The 2013 film Gori Tere Pyaar Mein! featured Imran Khan as a rich self-centered brat who falls in love with woman who works for social causes and leads him to Jumli, a small village in Gujarati where he faces challenges which change his life.
Whether playing a bad boy, a quiet introvert, or a man with too much luck on his hands, Imran Khan sometimes seems like an enigma. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, he and his mother moved to Mumbai after his parents divorced. During this time he appeared as a child actor in two films with his uncle Aamir Khan. He attended several different schools in Mumbai. During his high school years he lived in Sunnyvale, California with his father. After graduation, the the actor within him drove him to study film and eventually brought him back to Mumbai.
Because he changed schools so often as as a child, Imran became a loner. This carries over into his unique acting style. In an August 2013 Indian Express article, he explained, "I want to create a niche for myself. I'd call myself an acquired taste. I'm not an easy guy to like in real life as I'm not as warm and chatty as many others. But I like that because it offers a challenge for people to understand me."
If you are new to Bollywood, here are five Imran Khan films to watch.
Description: Romantic comedy. College classmates Jai Singh "Rats" Rathore (Imran Khan) and Aditi "Meow" Mahant (Genelia D'Souza) have been best friends for five years. When her parents suggest they marry, they reject the idea because they are just friends. Because they know each other so well, they decide to search for soul mates for each other.
Why I Love this Film: As the story of Jai and Aditi is told by their friends, we are eager to learn what happens next. The twist and turns of their relationship makes a great story. It is a joy to watch Jai evolve from his pacifist upbringing to discover his true nature. And the special appearance by Naseeruddin Shah is delightful.
Recognition: Won, Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut
Description: Action thriller. Vengeful young criminal Kabir (Imran Khan), kidnaps Sonia (Minissha Lamba), the daughter of business tycoon Vikrant Raina (Sanjay Dutt). Kabir forces Vikrant to perform a series of impossible tasks in order to win the girl's freedom.
Why I Love This Film: Imran Khan plays Kabir as a dispassionate and menacing man. He sets up a dangerous game to destroy Vikrant. Sonia asks her captor, "Why me? What have I done?" Kabir answers, "Why not?" The story offers an interesting cat-and-mouse game. Once the game begins you begin to realize he is a deadly gamemaster - especially when crossed. Yet there is some morality still left in him. While the end might seem too neat and tidy, it reminds you of the importance of forgiveness and connection. Stick around for the item song "Mit Jaaye" during the credits which reflects the emotional struggles of Imran's character.
Recognition: Nominated, International Indian Film Award for Best Villian
Release Date: 24 July 2009
Director: Soham Shah
Music by: Salim-Sulaiman
Description: Action thriller. Identified as an individual with luck on his side, Ram Mehra (Imran Khan) is abducted by Lakhan Tamang (Danny Denzongpa) who offers Ram 200 million rupees to gamble with him for 20 days. After Ram agrees, gambling kingpin Karim Musa (Sanjay Dutt) and Tamang create a deadly game, getting lots of lucky people to play, and the luckiest ones win them money.
Why I Love This Film: Everyone wishes for luck, but the idea that some people are naturally lucky and that others can "borrow" their luck for a day is an interesting twist. This film is full of over-the-top games testing the luck of the participants. It is unbelievable, but entertaining ride. The film opens with a great item number featuring Sanjay Dutt as top dog but closes with an item number featuring Imran Khan, who appears to have usurped the kingpin's throne.
Description: Romantic comedy. Simran Kaur (Sonam Kapoor) has the perfect life with a fulfilling job as a film production designer and a flawless boyfriend. Jay Dhingra (Imran Khan) hates love stories despite working for a famous Bollywood director. When Jay is assigned to work with Simran, their lives are turned upside down as her dreams clash with his cynicism - and visa versa.
Why I Love This Film: Against the background of the backlots of Bollywood, this tale entertains via Jay and Simran's journey through non-stop references to Bollywood stories, songs, and stars. You may not get all the references initially, but the more you watch Hindi films, the more you will want to re-watch this film to see what you missed. As you watch the relationship between Jay and Simran unfold it seems that while romance is being created for the silver screen even those working backstage in Bollywood are feeling the vibes and falling in love.
Recogition: Nominated, Star Screen Award for Best Actor (Popular Choice)
Description: Romantic comedy. After losing his job as an architect in Las Vegas, Rahul Kapoor (Imran Khan) meets fun-loving Riana Braganza (Kareena Kapoor). They spend an evening touring Vegas and the bars. The next morning they discover they got married at a wedding chapel. While they are waiting to get the marriage annulled, Rahul begins to fall for Riana ...
Why I Love This Film: Riana brings out the best in Rahul - who needs some support at a time in his life when he needs to break free from his past. This isn't your standard love story and by the end of the film it seems as if Rahul's journey has just begun - and we are there to cheer him on.
If you enjoyed this, check out our other Friday Five posts.