The Indian film industry's biggest box-office draw over the past two decades, Shah Rukh Khan, brought a bevy of stars to the Pacific Coliseum last night for his global Slam tour.
King Khan, as he's known, dedicated the evening to famed director and producer Yash Chopra. Chopra would have celebrated his 82nd birthday on the evening had he not died nearly two years ago.
They reunited for Chopra's final movie, the lushly shot 2012 saga Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Khan played a street minstrel and a bomb-disposal expert opposite Katrina Kaif in a romance for the ages.
"Tonite Vancouver is dedicated to Mr. Yash Chopra who taught us how to love," Khan tweeted.
The show was more than two hours late because flights out of Chicago were delayed, which meant the stage crew couldn't arrive on time.
Khan graciously apologized to the crowed before he and his team—including legendary choreographer and director Farah Khan, Bollywood "it" girl Deepika Padukone, and superstar Abhishek Bachchan—settled in for a comedy, dance, and musical extravaganza lasting three hours.
Padukone recently starred in the art-house film Finding Fanny, which received a glowing review in the Georgia Straight. She burst to prominence opposite Khan in the Farah Khan–directed reincarnation tale Om Shanti Om.
The crowd was almost entirely made up of people of South Asian descent, who were completely charmed by Khan. He performed dance numbers from his earlier hit movies with Chopra as well as from the more recent Don series and Chennai Express.
He and Bachchan also clowned around with a number from the Dhoom trilogy, which has featured Bachchan but which Khan has never appeared in. At one point, Bachchan urged the crowd to exhort Khan to play the villain opposite Bachchan's police-inspector role in the yet-to-be filmed Dhoom 4.
But as charismatic as Khan can be, he was nearly upstaged by Farah Khan, who delivered a steady stream of wisecracks directed at 54-year-old sidekick Boman Irani. They frequently riffed in ways that brought up their 2012 romantic comedy Shirin Farhad K Toh Nikal Padi, in which they discovered love in middle age.
I was hoping to hear Khan perform "Challa" from Jab Tak Hai Jaan, but alas, that never happened. If you're wondering what all the fuss is about SRK, check out the video below. And take notice of the stunning cinematography, which came courtesy of the master himself, Yash Chopra. May he rest in peace.
This was the only film in which South India's Sufi-inspired musical genius and playback singer A.R. Rahman collaborated with Chopra.
And if you're wondering about Khan's popularity in Vancouver, check out the crowds outside last night's venue. (See top of article.)