Ranbir Kapoor, Star on the Ascendant
Rediff.com's special Year-End series continues... the final part of the biggest Change-Makers in Bollywood in 2013.
Because: With his charm and conventional good looks he could have been the ultimate romantic hero, but Ranbir Kapoor is not one to be cast into a mold.
Be it Wake Up Sid, Barfi!, Raajneeti or Rockstar, he has displayed immense range and bagged hit after hit.
2013's Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani -- the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film so far -- proved he is well on his way to creating a legacy.
-- By Anurag Basu
Ranbir Kapoor became a game changer after Imtiaz Ali's Rockstar and Rocket Singh, which was released even earlier. This has continued with Barfi! and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani this year.
Ranbir's film choices have been strikingly different, and as a result he has become the first choice for different and new scripts.
Any director who wants to experiment while telling a story will consider casting Ranbir first and foremost because he will understand the demands of the script.
No other actor from his generation enjoys that, so every other actor becomes a second choice for a different story.
Everything is working in Ranbir's favour currently. His whole personality is good. We have seen in the past not-so-good looking people ruling the box office. Ranbir, as a whole package, is great.
His acting is natural and it is terrific and that is why he is a game-changer.
Also, he is grounded and humble, which is why he is becoming a youth icon. He doesn't have any idea about his incredible popularity.
Ranbir is the most promising star after the Khans. But it is too early to say that Ranbir is the superstar of this generation.
Superstardom takes a lot of time and films. Right now, Ranbir is taking it easy; maybe when the superstar tag is given to him, he will become cautious about his career moves and the free-flowing nature of Ranbir's choices will stop.
It will eventually happen to him, but right now he is just enjoying his forthcoming films -- Bombay Velvet and Jagga Jasoos.
Ranbir's films are enjoyed by the youth and he represents today's young generation in the true sense -- he follows his heart and doesn't think too much before saying yes to a project.
His acting is truly effortless. There were so many scenes in Barfi!, for which one would expect the actor to go into the van and remain in a shell for two, three days before coming out to shoot. For Ranbir, it was natural.
We were joking on the sets and playing cricket the minute before he gave the shot in which his girlfriend introduces him to her fiancee.
Ranbir is as spontaneous as his character Bunny in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. He is constantly joking, but he is not distracted from his goal.
Both Ranbir and I feel you have to enjoy the process of filmmaking. The fact that he is enjoying his acting a lot shows on screen. It is visible.
Because Ranbir tried doing something different and succeeded other actors will also want to do different cinema.
Anurag Basu has directed Ranbir Kapoor in Barfi! and is now directing him in Jagga Jasoos.
As told to Itee Sharma, Bollywood News Service.
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Image: Ranbir Kapoor in Yeh Jawaani Hai Dewani
John Abraham, Face of a heartthrob, mind of a whiz
Because: The model-turned-actor has had many mainstream hits, but has never been limited by them; for every Dostana there was a Water and for every Garam Masala there was a No Smoking.
In 2012 he emerged as a force to be reckoned with by nailing a hit with his first production, Vicky Donor. 2013 and his second production, Madras Cafe, cemented his spot among the biggest Bollywood players of the year.
-- By Shoojit Sircar
When I approached John Abraham with the Madras Cafe script seven years ago, he really liked it and got on board immediately.
But due to the film's rather sensitive subject, we had a hard time finding a producer. Meanwhile, Vicky Donor happened. It was then that John decided to produce the film himself. That was the kind of conviction he had in the story.
What John has achieved with just two films -- Vicky Donor (as producer) and Madras Cafe (producer, actor) -- is quite an unconventional feat in mainstream Hindi cinema.
While Vicky Donor was centred on sperm donation, Madras Cafe traced the Sri Lankan civil war. No one had touched these subjects in films before.
John picks daring subjects, context for his ventures and it is a great thing coming from him because he is 'the dude' in the eyes of his fans.
It is great to see him encourage this kind of cinema because thousands of young people look up to him.
He is a worthy role model in the sense that he is a big star in commercial Hindi cinema and his association with films with fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking bring a great deal of credibility to them.
The fact that the two films he helped me make were so different from the fare you normally get to watch on screen and yet proved to be commercially viable is a great step towards a game-changing trend.
Another thing about collaborating with John is that he blindly trusts my directorial instincts. He is very different from other producers you meet in the Hindi film industry.
When we are working together, our territories are clearly marked. We have a very transparent work ethic too. He doesn't interfere in my work as a director and I don't interfere in the film's production side or the marketing strategy, which is completely his forte.
He has really stood out, especially in the last two years with his productions. He dared to make two films with subjects that are all out in the open, but no one talks about them and turned them into critical and commercial successes.
