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5 Films That Celebrate An Unconventional Guru-Shishya Parampara

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1.     404: The smartly-written screenplay about a doughty medical student who befriends the boy who killed himself in the same room has echoic shades of Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat which had the painter Aamir Khan moving into the house of a woman who commits suicide. Dhobi Ghat romanticized the link between the present and past. 404 imbues a sense of tragic regret and doom in the relationship that forms between the present and past room-mates of the hostel room.Lording over the eerie link is a professor of psychology-a true inheritor of Shakespeare and Kafka’s legacy, if ever there was one– battling over his own demons, struggling to keep the wall between the supernatural and rationale up firmly in place, watching it collapse in a noiseless but horrific heap.In the role of the professor who is rapidly losing a grip on reality filmmaker Nishikant Kamat (Dombivli Fast, Mumbai Meri Jaan) turns in the kind of evolved and involving performance that makes all other recent directors-turned-actors look like a harem of hams. Kamat builds the character’s troubled inner world with evocative gestures. His nervous restless eyes and fidgety body-language suggest a profound bonding between the terror in the mind and its manifestation in the outward physical world.Tisca Arora as his supportive colleague and wife is as usual, excellent. As is the newcomer Rajvvir Arora as the boy who can ‘see’ the dead.The film opens as a look at the sorry repercussions of ragging and then builds into an elegant but emphatic treatise on the guilt, memory, regret and grief. The cinematography by Savita Singh is richly layered suggesting deeper meanings in even the most routine moments. The editing by Sarvesh Parab is tight .But economy is not an obsession here. Getting the mood and pace right are predominant.

2.     Aarakshan:  The educationist in Prakash Jha’s film, as played with supreme magnetism by Mr Bachchan, is a man of all seasons. What he does with unnerving effectuality is to tell us that our educational system is fatally flawed. And it’s just not enough to talk about it.When Dr Prabhakar Anand senses he can no longer fight the corrupt educational system from the inside, he moves out, starts educating girl children from a tabela owned by a benign peasant (Yashpal Sharma, a regular in Prakash Jha’s cinema and in splendid form here).The portions where we see Prabhakar Anand’s awakening as a grassroot educationist is so closely aligned to Amitabh Bachchan’s image of the actor of the masses that you feel the idealism of the educationist somewhere noiselessly mingles with the actor’s ability to slip into super-hero’s roles without flying physically.This film levitates Mr Bachchan in far more subtle ways. He plays a man with the gumption to say no to a system of education that progressively favours purchased merit. Spearheading the educational racket in “Aarakshan” is Manoj Bajpayee playing his coaching-institute wheelerdealer part with over-the-top gusto.Towards the end when all hell breaks loose, and Bajpayee’s character is seen pounding with his fists a steamroller meant to mow down Dr Prabhakar Anand’s idyllic educational spot, a character whispers, “He has lost his mind.”To lift the tale from the discernible blemishes (spotless Nehru jackets for the principal character in every sequence, over-pancaked women playing supporting roles, too much attention to getting the commercial language like the mandatory songs, right) there are the high point all of which gather momentum in the second-half when the film tells us with punctuated passion, that something can be done to change Indian mindsets that encourage educational malpractices, that grasroot education is the only feasible remedy to the corrosion of the entire educational system.The sequences showing Prabhakar Anand teaching maths in a tabela with ample support from his daughter (Deepika Padukone), and two students from different social stratas (Saif Ali Khan and Prateik) convey the warmth of an idealism that we lost in our cinema since the days of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s “Satyakam”.Merit is the main issue in this meritorious film. The performances range from the loud to the lyrical, depending on whether the camera moves away from Mr Bachchan or stays close to him. He brings to the part of the conscientious and immovable educationist a kind of emphatic idealism that would look highly inappropriate in any other actor. With his imposing presence Mr Bachchan never lets the character’s high ethics down.Among the other actors Saif Ali Khan plays a Dalit boy who still irons his own clothes (a bit overdone, the drama of the damned) Saif moves through the motions of social protest and individual outrage with stealth and conviction.In fact the one deep flaw in the film is that the relationship between the characters played by Mr Bachchan and Saif of the deeply-committed benefactor and the indebted but conflicted protege, is not given ample room to grow in Anjum Rajabali’s flawed but brilliant script.

