One of the most bankable stars in Bollywood, Ranbir Kapoor, who turned 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.
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.
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.
Easily one of Ranbir’s most lauded and loved roles, ‘Barfi!’ had him playing the character of a hearing-and-speech-impaired 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.
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.
It’s referred to as a masterpiece by many of the actor’s and director’s fans.
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. From getting the mannerism of Dutt to transforming physically to suit his role, Ranbir did a splendid job in playing the troubled star.
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.
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.