From ‘Saawariya’ to ‘Tamasha’: The rise and fall of Ranbir Kapoor

Ranbir Kapoor turns 33

There’s something about Ranbir Kapoor that entices and weaves a magic. It’s magic only that even after a disappointment at Box Office, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Saawariya’ as his Bollywood debut, he was widely acclaimed and hugely praised for his acting repertoire and screen presence.

Since then, Ranbir Kapoor has journeyed through the highs and lows of his film career and has done it with elan. He was hailed as the next superstar, and most likely the next Shah Rukh Khan of Bollywood, as soon as ‘Saawariya’ released. Not only did his towel-dropping act in the song ‘Jabse Tere Naine Mere Nainon Se Laage Re’ from the movie raise some eyebrows, but also catapulted him overnight to stardom of a different kind; the one where girls swoon over you, hate your girlfriend and want to marry you, despite that girlfriend.

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And this success didn’t come at much of a cost. Ranbir was once quoted as saying that he deliberately wanted to assist Sanjay Leela Bhansali while he was helming Rani Mukerji and Amitabh Bachchan starrer ‘Black’, so that he comes to like him enough to cast him in his next venture. What he thought, happened and the rest, as they say, is history.

His next release ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’, a total cliched plot, worked only due to Ranbir. It reaffirmed his earlier success and made a permanent place for him in the minds and hearts of cine-goers. Ranbir’s affable charm worked once again and gave him another film to boast about. His non chalant playboy act earned him brownie points in the eyes of the critics.

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Ranbir’s third movie and perhaps the one that gave the biggest push to his career was Ayan Mukerji’s directorial ‘Wake Up Sid’. This coming-of-age drama saw Ranbir Kapoor working with the talented actress Konkona Sen Sharma and essaying a character that had various shades to itself.

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Ranbir nailed each one of them to perfection and gave us a memorable piece of work. His out-and-out comic outing in Rajkumar Santoshi’s ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani’ also proved to be a good bet.

Another milestone in Ranbir’s career came with Shimit Amin’s ‘Rocket Singh: Salesman of The Year’ for which he was awarded with Critics’ Best Actor at many award events. He dressed as a sardar in the movie, a character which most actors are afraid to take up. But Ranbir Kapoor is known for always doing character that may seem way out of his league, and surprising even the naysayers in the process.

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Another risk in Ranbir’s career was the big budget political ensemble ‘Raajneeti’ directed by Prakash Jha. Ranbir was seen as a serious, sincere and ambitious youth in the movie, who gives up his dreams and even the love of his life to fulfil his duties as the heir to a political family. He was equally effective as the suicidal Hero in ‘Anjaana Anjaani’.

But what formed the pinnacle of his film career was Imtiaz Ali’s directorial ‘Rockstar’. The emotionally conflicted Janardhan ‘Jordan’ Jakhar couldn’t be played by anybody better. The succeeding movie in the next year ‘Barfi!’, which saw the talented actor played a mute and deaf titular role, was almost a stamp of authentication on Ranbir’s supremacy as an actor, and more than that as the next superstar.

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Ranbir Kapoor made a hattrick of successful films with 2012’s ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, in which he starred opposite his ex-girlfriend Deepika Padukone. They might have been lovers in the past, but their current awkward situation never played spoilsport in their equation on screen. The chemistry between the two just oozed out of every frame in the movie, and hence the movie became one of highest grossers of the year, despite the average-to-good reviews.

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But as is always said about life and its practices that it’s almost like a sinusoidal wave and if there are crests, there are bound to be troughs. Ranbir’s smooth sailing career hit a rough patch, come 2013.

Ranbir’s solo outing opposite debutante Pallavi Sharda by the name of ‘Besharam’ only proved to be a nightmare in his career. While some called it ‘Kapoor’s Hall Of Shame’, others termed it as his worst mistake. The movie also starred his parents and veteran actors Neetu and Rishi Kapoor.

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In 2014, after a one-year long absence from the silver screen, all Ranbir’s fans wanted was another hit movie in his name. That year’s February release ‘Roy’, co-featuring Arjun Rampal and Jacqueline Fernandez, proved to be a big disappointment at the Box Office, despite a good opening day figure. Even the critics didn’t seem to like the movie much.

One of the most anticipated movies of this year ‘Bombay Velvet’, directed by Anurag Kashyap, in which he starred opposite Anushka Sharma failed miserably at the Box Office with collections digressing from bad to worse. Many blamed the length, others the monotony in the whole subject, but Ranbir Kapoor says, “It seems that I did less promotion for ‘Bombay Velvet’ but that is not the case. While ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ had songs and, so it worked.”

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The reason may sound vile for most, but Ranbir Kapoor might have a point to make. ‘Bombay Velvet’ had all the makings of a hit movie, but when even the mighty Sun get eclipsed for a while every day, Ranbir had to make peace the failure.

It’s also rightly said that it’s only during an eclipse that the man in the Moon finds a place in the Sun. Ranbir’s next two movies ‘Tamasha’ opposite Deepika Padukone is all set to release on November 27 and ‘Jagga Jasoos’ opposite Katrina Kaif is also in post production stage.

‘Tamasha’s trailer has recently been released and has been getting good reviews. Though the movie eerily reminds us of the Ranbir and Deepika from ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, their chemistry and the fact that it’s helmed by Imtiaz Ali has raised up the stakes of the movie. Same is the case with the Katrina Kaif starrer. Not only does the movie reunite Ranbir with his girlfriend, but also is helmed by ‘Barfi!’ director Anurag Basu.

The pairs of Ranbir-Imtiaz and Ranbir-Anurag worked magic in ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Barfi!’ respectively, and hence can be expected to recreate the wonder again. He is currently shooting for Karan Johar’s ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ in London.

On being prodded about earlier being hailed the next superstar, and now somewhat losing on it, Ranbir recently said, “I have been hearing this from the last several years. I hope ‘Tamasha’ (his upcoming film) reinstates that faith. We all want to do good work, do different and exciting films and roles.”

And if everything goes well, ‘Tamasha’ might just be it. He was quoted as saying, “For me, ‘Tamasha’ is very special, to come with this team together. And I really hope that the people give the film a chance in the theatres and they enjoy the film. It’s the second film with Imtiaz and second film with Sajid Nadiadwala, my third film with Deepika and my eleventh film with Siddharth Roy Kapur (UTV Motion Pictures). So I’m really excited to work with this team.”

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Carrying forward the legacy of the Kapoor clan, Ranbir Kapoor is just an enigmatic actor as the other Kapoors are, or maybe more. And like our most favourite cricketers go out of form, Ranbir is also a bit on the loose. A li’l luck, a li’l magic is all he needs to steer away from the slump he is in.

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As the magnanimous actor turns 33 today, we wish him a very happy birthday and happier times ahead. And until ‘Tamasha’ releases, let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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From ‘Saawariya’ to ‘Tamasha’: The rise and fall of Ranbir Kapoor

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