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3.     Haraamkhor:  She is 15 going on 18. Or so she claims when the local female doctor examines her for missing her period. At her age she should be only thinking of the periods that she must not miss when the bell rings. But no. Sandhya is about to be seduced by her sleazy teacher.In what perhaps ranks as the most below-the-belt male protagonist in recent times, Siddiqui is cast as small-town school teacher with a serious hormonal imbalance and a disgusting lack of moral grounding. While he has a very fulfilling physical relationship with his wife Sunita(Trimala Adhikari) at home he inches his way up the salwaar(there is no polite way of putting this) of his student Sandhya.A mere child, if you look at it with dispassionate eyes. And that’s how debutant director Shlok Sharma wants us to look at Shweta Tiwary who is an absolute natural  as a mofussil ingénue, not quite unaware of the effect her presence has on her ever-horny teacher, but not quite the seductress either.Let’s put it this way. She is Lolita without the seductive oomph. Nawazuddin’s Shyam Tekchand is cunning slimy self-seeking and unscrupulous.He is so brazenly selfserving that he looks ridiculous even in his obscenity.  And yet Nawaz brings a certain innocence to the character that is hard to define, as though he can’t fathom why he is so leery about his students . Or why he beats up girl students outside the classroom just to get even with Sandhya .If Nawaz’sRaghu Raman’s sharp blunt tool causing grievous injury were in his pants he would be Shyam Tekchand.

4.     3 Idiots:  Some things never change in a straitjacketed society like ours. And really, when Hirani with enormous help from his co-writer Abhijat Joshi, sets down to criticize the glaring anomalies in our education system, we are compelled to wonder for a few seconds-and just for that bit of cynical time-freeze-if flogging the sacred cows of our institutionalized system of governance in cinema, is not just an excuse to pull out all stops and let the young heroes have all the fun that their more disciplined counterparts in schedule-driven colleges deny themselves.The British rock bank Pink Floyd said it first. “We don’t need no education; we don’t need no thought control/no dark sarcasm in the classroom/teacher, leave those kids alone.”So if Raj Kumar Hirani wants those ‘kids’ to be left alone, where does our education system go? Into a free-wheeling zone of self-chosen vocation for every child? But then, not every child is a Mangeshkar, Tendulkar, Khan or even Farhan Qureshi (Madhavan) from this film, who craves to be a photographer but ends up living his father’s dream at an engineering institution.The thought processes underlining the film’s super-vibrant but calm surface are never allowed to seep out and bubble to the exterior of the narrative. If at heart, 3 Idiots is a serious indictment of our education system, at the surface it’s a character-driven film played out at an observant and opulent but always-feisty octave. The sounds of protest against the curbs checks and downers in our education reach out to us in a cascade of crisply- written lines spoken by characters who have lived out the nightmare that precedes that long journey into the realization of our dreams.Aamir Khan undertakes his character’s journey through the paradoxical labyrinth of ambition-driven education system (incidentally, the loopholes in our education was also the theme of Aamir’s Taare Zameen par and Hirani’s Munnabhai MBBS) with a gut-level understanding of what pains today’s average 20-something.Aamir’s transformation into a 22-year old collegian is so complete and so non-impersonified that you end up wondering if he has been lying about being 40-plus in real life! Like most Aamir starrers, 3 Idiots, too is predominantly his vehicle. Most of the funniest lines and inspiring situations in the script come from Aamir. And boy, does he play the boy-man with restrained relish!Sharman Joshi as the poor middleclass boy driven to near-suicide by his parents’ ambitions gets two meaty sequences. He chews on them with careful sensitivity leaving a lasting impression. Madhavan as the third ‘idiot’ expresses his smothered dreams through a series of half-expressed thoughts and a fear of unhappiness that reach his eyes without transit.In a country where students are driven to suicide by their impossible curriculum, 3 Idiots provides hope. Maybe cinema can’t save lives. But cinema, sure as hell, can make you feel life is worth living. 3 Idiots does just that, and much more. The director takes the definition of entertainment into directions of social comment without assuming that he knows best. Here’s V Shantaram happily and effortlessly jogging into Manmohan Desai’s territory.

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5.     Student Of The Year:  This is an unabashed celebration of candy floss cinema. Filled with colour, gaiety charm and joy, this film of frothy flamboyance gets its fervour and energy from the three newcomers who let me say right away, are significant additions to Bollywood’s overworked star-stable.The setting is a Utopian college where books are arranged not for their academic value but how well they work for the film’s sleek colour scheme. Two students, one rich spoilt and arrogant, the other a bourgeois dreamer with intense aspirations, are pitched against one another. Outwardly the campus battle suggests a shallow war of one-upmanship between the two heroes for the campus hottie’s manicured hand.However with a miraculous manoeuvring away from the vacuous, screenwriter Rensil D’Silva creates an inner world of angst and craving for these seemingly over-privileged protagonists, all products of malfunctional families. Admirably the supporting cast of students is also given a back-grounder, so that the film’s student brigade appears more than just a keepsake picture shot in a flattering light.In terms of cracking his young brigade’s inner-life Karan Kohar has moved far ahead of his maiden Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Neither the students nor the teachers in Student Of The Year are caricatural. Not even the gay dean , played with endearing aplomb by Rishi Kapoor whose soft corner for the sports coach(Ronit Roy, restrained) never hits any hard edges. And when Rishi on his deathbed winks at the heterosexual coach and says, “Maybe in the next birth”, you feel the same lump in your throat that you did when in the 1970 trendsetting romance Love Story Ali McGraw told Ryan O’Neal love meant never having to say you’re sorry.The film has a wonderful retro-futuristic feel to its romance. While the good looking troika at the plot’s centre wear only the elite labels and travel in the poshest cars, their allegiances alliances and ideas on friendship and love are purely old world….except that Rajendra Kumar would never have asked Raj Kapoor, “Ab tu mujhe kiss karega?” after every buddy-embrace, like Sidharth Malhotra does.Young, vibrant, colourful, exuberant and exhilarating Student Of The Year is that heady swig of a frothy beverage that leaves you feeling good about life. Karan Johar gets into the heads and hearts of the three restless young and spirited lives swirling seductively in a love triangle that resolves itself over a hand-to-hand combat outside a designer-hospital. And this time Alia Bhatt gets the hospital clothes right.

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10 Unsung Performances By Amitabh Bachchan!

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Amitabh Bachchan

75 years is  a long time. Amitabh Bachchan has spent a good 40 of those 75 years giving performances to cherish .So consistently outstanding  is his output that we forget his earlier performances. Some of the work he did before Zanjeer and  overnight superstardom was absolutely stunning, but largely unrecognized. Here’s looking at the 10 performances that deserve  to be dug out of anonymity.

1.     Saat Hindustani(1969): In his very first film  AB  plyed Anwar, a  poet from Bihar who gets together with 6 other nationalists  to  liberate Goa from the Portuguese. The legendary intensity and the rugged rigour of emotions that won’t be polished or pushed aside, were evident in every frame where AB stood tall.K A Abbas who  directed AB  in this underrated film picked this actor to play one of the 7 protagonists because he  saw a certain fire in the Bachchan personality. Yeah yeah, we know.

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2.     Bandhe Haath(1973): a thief and a poet, Amitabh Bachchan   then struggling for footspace in the speeding train of stardom was remarkably signed up by the mighty O P Ralhan for a double  role. Mumtaz the top heroine of those days sportingly agreed to  co-star with this  “lanky brooding young man who spoke every line like poetry.” She had all the songs. He had all the intensity.

3.     Ek Nazar(1972): Again a poet!  This  is  the third preZanjeer film where AB plays a  poet who falls in love with the the tawaif played by Jaya Bhaduri. This is the second time that the two of them came together. Just before this film AB and JB were seen  together in the awful Bansi Birju.There  is a certain  fire burning between them  even at this early stage . Laxmikant Pyarelal’s immortal songs like Patta patta boota bottaPehle sat baar and Hum hi Karenkoi soorat went a  long way in igniting the AB-JB chemistry.

