During one of India's Most Wanted promotional campaigns, the movie's lead star, Arjun Kapoor, and director, Rajkumar Gupta, had talked about how Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has a relevant part to play in the premise. No, he doesn't have a cameo in the movie. However, Shah Rukh Khan does have some relevance to the real-life incident that has inspired the premise of this week's release, India's Most Wanted. He also mentioned prominently in the 'Special Thanks' section at the start. India’s Most Wanted Movie Review: Arjun Kapoor’s Spy Drama Lacks Both the Frills and the Thrills.
If you are not aware of this, India's Most Wanted is a fictional retelling of Indian Intelligence Bureau's capture of the dreaded terrorist mastermind, Yasin Bhatkal, in 2013. Founder of Indian Mujahideen, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail, had one of his aliases as 'Shahrukh Khan'. Apparently, the man who was responsible for several terrorist blasts in India between 2008 and 2013, was a big fan of the Bollywood superstar.
This similarity in the names had caused Shah Rukh Khan quite some nuisance whenever he travelled to the USA. A couple of times, he had to go through the process of security checks at the immigration in the US airports, leading to the incidents making it to the headlines. These incidents also became a source of inspiration for his film with Karan Johar, My Name is Khan (the security faux pas was even called a publicity gimmick by SRK detractors for the movie).
These incidents are referenced in India's Most Wanted. In the movie, Shah Rukh Khan's problems with American airport security was mentioned a couple of times.
Watch the trailer of India's Most Wanted here:
While the intention was right for the placement of these scenes, the impact is dreadful at least for the actor. First of all, India's Most Wanted is a fictional retelling of some real-life events, though the makers have changed the names, including that of the terrorist mastermind (who goes by the name, Yusuf, in the film). So in this fictional take, there was no really a need to talk about SRK's incident.
Thanks to some shoddy editing, the movie doesn't make it clear about why Shah Rukh Khan gets detained at the airport and what's the relevance of the scene in the film. Only those who know about the real-life incident or had read the interview given by Kapoor and Gupta to PINKVILLA know the significance of the scene.
It is only towards the epilogue that the makers try to explain both the SRK references (he gets detained twice). Otherwise, both the scenes make it sound very dubious for the superstar, who often has been at the receiving end for racial slurs by trolls and victim of hoax videos.
Interestingly, Rajkumar Gupta had said that they didn't get to show India's Most Wanted to Shah Rukh Khan, because the latter was busy. We wonder how the superstar would have reacted seeing how clumsily he was mentioned in the movie. India's Most Wanted has released worldwide on May 24.