Shahrukh, Priyanka & Farhan floors fans at Don 2’s Berlin premiere

Hert is only one of the few hundred fans who stand by the red carpet, hoping to see their favourite Bollywood actor, Shah Rukh Khan. There is a huge demand for the premiere tickets and many fans were shut out.

To make matters worse, Shah Rukh was down with fever last week and nearly missed his trip to Berlin. First, he did not fly for the Don 2 press conference held on Friday and then his flight to Berlin was cancelled. Reliance came to the rescue and arranged for a private aircraft to fly the actor in time for the film’s premiere.

That was just good enough for Ina Grimms from Hanover, who also did not get a ticket for the screening. But she still travelled 250 km to get a chance to see Khan in person.

“He’s got the charisma,” Grimms says about the actor.

Her first Shah Rukh film was Khabhi Khushi Khabhie Gham that she watched on television with German subtitles. But her favourite film is Om Shanti Om. Grimms also likes a few other Bollywood stars like Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan and John Abraham. But for her, Shah Rukh is the number one actor in the world.

“He’s George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise combined together,” she says.

Annette Goeckolda has travelled 800 km from Sandhofen to see Shah Rukh walk on the red carpet and then watch the film. Her husband, Martin points out that the trip had cost the two of them 1,000 Euros.

But why Shah Rukh? “I think it is the character after the actor,” Annette says.

And although she had never seen him before, she said she could judge the star’s character by watching his interviews online. She laughed out loudly when asked if she would spend 1,000 Euros to see Brad Pitt in Berlin, giving a look that suggests she is going to ignore the question.

The screening was scheduled to start at 9.30 pm, but it gets delayed by a half hour, perhaps because the stars arrived late.

Inside the 1,800-seat theatre, the audience — mostly Germans, but a decent number of South Asians — wait patiently.

In the lobby of the theatre, the three Nory siblings — Asma, 21, Silsala, 20 and Norman, 19 — stand around taking pictures of each other. The kids were born in Berlin, but their parents are from India.

“I think Shah Rukh Khan is special because he’s not just an action hero or a romantic hero or a comedian — he’s a full package,” Asma said, speaking English in a very pronounced German accent. She added that the first Shah Rukh film they watched was Baazigar. “For people like us who live abroad, he makes us proud to be Indians,” Silsala said. “And after all Shah Rukh is a pathan like we are,” Norman the youngest adds.

Before the film starts, Farhan Akhtar, dressed in a black velvet jacket and bow tie, enters the theatre with producer Ritesh Sidhwani and Priyanka Chopra, who’s wearing a shimmering white sari. As expected, the audience goes crazy.

An Indian man sitting in the first row is heard yelling loudly: “Hey Priyanka, I am from India. Aja meri jungli billi!”

The film starts without Shah Rukh’s arrival.

There are loud cheers and whistles, especially in the beginning as SRK appears in the film. The audience enjoy the sequences. They love seeing snapshots of Berlin in the film even more.

As expected, Shah Rukh makes a grand entry after the film ends. Dressed in a black suit and a bow tie he is introduced to the audience by Farhan Akhtar.

“I hope you enjoyed the film,” Akhtar says, thrilled with the response. “In many ways, it would have been an injustice if Don himself had not arrived.”

“Shah Rukh, I love you,” a woman yells out.

“I love you too darling,” Shah Rukh responds. It sends the female fans into a frenzy.

“I have been making films for 20 years,” he says.

“But I am saying this from the bottom of my heart — the love, the warmth that was shown to us here, I have never, ever experienced in my whole career. Whenever I come to the Berlinale I know it is a serious film festival, with serious filmmakers who talk about life, goodness and all the emotions. But Dieter Kosslick (the Berlinale festival director) is a wonderful persona and I decided I would not leave Berlin without making him dance to Don 2 songs.”

First Shah Rukh made Kosslick say a dialogue from the film — Don ka intezar to gyarah mulkon ki police kar rahi. Kosslick struggles with the line and finally yells out “Om Shanti Om!”

Then it’s Chopra’s chance to teach Kosslick a dialogue from the film. She quickly chose an easier line from the film: Roma, Roma, Roma, Meri Jungli Billi!

Shahrukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar at Don 2 premiere at Berlin

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