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4.     Raaste  Ka Pathar(1972):   Loosely adapted from Billy Wilder’s The Apartment ,this is an oddity of a  film. Uneven  yet striking for the tense chemistry between AB and Shatrughan Sinha. SS plays AB’s boss, a  married man  in an affair with hapless working girl (Neeta Khayani) whom AB secretly  loves. Later the same  story became Yes Boss.Small world.

5.     Pyar Ki Kahaani(1972): Directed by Ravikant Nagaich who made mostly espionage thrillers, this remake of  hit  Tamil film  was a resounding flop. But if we  go back to it we see how skillfully controlled AB was in playing the workingclass  hero who rescues a friend(Anil Dhawan) from suicide and falls in love with a woman with a dubious past. This is the only film where AB and  Tanuja came together as Man and Woman. They were quite a couple together.

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6.     Parwana(1972): Absolutely the best performance by AB from his preZanjeer days and still among his most unsung triumphs, AB plays  a desperately in-love man who would go to any lengths , even murder, to get  the girl he loves (Yogeeta Bali). But she  prefers Navin Nishchol. There is  no telling about tastes. Go back to this film to watch the sequences where AB plots the murder of  his love’s father Om Prakash. Chilling!

7.     Sanjog(1972):  It’s not easy playing weak characters with such conviction. In  this  early film AB starred as  an indecisive man who dumps his wife MalaSinha and remarried without telling the second wife(Aruna Irani) about the first. The  film has Mala Sinha  in the author-backed role. But AB is dazzling in  the scenes where he has to stand meekly  as a lowly clerk in an office run by his abandoned wife.Gender equation deliciously tilted away from the man.

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8.     Reshma Aur Shera(1969):  In a brief role as Sunil Dutt’s speech-impaired brother Chotu AB conveys so much of  the anguish about the bloody feud that governs  the lives of the two warring families who  form the central  core of the film.Solid presence even in  a semi-cameo, AB proved  it with this one.

9.     Gehri Chaal(1973):  Jeetendra  played the hero to Hema Malini in this  film while AB was cast as her  brother trying to protect the  family name  from a dark secret. This  film came  just before the release of  Zanjeer and there are clear indications that the Angry Young Man was about to emerge from the shadows .

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10.  Saudagar(1972):  Fearless and unfettered  by the demands of superstardom  AB  played a gur-seller who marries a widowed  gur-maker(Nutan) for monetary  benefits. The low moral values  of AB’s character did not diminish the impact of his towering performance. Though the focus was on the timeless Nutan AB  held his own with  a powerful performance that left us hungering for more.

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Rishi Kapoor’s Top 10 Films!

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Rishi Kapoor

Rishi Kapoor has given us loads of very enjoyable musical romances to watch in leisure for forever ,and a day.

Here’s looking at Rishi Kapoor’s 10 Best Films.

