Agneepath, Prem Rog, Bobby: The BEST of Rishi Kapoor
'Acting is in their blood,' is an presumption attributed to most star kids. But few validate it like Rishi, son of legendary actor/filmmaker Raj Kapoor, has right from his debut in 1972.
Graduating from the chubby schoolboy of Mera Naam Joker to play a dashing young man the silver screen so anxiously awaited in Bobby, Kapoor followed it up with a spate of successful romances/drama in an era swept by the 'angry young man' wave, delivering one effortless performance after another that nobody complained even when it got monotonous.
But his underestimated skills came into their own and wowed all and sundry during his adventurous second innings as a character actor.
After a uninspired attempt (Aa Ab Laut Chalein) behind the camera, the new, better-than-ever RK sank his teeth into roles that showcased unknown facets of his artistry with films like Luck By Chance, Do Dooni Chaar, Agneepath, Student of the Year, Aurangzeb and, in all probability, last week's release D-Day where the 60-year-old portrays an underworld don modelled over Dawood Ibrahim.
In a career spanning over four decades and 130 movie titles, Rishi Kapoor's eclectic range, even if slightly delayed in coming across, is worth its money in gold.
We celebrate some of his best works so far.
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Image: Rishi Kapoor in D-Day
In this Mukul Anand reboot, Kapoor plays Rauf Lala, a character specially created for Karan Malhotra's new version.
With his kohl-lined eyes, contemptible behaviour and butchering tactics, Kapoor is a picture of unbelievable menace along with Sanjay Dutt's bald and beastly Kancha Cheena.
Image: Rishi Kapoor in Agneepath
Do Dooni Chaar
A far cry from the glamorous sweater sporting Ritchie Riches he so famously played in the 1980s, Kapoor slips into a middle-class teacher's routine life and hassles along with real-life better half Neetu Singh in the feel-good caper, Do Dooni Chaar.
It's the duo's deft conviction that imparts one of the best films of 2010 with credibility and character.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Aditi Vasudev, Neet Singh and Archit Krishna in Do Dooni Chaar
Rishi Kapoor plays a narcissistic version of himself in Ranjit Kapur's small-budget gem, which earned brownie points from most critics.
Chintu Ji, playing on the actor's popular nick name, works as a satire and makes up for its poor production values with a delightful performance from its leading man.
Image: Rishi Kapoor in Chintu Ji
Luck By Chance
Trust Rishi Kapoor to make the viewer both -- laugh and feel bad for him as the typically old-timer producer whose enthusiastic exterior conceals a vulnerable, snubbed has-been.
Zoya Akhtar's directorial debut has a lot of high points and Kapoor's Tenenbaumesque wig sporting Rommy Rolly spewing chuckle-worthy lines like 'She's a crocodile in a chiffon sari' is right up there.
Image: Rishi Kapoor in Luck By Chance
Rajkumar Santoshi's hard-hitting Damini highlights the prowess of Meenakshi Seshadri's emotionality and Sunny Deol's voluble histrionics but often ignores Kapoor's contribution.
The latter effectively conveys the guilt and plight of a man caught between protecting his family and standing up for his wife without feeling the need to get over dramatic.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Meenakshi Seshadri in Damini
He starts out by playing the usual romantic lover boy serenading Sridevi with unchecked exuberance amidst parental opposition and class barriers until an unfortunate accident leaves him immobile.
The transition from cynical and brooding to determined-to-get-better to heartbreaking realisations relies on RK's perfectly-timed instincts.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Sridevi in Chandni
With K Vishwanath's super hit musical co-starring Jaya Prada, Rishi Kapoor turned into the memorable 'Dafliwala,' whose moves he recreated during the Radha track in Student of the Year.
Playing the compassionate, encouraging beau to a mute girl comes easy to the actor in this remake of Telugu drama, Siri Siri Muvva.
Image: Rishi Kapoor in Sargam
Rishi Kapoor's aura radiates an inherent goodness, which makes him a perfect candidate for roles that required refinement, grace and virtue. Who could recognise this quality better than his own father?
In Raj Kapoor's Prem Rog, which tackles with the subject of remarriage of widows, RK Jr plays the bright new face of change and revolution.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Padmini Kolhapure in Prem Rog
Subhash Ghai's reincarnation drama may have failed at the box-office but has acquired a cult status over the years.
And Laxmikant Pyarelal's stunning soundtrack and Kapoor's blazing intensity as raging pop star have a lot to do with it.
Image: Rishi Kapoor in Karz
Amar Akbar Anthony
If Amitabh Bachchan rocked the Manmohan Desai show with his infectious antics as the drunk or droll Anthony Gonsalves, Rishi Kapoor raised the bar for charm with his delivery as Akbar Ilahabadi.
Remember his energetic qawaali in Parda hai parda, hilarious protests in Tayeb Ali pyaar ka dushman and dynamic pleas in Shirdiwale Saibaba?
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna in Amar Akbar Anthony
The Rishi Kapoor-Neetu Singh unfailingly features in every favourite screen jodi list. And with good reason.
They make an impact even in movies that are not entirely about them.
In Yash Chopra's romance spanning two generations, the actor exudes passionate energy as a youngster who loves his girlfriend (Singh) enough to leave everything behind to comfort her from the sidelines as she pursues her newly discovered family.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Neetu Singh in Kabhi Kabhie
In H S Rawail's retelling of the romantic legend, Kapoor and Ranjeeta play the star-crossed lovers Laila Majnu with élan.
The lilting soundtrack by Madan Mohan and Kapoor's efficiency at conveying the untainted affections of a man consumed by his love till eternal doom ensured the film's box-office draw.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Ranjeeta Kaur in Laila Majnu
Khel Khel Mein/Rafoo Chakkar
Both Khel Khel Mein and Rafoor Chakkar came out in the same year and paired him opposite Neetu Singh.
While one's a murder mystery with a surprise twist in the climax, the other's a Some Like It Hot rip-off with our man in an amusing drag act for majority of the film.
This is RK-themed popcorn at its best.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Neetu Singh in Khel Khel Mein (left) and in Rafoo Chakkar
Dimple Kapadia captivated the nation with her unaffected demeanour.
But Rishi Kapoor is the chosen one she offers her hand in friendship.
Kapoor's grown-up debut, directed by his father, gifted the industry a sparkling star, an exceptional actor and a heartthrob every debutant henceforth would aspire for.
Image: Rishi Kapoor with Dimple Kapadia in Bobby
Mera Naam Joker
An adolescent school boy inspired by his father's profession as clown and coping with classroom bullies falls in love with his teacher and everything changes. Forever.
Extraordinarily sensitive and kind, Rishi Kapoor breaks your heart with his portrayal of young Raju (Raj Kapoor) in Mera Naam Joker.
A National Award is the least compensation he could be offered.
Image: Rishi Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker