Ranbir Kapoor has slowly inched his way closer to the Bollywood A-list in the last eight years. In this piece we chart his rise from his first movie, and also what his colleagues say about him.
Fame is fickle, especially the Bollywood kind. But for almost two decades now, the Khans have ruled the Hindi cinema industry. Yes, there have been times when Abhishek Bachchan had a purple patch, and yes, every once in a while Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn come to the party, but the real A-list stars, the big guns, have always been the Khans – Salman Shahrukh and Aamir.
But now, rather quietly, Ranbir Kapoor has been getting the accolades of his peers. First Anupan Kher comes out and says that he is the best actor among the younger brigade. Then Aamir Khan went on Karan Johar’s show, Koffee with Karan, and said, ‘Whenever I see him, I wonder what he is doing that I am not. He’s that good.’
After making no more than a small splash with his debut, Saawariya, in 2007, Ranbir has gone from strength to strength, showing rare maturity with his choice of movies. He appeared in the multi-starring Rajneeti which adapted the story of the Mahabharata to modern Indian politics. Then he starred in Barfi, playing a deaf and mute character to perfection. In Wake Up Sid he became a youngster struggling to find meaning and direction in life In Rockstar he played the angst-ridden lover.
He has been building a body of work that is slowly drawing the admiration from his colleagues. Recently, Aishwarya Rai also recalled the time she first met him, as a teenager on the sets of Aa Ab Laut Chalen. She recalls that films had been in his blood even back then. ‘He knew exactly how it would roll, and it pretty much has,’ she said.
At thirty, he is probably entering his most productive phase. Here’s hoping that he won’t fizzle out, and he will become the next darling of Bollywood.


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