  1. Mera Naam Joker(1969)—This is where Rishi Kapoor’s astounding journey as a star-actor began. Playing an adolescent who has a serious crush on his school-teacher Simi Garewal Rishi, at 14, won his first National award. Looking at his performance , under father Raj Kapoor’s direction,even today you feel he got the confusions of sexual awakening  in his character dead right.
  2. Bobby(1973)—From here onwards Rishi’s struggle to make his presence felt in heroine-oriented film began.Whether it was Bobby orBarood , the directors focused on the heroine while Rishi made his presence felt as best as he could. While Dimple Kapdia played the author-backed role Rishi was amazing in his confidence level while portraying the rich introverted neglected child of irresponsible parents..
  3. Rafoo Chakkar(1975)—Delightful  in drag Rishi simply stole the show with Paintal playing his farcical foil. And yes, wife Neetu Singh was around too.Narendra Bedi directed this enjoyable desi version of Some Like It Hot. Amazingly decades later Paintal son Hiten Paintalplayed Rishi’s son Ranbir’s pal in Bachna Ae Haseenon.But the chemistry was not the same.
  4. Laila Majnu(1976)—One of Rishi’s greatest performances. As the legendary lover he absolutely lived the pain agony and suffering of the character in the sand dunes of Rajasthan . H S Rawail directed this film. Madan Mohan songs like Barbaad-e-mohabbat ki dua saath liyejaa were put across by Rishi with intense passion. Simply breathtaking.
  5. Amar Akbar Anthony(1977):  Playing Akbar in the film where Amitabh Bachchan’s Anthony clearly had an edge, Rishi’s Qawwallis Pardahai parda and Taiyyab ali pyar ka dushman stole the show. No matter how brief his role Rishi always has fun with it.
  6. Sargam(1979)—Armed with a dafli and oozing a rustic charm as a love-smitten villager who wants nothing but to see the object of his adoration(Jaya Prada) happy, Rishi  re-defined the do-gooder hero’s space in Hindi cinema by making the character believable and vulnerable. Another very accomplished performance.
  7. Karz (1980)—The ultimate rockstar act in the fulsome musical by Subhash Ghai…No one could take to the dancefloor the way RishiKapoor did.Not even his very talented son. In this film on  the theme of reincarnation Rishi took sweet revenge on his schoolteacher from Mera Naam Joker Simi Garewal .
  8. Prem Rog (1982)—Another heroine-centric film where director Raj Kapoor focused entirely on young widow Padmini Kohapure’s plight. And yet as her silent supporter and sympathizer Rishi excelled far beyond the script. Watch his expressions during the song Yeh pyarttha ya kuch aur ttha during Padmini’s marriage. You’d know why many consider Rishi the best actor of the Kapoor clan.
  9. Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986)—One of Rishi’s most underrated performances, here he was cast as Triloka a rustic Punjabi youngster forced to marry his Bhabhi Hema Malini who is 10 years his senior.Adapted from litterateur Rajinder Singh Bedi’s short story this bold film was memorable for giving Rishi a chance to explore something beyond his usual rom-com space.Sukhwant Dhadda directed.Wonder what happened to him!
  10. Khoj (1989)—At a time when he played lover-boy roles Rishi took a grand risk with this role of a man who murders his own wife. Butshhhh! We don’t know that until the end. And as we all know, ‘The End’ is a long way off from Rishi Kapoor’s exceptional career.
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Priyanka Chopra : The Girl Who Made It To The Top On Her Own

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Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra: The Girl Who Made It To The Top On Her Own

Priyanka Chopra, her beginning was not so humble. From up there where she is perched, life looks  like  a bed of roses  for    Mrs Priyanka Jonas. But the climb to the top  hasn’t been easy.

The roses unfortunately came with the pricks. From facing  the wrath of powerful superstars  to combating favouritism to making a name in a hostile imperialistic world…Priyanka fought  it all and emerged a winner.

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 Her beginnings were not so humble. Priyanka Chopra opened her innings as an  actor with  a Sunny Deol and an Akshay Kumar starrer The Hero and Andaaz, respectively. I  remember in Andaaz Priyanka  was made to do all the hot stuff(strip, smooch, slither, seduce)  while her co-star Lara Dutt was seen as the true heroine of the film(demure, docile, coy).

Followed a slew  of hits with Akshay Kumar including Aetraaz(where Priyanka Chopra vamped it up as a lady boss who all but rapes her employee) and  Mujhse Shaadi Karoge.And suddenly she was out of Akshay Kumar’s  range of  vision reportedly due to spousal pressure.  Salman Khan with whom she worked in several films during the first decade  of the new millennium unofficially banned  her from his films after she refused to  do one of his  family films. Another  major superstar Shah RukhKhan with whom she was  on eminently cordial terms was also unable to work with her. It was rumoured that Priyanka Chopra was  eased  out  of several project with  Shah Rukh.

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Fighting the nepotism  sexism and star-wives’ wrath, that rules the industry Priyanka  bagged the lead in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion where she played the hero. The film was  a big hit and fetched her the National award  for best actress. It  was time to move forward…But where were the  leading men?It  was  at this point that  Priyanka  took the  plunge westwards  which no other leading lady from Hollywood had ever taken .

Today Bhandarkar is  rightfully  proud  of  Priyanka, as he says, “It gives me immense pleasure to see her achievements. She is in a happy space personally and professionally. Priyanka has achieved all this by sheer hard work. She is not afraid of taking challenges and test unknown territories. During Fashion too she was absolutely committed towards her craft and I am happy that the film proved to be a great project and a turning point in her career which also got her first National Award.”

