From playing chocolate boy in 'Saawariya' to essaying flawed 'Sanju': Evolution of Ranbir Kapoor in Bollywood

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Posters of Ranbir Kapoor's films
Posters of Ranbir Kapoor's films

New Delhi [India], September 27 (ANI): One of the most bankable stars in Bollywood, Ranbir Kapoor, who will be turning 39 on Tuesday, is a name that has time and again engaged audiences in his work due to his striking screen presence, stellar performances, and impeccable acting chops.

In a career spanning over 14 years, Ranbir, the grandson of the Indian film industry's 'Greatest Showman' Raj Kapoor and son of late Rishi Kapoor, has carved his niche as an actor with his diverse character choices.

He made his Bollywood debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Saawariya' in 2007 and since then he has given his fans an expansive range of performances.

From lover boy to a man ruined in love, from a dream chaser to one suffocated under the burdens of society, Ranbir has played all his characters with excellence. As he turns a year older, here is a look at some popular films that bear testimony to his talent.

'Wake Up Sid' (2009)

A cult film in its own right, this coming-of-age drama featured Ranbir in the role of an entitled, spoiled rich brat who finds his own feet and deals with adulting. This movie is literally about him "waking up" and taking control of his life. It made a solid impact with its relatable plot and effective presentation.

Co-starring Konkona Sensharma, Ayan Mukherjee's directorial debut 'Wake Up Sid' won many hearts thanks to Ranbir and Konkona's ineffable chemistry. The film emerged as a sleeper hit at the box office while receiving rave reviews from critics.

'Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year' (2009)

Though this comedy-drama didn't work commercially, it sure did establish Ranbir's versatility as an actor. Ranbir as Harpreet Singh Bedi was outstanding as he portrayed a dogged salesman who runs a covert computer assembly and service company within a bigger one.

Penned by Jaideep Sahni and helmed by Shimit Amit, it remains one of Ranbir's most memorable performances and brought him praise for his earnest acting.

'Raajneeti' (2010)

Ranbir spiced his career by doing a political drama focused on the life of a specific family, 'Raajneeti', which was an absolutely performance-driven film. Even in a cast filled with some amazing actors, Ranbir managed to stand out by putting in a restrained performance that was a far cry from the cute, romantic characters that he had earlier played.

He played the character of a young politician in the movie, who is initially studying abroad and has no political aspirations but eventually gets sucked into the political rivalry between the families. Playing such a character is not an easy task but, the actor was able to bring out some shades of grey hidden in the role.

This can be considered as the first serious film for Ranbir and he definitely made everyone take notice of him. The multi-starrer was directed by Prakash Jha and also starred Ajay Devgn, Katrina Kaif, and Arjun Rampal.

'Rockstar' (2011)

This was the first collaboration of Ranbir and Imitiaz Ali. Ranbir breathed life into the complicated character of Jordan who was an aspiring rockstar. The lovestruck musician falls in love and experiences heartbreak which brings him the pain that he was told is required to sing soulful songs that seem to emanate straight from the heart.

He portrayed various shades of emotions and performed like a real rockstar bagging several awards for his outstanding performance in the film. The movie also featured debutant actor Nargis Fakri.

'Barfi!' (2012)

Easily one of Ranbir's most lauded and loved roles, 'Barfi!' had him playing the character of a deaf and mute boy in Darjeeling, alongside Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D'cruz. Gorgeously shot by Ravi Varman under the direction of Anurag Basu, the movie despite allegations of plagiarism continues to shine because of its leading man.

Nailing the most challenging role in his career, Ranbir outdid himself as a man who refuses to be limited by his disabilities and takes the audience on an emotional joy ride.

'Tamasha' (2015)

Imitiaz and Ranbir collaborated once again for this film and the movie also featured Deepika Padukone. Ranbir's character in it was helpful for many people who were trying to find themselves in the bust robotic lives.

Referred to as a masterpiece by many of the actor's and director's fans. Much like Ved, the character played by Ranbir in the film, people were so inspired by the movie that some even decided to quit their jobs and follow their passion. Though the movie got mixed reviews from critics, they widely praised the performances of lead actors but criticized the unsatisfactory togetherness of the plot.

'Sanju' (2018)

After a brief lull, Ranbir Kapoor bounced back in 2018 with a career-defining performance in Raj Kumar Hirani's 'Sanju' which was based on controversial actor Sanjay Dutt's life. This was Ranbir's first biopic and though it was another challenging role for him, his enthralling performance smashed box- office records.

It revolved around difficult chapters of Dutt's life and hit the right notes with its effective presentation. From getting the mannerism of Dutt to transforming physically to suit his role, Ranbir did a splendid job in playing the troubled star. 'Sanju' got an amazing response and Ranbir even bagged the Filmfare award of the Best Actor for the film.

Apart from these, a special mention is needed for films like 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' and 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' which along with stellar performances from its lead cast, which included Ranbir, were hailed for their mix of foot-tapping and soulful musical tracks that are even today listened to.

While 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil' which was the story of a distraught one-sided lover, featured songs like 'Buleya', 'Channa Mereya', 'The Breakup Song' and its title track along with many others, 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani' was the exhilarating and terrifying journey of four characters as they navigate through their youth, and had songs like 'Kabira', 'Badtameez Dil', 'Ilahi' and 'Dilliwaali Girlfriend'.

His future projects include Karan Malhotra's directorial 'Shamshera', which is said to be a dacoit drama set in the 19th century. It will chronicle the story of a dacoit tribe fighting for their right and independence from the British.

He will also be seen in Luv Ranjan's next directorial venture opposite Shraddha Kapoor and 'Brahmastra' which features Alia Bhatt and Amitabh Bachchan.

Today, after over a decade in the film industry, Ranbir has established his credentials as one of Bollywood's most talented leading men. Undoubtedly, he has given several big hits in his career so far which are worth watching and many more are still to come.

It is not easy to switch between the two personalities but Ranbir does it effectively enough that it invokes strong empathy from his viewers, hence the actor gets appreciation for his work from critics and audiences even for flops films. This is a testament to his skills as one of the best actors of his time in Hindi movies. (ANI)

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