The year was 2010. Director Maneesh Sharma’s debut film released. The male protagonist was a complete newcomer. The industry biggies and the audience expected the least from the film, owing to the fact that there was no big name associated with the film, rather it had a “not-so-good-looking hero” against the conventional Bollywood standards. Surprisingly, the film took the industry by a storm within a week of its release and became an instant acme of YRF movies. The film is Band Baaja Baaraat. Needless to say, the future of B’Town, Ranveer Singh, was in the making.
Bittoo Sharma’s winning Janakpuri lingo made him pronounce business as “binness” and court as corrat. He had family owned sugarcane fields in Saharanpur. He referred to flirting as line maarna and a one night stand with the heroine a “kaand”. He uttered (mostly baloney) with his mouth stuffed with bread pakoras, and sweared by bread pakore ki kasam. He was far from perfect. Yet, when the film released, he made you sit up and take notice. No sooner did BBB release than offers started pouring in. And today, the same Bittoo Sharma, alias Ranveer Singh – as Ricky, Varun and now, Ram – is just a few steps away from reaching the pinnacle of perfection.
The Bandra Boy, who has got the gift of the gab, always dreamt of becoming a Bollywood hero and often enacted out scenes from Hum and QSQT during family gatherings. Govinda and Anil Kapoor, Singh says, had been his favourites. During the auditions for BBB, he danced to My name is Lakhan, much to everyone’s surprise. Vaibhavi Merchant, the choreographer of BBB even compared his moves to that of a street smart savvy’s. But he has proved that his energy and moves and charm is unbeatable when the music starts playing. He had girls drooling over him when he danced his heart out and cast fine spells of some quintessentially ‘desi’ charm in Ainvayi Ainvayi, Dum Dum and the more recent Tattad Tattad, where a girl is seen to swoon seeing this debonair showing some yummy biceps.
Indeed, Singh had proved his versatility with merely three films. He had proved his mettle with his very first film. He had raised his own bar. Very few debut performances scream such flawlessness. Today, he stands as one of the best among the young lot – one who can make you laugh, make you smile, make you shed all your etiquette and dance to his moves, make you hoot for him and the next moment, he can make you all mushy merely with his honesty and humility as an actor that is enough to convince you.
He has an impish charm. He’s an endearing and adorable rogue. He has that in him to make you root for him even when he plays the anti-hero. Have a look at Ricky Bahl, or Varun Srivastav. He dumps his lady love, breaks their hearts and yet, you fall for him. He’s impeccably flawed. His eyes speak a potpourri of emotions. He has the talent and skill to convince and enthrall his lady love and his audience alike into believing him merely through his eyes. I shall throw some light on one of the scenes of Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl where he establishes his bravura as an actor merely through his pairs of eloquent eyes…
The stratagem to con the con is unleashed before Ricky’s eyes. He overhears the four ladies hatching a plan against him to extricate their money from him. He learns that Ishika Desai with whom he has genuinely fallen in love with is actually doing him. He silently walks to the beach.
It is dawn, the sun has just risen. There’s a wide emptiness and quietude prevailing over the place – only Ricky, the sun and the sea, whose enormity is inexplicable. He (Ricky) seats himself on the steps of the beach shack and looks at the sea with a fixed gaze. Let down and deceived, he looks at the sun and the brightly ardoured sky. It’s painted a mild orange. Orange – the synonym for emotion and passion. His white apparel complements the scene appropriately. The scene symbolically implies a stark contrast between ardent emotions and subtle passion that defines the then present state of his mind
The camera frames his face in a close-up and then cuts to a wide shot. The silhouette of Ricky had been beautifully brought out amidst the melancholia and eternity melded together with sheer diligence. The cinematography vivifies the vista. The backdrop depicting deceit and desolation is brilliantly accentuated.
The camera comes closer and we see Mr. Charmer with eyes wet seem to speak an eclectic blend of emotions. He looks calm and composed and at the same time, disillusioned and deceived with a tinge of realization and repent perhaps. Perhaps many thoughts are muddling up in his mind. Yet he looks blank. At least, his eyes say so.
The scene is stupendous, brilliant; awe-inspiring and it sums up to one word – the ‘best’. The scene projects Ranveer’s impeccable capacity and talent as an actor to communicate such fervent feelings merely through his eyes. Through his eyes, we get to see the simplicity, innocence and transparency that his heart carries which otherwise is masked by a ‘cool, calculated, unemotional’ exterior.
Even as Varun Srivastav, he just let his eyes do the talking with his lady love. Lootera took us back to those days when stolen glances played a pivotal part in accentuating a love saga. When Varun and his Pakhi met for the first time, he let his helpless and pain-stricken eyes do the talking. When he introduced himself to her, he let his eyes speak. He let his eyes keep a fized gaze on her, and his gaze followed her. He let his eyes showcase his anger, his love, his frustration, his fear, his vulnerability, his sorrow. The scene where Pakhi and Varun are sitting beside a pond and is engaged in a fervent conversation has left an indelible impression deep within us.
For a moment, your heart compels you to fall in love with this guy, to get lost looking at his eyes, to feel in his profound emollient feelings. And true to his epithet, he’s successful in bewitching us. But there lies a difference. This time, he mesmerizes us with his magical wand – his capability as an actor. However, now he is no longer an actor, he’s now the guy just like you or I – with a slightly different trait or rather call his ‘forte’ – that of charming others by his magical appeal and charisma. But he never allows his emotions and the scene to turn OTT; he never exposes his thoughts, his intentions; he indulges in self-restraint – that’s what holds us to the edge of our seats. Our mind doubts if we should start feeling for him. At the end, however, we end up falling for him and his charisma; for his genuineness or may be his skilled pretence. But as long as the Con Man or the Lootera is Ranveer Singh, we don’t mind loving and admiring him, or even being conned by him!!!
Ranveer Singh defies the conventional Bollywood actor. He’s the blue-eyed boy of many directors today. He had made it on his own, after prolonged period of struggle, hard work, patience, resilience, tenacity and perseverance. Directors say that with Ranveer, nothing can go wrong. Critics say that Ranveer is a phenomenon. Fans say “We Love You”. He embodies humility, inspiration and warmth. Funky is the new classy, Ranveer taught us. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s out-spoken. He’s hyper-energetic. He’s self-obsessed. He’s never scared of speaking his heart out. These make him all the more adorable. These make him all the more real. Ranveer is a rising star and yet a next door Bandra boy, who loves rapping, paradigmatic Bollywood numbers and metal rock, chocolates, desi Chinese cuisine, Madhuri Dixit, quintessential Bollywood films; who’s living his dream and has taught thousand others that no dream is unfeasible.
Good luck to him for all his future endeavours. He’s here to stay. We are with you Ranveer, soar high up and take on the industry.
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