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Priyanka Chopra hired herself an agent in Los Angeles and  began  building  her career  from scratch.

Prashasniya(admirable) baat hai. She has  achieved  the kind of  worldwide success which no other Indian actor has. And she did it all on her own.I don’t know how she  found her way  from Bollywood to the American film industry. But she did. She is now a known name  all over the world.We are all  proud  of her,” says Shatrughan Sinha.

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Celina Jaitley has  the fondest memories of her association with Priyanka Chopra, “I have wonderful memories of all the time spent when she was mentoring me for Ms Universe.We also did Shahrukh’s “ Heat” concert world tour shows in 6 countries. I can say with full confidence she has always been  an amazing person, consistent, disciplined and we had some great laughs together. Being from an army background there has always been a special bond whenever we worked together, I am so happy that she found her soulmate and has set a great platform across borders for all Indian women single handedly.”

Adds Dia Mirza,  “Priyanka Chopra has always had big ambition and the willingness to put in whatever it takes to achieve these aspirations. She has worked relentlessly to get where she has and I am sure she will continue to grow as artist and humanitarian. I’m happy she has found love and this marriage promises to be the beginning of many new beginnings in her life. Onwards and upwards Peecee!”

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Swara Bhaskara feels Priyanka Chopra is an  inspiration to generations of  Indian actors. “I think Priyanka Chopra’s journey shows all young women that there are no rules to success and there needn’t be a template to your life. That girls can live just how they want, do what they want, blaze their own trails. kudos to her.”

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Ranveer Singh Was Destined For Stardom

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Ranveer Singh

When I  first spoke to  Ranveer Singh on the day after  his Band Baaja Baaraat  released  in 2010  he  was respectful, attentive , eager  to learn.

We spoke at  length about the  response  to  the  film and his career. And  Ranveer Singh said, “Thank God, no one says any more than   my debut was financed by my father . That to me is my biggest victory.”

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Ranveer Singh  was  spoilt for choices. “I think after Band Baaja Baraat I need to do completely contrasting character. Someone who is not loud, opinionated and unsophisticated.”

The suffering of waiting was  over for this debutant who came in from the outside. Brimming  with enthusiasm  Ranveer Singh  had  said to me in 2010, “Not since Akshay Kumar and John Abraham has there been a male lead from outside the industry  getting such positive  reactions. I just hope my example encourages  talent from outside. Because right now the perception is  outsiders don’t stand a chance. I had no reference like mine  to give me hope  when I was going through  my struggle period.”

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One  call from Yashraj Films changed Ranveer Singh’s  life. “It was completely out of  the   blue from the casting director Shanu Sharma. I remember I was out on a date when (casting  director)  Shanu Sharma  kept calling. I avoided her calls for as long as I could because I had other things on my mind at that moment. Imagine if I had not taken the call from Yashraj for  a fling that lasted exactly ten days! Anyway the next day I was at Yashraj doing two scenes. I got called back in three days. Later Adi Sir(Chopra) told me he had made up his mind immediately..”

In  the same 2010  interview  Ranveer Singh said he was  pleased he didn’t get a conventional romantic debut. “The story  in Band Baaja Baaraat  is terrific. And my character Bittu was so much fun for me to play because he’s  so far removed from my  own world. It was more than I could ever ask for.I was more than happy to be  a simple character in a  simple story. Not too many newcomers can dream of  a break like Band Baaja Baaraat, certainly not someone unconnected with  the film industry.”

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Catty  elements within the  industry had spread the rumour that his  father, a prosperous business man, had financed  the film. Confesses the young polite actor, “Yes, that hurt on several levels. Such ugly  rumours took away from my pleasure at being the first solo-hero to be launched by Yashraj. Yeah…it was upsetting . My father and my  family’s pride that I had made it on my own got blunted when it was said that they financed my debut film. It was like  taking away from my little achievement. I was upset more for my parents  than myself.  I was also upset for Yashraj. Did they need my father’s money to make a  film? The entire film industry knows Yashraj doesn’t need to do all this.It’s  absurd. They  don’t need anyone’s money to make  films. Certainly not my father’s.”

