“Ever since the Kapoor kid entered the frame in Saawariya, he has consistently stood out, irrespective of the fate of the film. Starting out, (pursuing lineage in true Kapoor style) with the rom-com slot, he very soon startled the crap out of all Ranbir-watchers, when he suddenly switched lanes, played the dare game and did Wake Up Sid and Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year.
No Kapoor from Prithviraj to dad Rishi or uncle’s Shammi or Shashi had ever seriously attempted to experiment (risk?) with his roles and career-graph, so early on in his innings in B-town, be it another era, insecurity to step out of the comfort of star-zone, or less accommodating/open audiences, whatever. Ranbir Kapoor had the desire and courage to move away and each time it worked. Fortune favours the brave and talented and he appeared to be the right actor in the right place doing the right role at the right time.
Wake up Sid worked brilliantly in the metro-centric multiplex space. Rocket was a critical success demonstrating RK’s ability to do de-glam roles powered solely by his acting skills. Even Bachna… and Ajab Prem exhibited his versatility and hunger unlike most other young heroes to explore and expand his acting bandwidth along with his cool, killer looks. Nothing however showcased this intent better than Rockstar and now, Barfi.
Rajneeti can be said to have been a promo of the shape of things to come. A Mahabharat-meets-Godfather khichdi, cleverly put together by Prakhash Jha, RK’s Michael Corleone act was smooth and cool. Despite a cast of powerful actors- Ajay Devgn, Manoj Bajpayee, Nana Patekar, the young man held his own, whether romancing the lovely Katrina or cold-bloodedly supervising the mayhem, he was outstanding, prompting the director to exclaim ‘RK was truly a surprise package.’
Rajneeti was just a starter. Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar was a revelation. Playing a grungy, unwashed, street-smart Romeo from the hinterland with dreams, a voice to match and heartbreak as a catalyst to reach the desired destination, RK let fly an amazing performance that was charming, credible and explosive. Both he and his talented director, fittingly, swept the awards scene that year proving that he was truly a Rockstar. The jewel in the crown was however yet to arrive in the shape of Anurag Basu’s Barfi. Playing a happy-go-lucky, deaf-dumb hero, the young actor unleashed a performance that was truly chaplinesque; the painted smile hiding a broken heart.
This film marked his astonishing maturity and development as an actor to look out for, one who’s constantly looking for opportunities to raise the bar, push the envelope, totally ignoring anything to do with the popular Rs 100 crore club or projects that are typically formulaic embracing masala-dripping ingredients, 6 pack abs, item songs, special effects, hi-jinx action, crazily exotic locales, NRI sentiments and continue to follow is intuition and heart. No wonder he is teaming up with Basu again for his ambitious biopic on Kishore Kumar. Anurag Kashyap too has got him on board for his forthcoming Bombay Velvet as has his brother Abhinav (Dabangg) who has signed him up for his next, Besharam.” [x]