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Vicky Kaushal's Top 5 Performances

By SUBHASH K JHA
May 17, 2021 17:34 IST
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Vicky Kaushal is a portrait of controlled portrayals that bring out the vulnerable, vital and vile sides to every character's personality.

In a career of eight years, the actor -- who turned 33 on May 16 -- already has an impressive oeuvre.

Subhash K Jha lists Vicky's top five films.

 

Masaan, 2015

Vicky first gave us a vivid idea of what he is capable of in Neeraj Ghaywan's masterpiece on class oppression.

As an actor with a deep link to the Indian middle class, Vicky manoeuvred his character in and out of the trauma and anguish that the under-privileged classes are subjected to.

Vicky and Shweta Tripathi played young lovers, and built a gentleness around the plot that shatters to bits as the script moves on.

'Yeh dukh kam nahin hota,' the young bereaved lover played by Kaushal screams in a moment of unbearable anguish.

At that moment, I lost a part of me to the film forever.

 

Zubaan, 2016

For those who thought Vicky's act in Masaan was a flash in the pan, Zubaan is an eye-opener.

Kaushal plays Dilsher, a waylaid Sikh boy from Gurdaspur, who wants to be successful.

He schemes his way into the heart, mind, home and property of a business tycoon Sikand and ends up getting what he thinks he wants.

Vicky playing the protagonist helps considerably in making Director Mozez Singh's job easier.

Vicky proves that he is among the most important acting talents to have touched base in Hindi cinema during the last decade.

His command over his stammering speech left me stammering for words of praise.

His Dilsher is a portrait of self-destructive ambitions.

He is a stammering, fumbling bundle of self-regard and we know he will fall.

The brilliant script (Sumit Roy and Mozez Singh) catches hold of Dilsher before he hits the ground.

The end-game back in Dilsher's village where he rediscovers his roots is individuated by a sharp sense of musical confluence where the traditional sound of Gurbani meets a rock-stadium outburst.

This cloudburst of musical effusion is composed by the impressively versatile composer Ashutosh Phatak, who adds an appealing subtext of the universality that one seeks and finds in music and which, alas, eludes us in dealing with the more practical considerations in life.

 

Raman Raghav 2.0, 2016

There is no hero in Raman Raghav. We saw it coming.

We've seen the rapid evaporation of heroism from the cinema of Anurag Kashyap to the point where Raman and Raghav, as played with virile adeptness by Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal, are the two faces of red-hot diabolism.

There are no signs of goodness in the two main characters.

After a while, it's hard to tell the difference between them, much harder than it was in Badlapur, the film whose morality was a precursor to Raman Raghav.

Watch Vicky have sex with his girlfriend. It's not love-making; it's hate-making!

Vicky has the trickier part. He must extend into his character its natural-born criminal tendency (born, we are told, from a bullying father) and also be shown functional within the precincts of a law.

He is shown to be a violent, cocaine-snorting psycho (if Tommy Singh in Udta Punjab wore a uniform...) and also brutal in bed with his girlfriend.

Vicky's inexperience as an actor did not hamper the full flow of trashiness into the character.

He proved he's the actor to watch out for.

 

Manmarziyan, 2018

Vicky, as Taapsee Pannu's cheesy DJ lover, worked hard on looking his part.

The hair, the clothes and body language exude a sense of self-limiting rebellion.

It is not clear whether the passion between Vicky and Rumi (Taapsee) is all about sex, or if it's something more.

Vicky plays his morally and intellectually challenged character with humour and empathy.

It is a performance of many splintered parts, miraculously adding up to a sense of informal completeness.

Anurag Kashyap clearly knows how to extract the best out of Vicky.

 

Uri, 2019

This is one my least favourite Vicky Kaushal performances.

It's included here because this is his biggest hit to date and the only one which proves he can carry a film on his own shoulders.

Of course, the hero here was the patriotic jingoism.

The villain was our neighbouring county.

Vicky's Major Vihaan Singh Shergill was adequately valorous and angry, but he seemed unconvinced by the Pak-bashing that went on in this film.

That, in a way, speaks well of his attitude to war-mongering politics.

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