Ranveer maintained he was  “very  good friends” with co-star Anushka Sharma, though they bickered non-stop  like their characters in Band Baaja Baaraat. “She and I are  very good friends. How can I  change that truth just because it sounds clichéd? We came from two different schools of filmmaking. I’m a trained actor. She never attended any acting school. As a model she  had faced the camera before acting and had already done two films before Band Baaja Baaraat. She is a one-take actor. I believe in lots  of rehearsals. And that was very annoying for Anushka because her first take was the best. We had to reach a middleground before we could get along. In hindsight I  feel I was rehearsing  more than necessary because it was my first  film.I learnt from her to  be spontaneous. But  the fact that we  had to  be at loggerheads on screen was certainly helped by  our constant friction in the sets about our approach to acting.”

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   Thankful for  the  success, Ranveer in that  same  interview   hoped every newcomer gets a supportive co-star like Anushka As  for the rumours about  Ranveer and Anushka the  then-newcomer said, “I was too much into my work to even think  about those rumours. I just wanted to  perform well. That was my only concern. In fact I was casually dating a girl when that call from Yashraj changed my  life. I’ve never been in a  serious  relationship so far. And now  my career has just started. It feels cool. I had told my father  a long time ago that I’d be an actor. My dream has come true. But my  family is not used to the  gossip and  rumours.”

And to think Ranveer thought of changing his name  because there was already a Ranbir around. “I am glad I didn’t. This is my name. This is  my destiny. I’m just so  happy .”He’s signed for three films with Yashraj. “But it is non-exclusive. I was waiting for my first release and so was the industry. Now they know  I wasn’t signed because my father paid for my dream. Adi too has plans for me though I don’t know what they are. He loves playing poker with people.”

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 Ranveer Singh’s superstardom is some day going to be  a part of folklore . He  came in from the  outside and was considered  quite  a brash  loudmouthed  exhibitionist. One  extremely influential filmmaker  called him “Another Vivek Oberoi”.

“I wonder what Aditya Chopra had seen in him?” this eminently  successful filmmaker had wondered.

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 We now  know the answer:  the same  thing that Deepika Padukone saw in Ranveer.

The brashness and bravado hide  a personality that triumphs over  all cynicism. Ranveer is loud, but not shrill. As in singing,  in acting holding your pitch in the higher notes is a Himalayan task. Ranveer  resides on the highest notes  of  the musical mountain and still manages to be coherent  fluent and persuasive.

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Not an easy task considering  the  tonal inflexions obtainable to a soprano singer singer are denied  to actors  in our  film industry. But then , Ranveer doesn’t listen  to any songs that don’t play in his own head. He  is a child of caprice. He will take what he  wants without caring  about how it makes  him look to the outside world.

The operatic maestro Sanjay Leela Bhansali who has done three of  his most recent masterpieces  with Ranveer in the lead, says he is capable of a lot more.  “In all the three films I did with him  Ranveer  took me by surprise. As an actor he is constantly exploring, looking for new ways to express his  innermost fears and insecurities. He is always restless and  inquisitive while shooting. It is difficult to keep up with him. Every time we work together he  comes up with a  new language of  expression. I am pretty sure Ranveer has  much more to  offer as an actor.”

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It was  on the set of Bhansali’s films that love happened for Ranveer and Deepika Padukone. A  love that  is  yet to be acknowledged  in the public domain , only because, well, that’s the way the Lady wants  it. And Ranveer , as any of his female co-stars would tell you  , is enormously respectful  to  women .

Anushka Sharma who  co-starred with Ranveer in his  debut film Band Baja Baraat  couldn’t really come to terms with his brashness. But even she had only favourable things to say about Ranveer as  a co-star and  gentleman who is as  capable of pulling up a chair for a lady as he is off pulling it away from her.

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The  gentleman and the prankster are  the one  and  the  same. In spite of his self-confessed atrangi (multi-faced) personality we never need to wonder who the real Ranveer Singh is. He is all  of those colourful people he plays on screen, plus many more characters that he will play in the  future.

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