Ranbir Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor

Check the lifetime collections of the last five Ranbir Kapoor films: Barfi! (2012)—Rs. 120 crore plus; Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)—Rs 188 cr. plus: and then the plummeting graph of Besharam (2013)—Rs 59 cr., Roy (2015)—Rs 44 cr. and now Bombay Velvet—a possible optimistic lifetime of Rs 25 cr.

Here’s a check-list of his earlier lead movies: Ranbir started with Saawariya (2007)—a flop, Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008)—a tepid success, three releases in 2009—the break-even (in some centers) Wake Up Sid!, the hit Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and the critically acclaimed flop Rocket Singh—Salesman Of The Year. In 2010, it was the ensemble hit Raajneeti and the flop Anjaana Anjaani for him, followed by the expensive 2011 Rockstar, a flop that, despite hype, stopped at Rs 62 cr..

One can safely assess therefore that it is only Ranbir’s star pedigree and acting brilliance that saw him through the pre-Barfi times, when he had only two hits of eight—one of which also had Ajay Devgn and Nana Patekar as draws—with two more tepid successes. Of course, he was intensely professional and well-behaved, explaining his high repeat value for filmmakers as varied as Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar and even Imtiaz Ali.

But we do not really fathom where this hugely talented and immensely personable actor acquired such weird preferences in films and scripts. Was it his confused (in effect) education in cinema, of Raj Kapoor, Indian movies and his formal training in two schools in USA?

At one stage, his father Rishi Kapoor, who emulated the Kapoor family tradition of never interfering in their children’s work, is said to have told a scribe, “I personally do not agree with the kind of films Ranbir is doing. At this rate, I hope that he does not become today’s Amol Palekar!” This despite the fierce and just fatherly pride in his son’s performance in Wake Up Sid!. Yes, Rishi assessed his son’s voluminous talent perfectly, while lamenting on his choices!

Ranbir’s frequent claim was that his approach to work and scripts was all his own, and that he never carried the Kapoor baggage. At the time of YJHD, he had told me, “We are media-made stars put on a pedestal, whereas they are super-stars on whose films we grew up. This is why my generation has to tread a different path.”

At the same time, he also said, “Having said that, I want at some time to be the biggest star in this industry and make my talent noticed as an actor too!”

This is where Ranbir’s approach, perhaps, has been a bit wonky. His goals are antithetic to his beliefs and to what he does—and this is what he needs to correct—pronto, before it is too late. He’s like a man travelling towards Kerala from Mumbai when his goal is to reach Kashmir!

Ranbir’s talent has been more than noticed throughout, and as a star, Roy was thus sold on his name (despite his special appearance) and got a good initial only from his presence. So Ranbir is mistaken on another point: he is a star, not some ephemeral rockstar but a born star, waiting for superstardom to happen to him. He may not be yet in the Khan league, but 15 years later, we would rather see him there than anyone else who is around now!

And I sincerely feel that someone should sit him down and calmly inform him that his generation of stars do not have to tread a different path—Hindi cinema will always remain essentially the same, though the details may change with eras. And so will Hindi film stars—especially with strong genetics like his.

We do not like watching you in kitsch, Ranbir, my boy! You are a man now, so please start moving towards your deserved (and desired) position. Please go where you rightly belong—to the hierarchy of super-stars who can win a Phalke down the line.

– Rajiv Vijayakar, a Senior Journalist, Film & Music Critic and Historian for Hindi cinema and Film Music is also an Author and Twice Jury Member at 58th and 62nd National Film Awards.

Rajiv Vijayakar tweets @rajivvijayakar

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16 COMMENTS

  1. 2007 to 2015 already 8 yeas in business. Had he destined to be a super star like Khan trio, it would had happened by now (with in 8 years) But I am afraid Ranbir Kapoor will remain mere a star, not a super star. Talent alone cannot make a super star. Example: Nasir Uddin Shah, Monoj Bajpai, Irfan Khan all are super talented actors but not superstars. Bechara Ranbir needs luck.

  2. What rubbish… This article is bullshit. What do you then want Ranbir to do if you want to see him in that “Superstar” image? Should he stop doin meaningful movies and start doing masala potboilers like the SRKs and Sallus of our industry? Well, I dont think so. I totally respect the kind of diverse films he’s been doing. I personally loved Bombay Velvet even. Its just that he’s going through a low phase but I’m pretty sure he’ll bounce back with his upcoming releases. Its not the actors who must stop doing kitsch and “different” films… Its us who must stop watching seen-that-a-lot-before kind of movies that our so-called Superstar Khans n Kumars star in!

    • My dear, how do you think Ranbir is only doing meaningful films? Yah Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bachana Ae Haseeno, Anjaana Anjaani, Roy, Besharam all these movies were masala films. You may personally liked Bombay Velvet but mass did not. You alone can not make him Super Star but mass can and that is our point. He has to have luck to be liked by mass.

  3. Ranbir exists in bollywood only bciz of hus gfs.And koimoi is saying that one day he will be bigger than 3 khans & Hrithik.Hahaha…Koimoi it seems u r a fan of Ranbir kapoor.That’s y u r saying this.
    Tell ranbir to give a hit without Deepika ,katrina and without any cheap publicity. Ranbir is just a media created star. In 5-6yrs Varun,Sid, Ranveer Singh,Shahid will cross ranbir .
    Ranbir should be kicked out from bollywood @Koimoi

  4. Ranveer is good actor film choice is. Very bad n media say next srk ghanta
    King ek hi hota hai srk is the king of bollywood

  5. I am shocked to see that Rockstar is mentioned Flop.how???.
    Rockstar was the best film he ever did with brilliant story and performance for which he received all award shows best actor award..please clear your wrong perception.. 2011- 62 crore is now 150 cr equal.. Prices has hiked for everything in last 4 years and now people are earning more thus spending also more…

  6. Movie not done well not his fault. He should pay attention on his choice. He has the potential to comeback with a huge hit.

  7. Need a better script to work out. pls be selective to select the script so u can b for others not urselfs.
    identify ur lvl and star hirarchy …luck is not all along
    ……………………….

  8. Guy’s
    Look at Ranbir singh………… forget Ranbir kapoor he has big name behind him….. except Berfi and also he can’t without The gorgeous Priyanka…………

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