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3 Times When Arjun Kapoor Proved He Could Act

1.  Aurangzeb(2013):  Welcome to the world of unstoppable ambitions. Half-realized dreams thread their way through director Atul  Sabharwal’s intricate plot, much like those gigantic cement-mortar-glass skyscrapers that kiss the sky in half-constructed questionable glory in the film’s excellently-composed frames. The cinematography by N. Karthik Ganesh provides a panoramic view of Gurgaon’s super-affluent landscape. It also provides us an insight into the anxious souls of half-finished lives trapped in the mirage of their absurd aspirations.Arjun Kapoor playing a  double role  crosses comfortably into both the nefarious kingdoms. He is the dual mirror- image of the sinner and the victim. Playing the traditional ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ game Kapoor seems to nail the brotherly mirror-image into a slide show of shifting loyalties. It’s a compelling double-whammy from a sophomore actor who made a fair impact with his first film Ishaqzaade.

2.  Tevar(2015): At the end of the day Tevar is a showcase for the  film’s producer Boney Kapoor’s son  Arjun Kapoor’s heroics, so much so that the hero’s friends-so much an integral part of the mofussil drama with Salman Khan in Tere Naam or Tusshar Kapoor in Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai-are reduced to a babbling blur. Make no mistake this is Arjun Kapoor’s one-way ticket to some kickass hero-giri. And would Mahesh Babu please move over?Indeed, the film offers him the chance to take his substantial stardom to the next level. Arjun grabs the opportunity with both hands. From his stunning introductory sequence where he makes his way into a kabbaddi match by indulging in some earthy parkour to the climactic fist-to-fight with Bajpai, Arjun doesn’t let go of even a moment of the opportunity to juice his character for all the adrenaline that it is worth.A film about characters on the run stands the risk of running out of breath. Tevar averts the wheezy and adopts the breezy momentum of a narrative hurling towards a pre-empted bloody finale .Oh yes, the film is violent. Extremely so. But it is not the sickening life-sucking violence of Ghajini or the recent Lakshmi. The action scenes, though stretched out, are shot skillfully in the comic book mode. You could almost see debutant director Amit Sharma thinking of the original fights in the Telugu hit Okkudi being here reproduced in tactile terms.

3.  India’s Most  Wanted(2019): This  is that rare film on counter-terrorism which seems to show no inclination to overplay its cards, Rajkumar Gupta’s target here is to not show his hero indulging in scene-stealing heroics (the kind Akshay Kumar would be seen doing), but to put the protagonist, a docile humble unostentatious man Prabhat who never smiles because… well, what is there to smile about? Have you seen the number of bomb blasts that have occurred in the last 2 decades? Prabhat believes nabbing India’s most dangerous terrorist is not a negotiable job. He just has to do it. And if he gets no help from official agencies then he will do it on his own with a ragged quartet of like-minded government officials, so nondescript they could pass off as vegetable vendors on a crowded street.As played by Arjun Kapoor, Pravin Singh Sisodia, Aasif Khan, Devendra Mishra and Prasanth Philip Alexander this is the most unlikely army of heroes you will ever encounter in mainstream cinema. There is no effort to portray them as anything except what they really are: penniless counter-terrorists driven only by a passion to make this world a better place for peace-loving citizens.

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