Together, John and I intend to make entertaining films with stories, ideas that appeal to us, subjects that defy the accepted template but, at the same time, we want to make entertaining films that make money too.
Shoojit Sircar directed John Abraham's successful production ventures, Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe.
As told to Nishi Tiwari
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Image: John Abraham in Madras Cafe
Rohit Shetty, Hit maker
Because: Rohit Shetty is the director with the Midas touch. The spectacular box-office performance of Chennai Express -- over Rs 200 crores -- means he continues to remain the man everyone wants to get close to in the hope that a bit of his luck will rub onto them.
-- By Arshad Warsi
Rohit Shetty has a very particular style of filmmaking, which purely comes from his child-like personality.
He enjoys his time on the sets and is always excited to shoot a film. He gets thrills when he is shooting a film and is always laughing and enjoying his work.
I think that innocence completely comes into his films. The blowing up of cars or the funny situations that happen in our day-to-day lives is what he likes to show in his films.
The idea of films being a complete entertainer is what defines Rohit Shetty as a director.
I have worked with him in four films and according to him films should just entertain and nothing more than that. He follows this principle in all his films and it has worked all the time.
Apart from that, Rohit is a very simple guy as a person and that also reflects in his films. The stories are simple with no frills and you can watch any of his films sitting with your entire family without feeling awkward.
He enjoys silly humour and the silly conversations that happen in our lives and tries to show them in his films.
Rohit on the sets is like a kid. He likes to pull pranks on his cast and crew. He always has a blast. He shoots a scene and cracks up laughing watching it on the monitor.
At the same time he is very serious about his work. He knows what he wants from his actors and is very clear about his script.
There are times when he creates certain situations, which are lame, but people still enjoy watching them.
A classic example of it would be from Golmaal. A thin and petite guy like Vrijesh Hirjee having a snake tattoo on his upper body and beating the hell out of four guys. This is something that only Rohit could think about.
This is what makes him and his kind of cinema stand out of the rest.
There are times when people don't know their potential and that is what happened with Rohit.
He comes from a family where his father (Mudhu B Shetty popularly known as Fighter Shetty) was a stunt director and initially he started out as an action director. His first film Zameen was an intense action drama.
When he tried his hand at comedy with Golmaal, it worked like magic. He mixed the perfect combination of action with good comedy and has excelled in it.
His growth as a director has been tremendous. He has made bigger and better films and the best part about him is that he never lost the Rohit Shetty touch.
Making films is not like a job for him. He knows the pulse of the audience and delivers exactly what they want. I don't think he is going to stop anytime soon.
From making Golmaal to Singham and his last release Chennai Express, these are three different kinds of cinema and he has excelled in all of them.
Arshad Warsi has acted in Rohit Shetty's Gomaal series and Sunday.
As told to Sonil Dedhia
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Image: Shah Rukh Khan and Rohit Shetty on the sets of Chennai Express
Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, The offbeat poster boys
Because: They don' sing. They don't dance. But put them on the screen -- even next to a superstar -- and they will steal the show. Every time.
Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui continued to prove why they are two of Indian cinema's greatest actors at the box office, at Cannes, Telluride, Toronto... and every international film festival that counts.
-- By Suparn Verma
Irrfan and Nawaz are two of India's finest actors. It is interesting to note that they are so alike in many ways professionally and yet so diametrically different personally.
Irrfan gets the character from the narration and starts building him in his head from that moment without too many discussions leaving the external styling and presentation to the director.
Nawaaz and I shared a very emotional relationship from the first day we met and kept infusing very personal moments and demons of our past into the key moment when Nawaaz had to fight for his daughter's custody in court.
The key to both of them are their eyes. They speak volumes without a word being spoken and they both have mastered the art of minimal body movement when performing.
In cinema it is paramount an actor understands the power of a magnified image will be a thousand times more than performing in theatre, so less is more. The other actor who has done this from day one is Ajay Devgn.
Irfran tends to work well even if he is emotionally distant or close to the creator, but Nawaaz excels most in love.
They are the most non-demanding actors on set with zero personal requirements; neither carries the baggage of stardom.
I love that Irrfan can be majestic or gut wrenchingly poor within an instant, but what is scary about Nawaaz is that he can not just blend in a crowd. Nawaaz can actually vanish!
There were umpteen times on a set when I kept asking my assistant director to call Nawaaz only for him to whisper to me that Nawaaz was standing right next to me beaming away.
It would be a dream to cast them both as spies in a movie and then ask them to simply vanish in my frame, because that is what they are, the secret ingredient in a dish called Cinema.
Suparn Verma has directed Irrfan Khan in Acid Factory and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Aatma.
Image: Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in The Lunchbox