Salman Khan, known for his iconic portrayal of the character “Prem” in Bollywood films, attempted to revisit that beloved persona in the movie Baghban. However, his father, Salim Khan, expressed his disappointment, feeling that Salman’s performance didn’t capture the intended essence of the character.
During the 2000s, Salman Khan began exploring diverse roles, deviating from the innocent and respectful image associated with his on-screen persona of “Prem” from films like Maine Pyar Kiya and Hum Aapke Hain Koun. When Salman took on a similar character in Baghban, directed by Ravi Chopra in 2003, Salim Khan commented that instead of appearing as a “nice man,” Salman seemed to be “looking like a blind man.”
In a conversation with director Sooraj Barjatya, Salman recounted his father’s feedback, sharing his confusion over being described as “blind” in the film. Despite the character’s positive reception from the audience, Salman acknowledged that he had failed in his attempt to authentically convey the desired qualities of kindness and humility. According to his father, Salman’s portrayal appeared artificial and lacked the genuine charm he had intended to bring to the role.
In Baghban, Salman essayed the role of Alok, the adopted son of Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini’s characters. The film revolves around an elderly couple whose biological children neglect them, while their adopted son becomes their pillar of support.
Director Ravi Chopra had chosen Salman for the role due to his decent appearance and the character’s indebtedness to the man who raised him. Although Salman’s performance received praise from Chopra, he admitted that as an actor, he recognized his shortcomings and understood his father’s critique.
Baghban, featuring a star-studded cast including Paresh Rawal, Lillete Dubey, Samir Soni, Divya Dutta, Aman Varma, and Mahima Choudhury, emerged as a significant box office success during its release.
Despite the setback, Salman Khan’s career continued to evolve, showcasing his versatility as an actor in a range of memorable roles.