Actor Ranbir Kapoor turns 38 on Monday and to celebrate his big day, we are revisiting some of his best movies. It has been just 13 years since Ranbir made his Bollywood debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya in 2007 but in that short span, 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 beyond his years. His next release will be Ayan Mukherji’s Brahmastra with Alia Bhatt, unlike most of his films, this is also a genre that he has never explored before–fantasy. But his fans can breathe easy because Ranbir has almost never let them down with his performance.
Don’t believe us? Check out these five career-best performances of Ranbir Kapoor and do notice how different they are from one another.
We begin with perhaps the most wholesome and warm film Ranbir has ever been a part of. In this Anurag Basu directorial, Ranbir played a deaf and mute man who fails in love but wins at life with his kind heart and big personality. When his girlfriend gets married to another, he finds an unlikely companion in an autistic woman, played by Priyanka Chopra. Together, they strike a relationship that is adorable, affectionate and unnamed.
The genuine warmth that Ranbir gave to this role, made it extraordinary. Sure, Barfi got selfish sometimes, sassy sometimes, but at the core of it, he was always someone with deep care and empathy in his heart.
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Even the most confident among us sometimes need guidance. In Ayan Mukerji’s 2013 movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Ranbir played Kabir, the smart and sexy one who can have the world in the palm of his hands if he wanted to. Women swooned over him, and no dream was ever too distant. He travelled the world for what was his dream job and told himself that home is wherever his camera took him. But when true love struck his heart, all his ideas of the perfect life came crumbling down.
He realised the value of family and forgiveness, of contentment and a home. For someone else, Kabir’s life may induce jealously but Ranbir does a swell job of bringing out his doubts, his realisations, his loneliness and his regrets.
Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahaani
Ranbir played the lovesick loverboy who was always the loser in love, Prem, in Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahaani. However, despite all his bad luck in the matters of heart, Ranbir never allowed Prem to come across as pathetic. His girl loved someone else but Ranbir found ways to make sure he was still the most charismatic, funniest and romantic boy around.
This is one of the few romantic comedies that Ranbir has been a part of in his career and is also one of his earlier movies. Despite that, Ranbir hit the right balance between crazy and adorable in love.
Undoubtedly, Ranbir’s most intense performance so far has been Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar. Ranbir played Janardhan ‘Jordan’ Jakhar, a Delhi boy who dreams of being a rockstar. He gets a life changing, and frankly, quite a bad advice that to be the biggest artiste of his time, he needs to get his heart broken in love.
Inspired by the advice, Jordan tries with all his might and falls in love with Nargis Fakhri’s Heer. However, what the advice-giver never told him is that when the heart breaks, no amount of fame could ever patch it back up. It all seems futile, the music, the fans, the money because the pain of losing in love is just too overpowering.
Ranbir swims effortlessly through Janardhan to Jordan. He is excitable and also melancholic, hopeful in love and consumed with pain when it ends in a tragedy. Ranbir was equal measures enchanting and devastating in Rockstar.
Another one of Ranbir Kapoor’s best performances is courtesy Imtiaz Ali–Tamasha. While the film did not get much appreciation upon release, it has gained cult status over the years. Young men and women from urban landscapes have often seen themselves in Ved– a man whose mind wants to fly, away from the pressures and expectations of the world.
Ranbir was electric as Ved’s Corsica alter ego who takes only a couple of days to have Deepika Padukone’s Tara fall head over heels in love with him. She could not stop thinking about him for years but when she met the real Ved, he was so uncharismatically dull, devoid of passion that it took her just weeks to decide that she wants out of this relationship.
It is not easy to switch between the two personalities but Ranbir does it effectively enough that it invokes strong empathy from his viewers. This is testament to his skills as one of the best actors of his time in Hindi movies.
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