever possible to watch a Bollywood movie without running into some? No, I think. In actuality, Aman was an uncommon breed, at least at the time the movie was released. We may now have a slew of male characters who embody the sensibility portrayed through him, but SRK offered it to us long before our films basically made it mainstream.


3. Veer in Veer Zaara 

Veer would unquestionably be in first place on any list of fans’ favourite romantic roles that Shah Rukh Kha has undertaken. His portrayal in the movie was much more realistic than the heroes crossing “saat samundar” to find the love of their lives. Veer was never depicted as someone who would jeopardise matters for Zaara, despite the fact that the movie revolved on two people who believed in eternal love.

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4. Jug in Dear Zindagi 

We can all agree that the character of Jug in Dear Zindagi is one of our absolute favourites that the actor has ever portrayed. First off, by portraying a subdued and quiet supporting character, the actor defied expectations of what a superstar can do. He portrays a swoon-worthy, endearing, and a touch over-the-top psychiatrist in the movie who uses quite unusual and cinematic tactics to treat his patients. He is undoubtedly a character that we would all love to meet in person.

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5. Rizwan in My Name Is Khan 

Due to the main character in the Shah Rukh Khan-starring movie being autistic, which the actor portrayed beautifully, the movie is unique in and of itself. As a result, the story differed greatly from those of other drama movies in which the male lead is the centre of attention. Instead, the character and the premise possessed a great deal more nuance than we typically see in a regular “hero.”


6. Rahul in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

You need to focus on how Rahul defends his partner in front of his stern patriarch, his father, in order to see the contradicting character that Rahul was in the movie. Even in a family or romance drama, we would hardly ever see a character like that.


Basically, whatever the rom-com heroes are doing now, Shah Rukh Khan did it first and how.