Ranveer Singh: Can Gully Boy Enter Life In Fast Lane?

| Updated: 06 May, 2022 5:27 pm IST

BENGALURU: In 2009, Karan Johar was in the office of Yash Raj Films to meet his best friend Aditya Chopra. During their interaction in the cafeteria, Chopra, an ace producer and director, told Johar to look at an energetic young man playing table tennis. He informed him that this chap would be making his Bollywood debut in his next movie.

Johar, an uber successful producer and director in his own right, had misgivings about the young man after looking at him. But Chopra told him to look at the rushes of his audition before passing his verdict. In his own words, Johar was blown away after looking at his audition and they both agreed that this man had the potential to become a monumental star.

‘Band Baaja Baaraat’, directed by Maneesh Sharma, opened to glowing reviews in 2010 and catapulted Ranveer Singh to the global limelight. Though not a blockbuster at the box office, it did reasonably well and, moreover, Ranveer fetched terrific applause for his acting chops.

There is an old axiom in Bollywood that when an actor refuses a project, he’s creating a competitor. In 2010, the three Khans – Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir – were still the presiding deities and lording over the public conscience. Among the young actors, Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan were hailed as the next superstars.

‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ was first offered to Ranbir who declined the offer owing to some issues with the script. That’s how Ranveer came into the picture and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

‘Climb to stardom’

Ranveer’s next release ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’, with the same director, in 2011 failed to make a mark at the ticket counters and bombed. In 2013, he starred in the critically acclaimed ‘Lootera’, which proved a flop, but cemented his reputation as a stellar performer. However, he was slalomed to the ‘A’ category of stars with ‘Ram Leela’, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, which was released in the same year and proved a bonafide hit. Even more than the success, his explosive performance won him rave reviews and fortified his position as a bankable star.

In the same year, 2013, his rival Ranbir whipped out a huge blockbuster ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’ but also copped a disaster called ‘Besharam’. Imran, the nephew of Aamir Khan, was banished to obscurity by that time.

‘Bond with Bhansali’

After the success of ‘Ram Leela’, Ranveer became a hot property in Bollywood circles, more so because of his potential than success, and he received a slew of offers. In 2014, both his releases – ‘Gunday’ and ‘Kill Dill’ – came a cropper at turnstiles and pegged him back. It was also a time when Varun Dhawan, who made his debut in 2012 with ‘Student Of The Year’, became a young sensation. Despite the beating his films took in 2014, Ranveer’s reputation as a performer remained unsullied.

In 2015, once again, Bhansali’s ‘Bajirao Mastani’ propelled him to glory. It dispelled all the reservations about his acting and stardom. It became evident that Ranveer strikes gold when handed a fine script and meaty role. Though it also spawned murmurs that Ranveer usually comes good only in Bhansali movies. This notion got more pronounced with the debacle of ‘Befikre’ in 2016, which was directed by his mentor Aditya Chopra.

Once again, Bhansali towed him out of troubled waters in 2018 with ‘Padmaavat’ which proved a blockbuster despite copping a barrage of controversies. ‘Padmaavat’ notched up Rs 280 crore nett in India though it didn’t release in some major circuits such as Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

Fortuitously, on the sets of Bhansali’s ‘ram Leela’, the relationship between him and Deepika Padukone blossomed which eventually culminated in a marriage.

The success of ‘Padmavat’, however, lent credence to murmurs that Ranveer only excels in Bhansali movies.

‘A versatile performer’

On December 30, Rohit Shetty’s ‘Simmba’, starring Ranveer, hit the screens and torpedoed all the myths about Ranveer. For the first time, Ranveer starred in an action entertainer and scorched the silver screen with gusto. He startled the audience and the trade with his makeover as the film went on to become a huge blockbuster.

Unlike his contemporaries, Ranveer proved that he can pull off ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ and ‘Simbaa’ with equal aplomb. Ranbir, though a fine actor, has never been able to carry a mass entertainer.

With Joya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’ in 2019, Ranveer evinced that he has the rare quality to please the classes as well as the masses. He’s a rare young actor who has the charisma to pull in the masses into the theatres and also the heft and acumen to wow the critics & discerning viewers.

‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’

Though Ranveer’s last movie ‘83’ garnered splendid reviews it couldn’t cut the mustard at the box office. One of the reasons is lockdown restrictions in certain circuits. Now his next venture ‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’, produced by Aditya Chopra, is up for release. Once again, Ranveer is essaying a diametrically different role than his past endeavours. His diligence to get into the skin of the character is visible in the trailer and songs.

Irrespective of the fate of the movie at the box office, Ranveer is here to entertain the audience for at least a couple of more decades – on and off the screen.

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