I have been an admirer of old Hindi classics and have been a huge fan of the heroes, who sizzled on the silver screen then.
From Dilip Kumar to Dev Anand, Raj Kapoor to Rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar to Dharmendra, Raj Kumar to Feroz Khan and lastly Rajesh Khanna to Amitabh Bachchan, Hindi cinema has seen a number of charmers wooing cinegoers for years.
The 1950s-60s had tall, robust men who could simply cast a spell on the audiences. Their attire, dialogue delivery and body language had distinct charm, and till date, stand out from the crowd. Shammi Kapoor’s flamboyant dance, Dilip Kumar’s expressions, Raj Kumar’s dialogues and Dev Anand’s ingenuous portrayals have won a million hearts and continue to do so.
Each decade adores a certain set of actors who sort of rule the industry. The 1990s saw the rise of the Khan trinity- Salman, Aamir and Shah Rukh, besides Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn. These men have succeeded in creating a niche for themselves in the Tinsel Town and are now considered industry heavyweights, for their presence matters a lot not just at the Box Office but even otherwise.
In the last few years, Bollywood, as Hindi Cinema is popularly called, has seen a number of young talents making their presence felt loud and clear. Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan, all who belong to the same age group, have so far been impressive. Of the three, Ranbir has been able to connect with the audiences effortlessly. It could be probably because of his choice of films, his acting prowess or for the fact that he belongs to Bollywood’s first family- The Kapoor Khandaan.
My personal favourite of the three- Shahid- has delivered some fine performances. His ‘Kaminey’ is a class apart. And his upcoming flick- ‘Haider’- which happens to be an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, may turn out to be a jackpot for him and his most trusted filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj.
Apart from the aforementioned trio, Bollywood has produced a few more talents and the list includes Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra, Arjun Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput and Ranveer Singh. These actors have been successful enough in keeping the cash registers at the Box Office ringing. Each of the actors (though they have miles to cover), have been able to deliver performances worth loud applause. They have even succeeded in shouldering the Box Office performance pressure entirely on their own.
But among them, I shall reserve my wolf-whistles for Ranveer Singh, who has been able to pull off both flamboyant and intense roles with élan. His performances in his début film ‘Band Baaja Baarat’, ‘Lootera’ and ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela- Ram Leela’ have left indelible impact on me. Sushant too looks bright and promising. After ‘Kai Po Che!’, the actor was seen in ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ and is now busy with Dibakar Bannerjee’s ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ and has Shekhar Kapur’s ‘Pani’ in the pipeline. He has also succeeded in bagging a role alongside Aamir Khan in Rajkumar Hirani’s ‘P.K’.
Going by what they have displayed so far, each of these spirited young men have been more than impressive. But they do lack the matchless style of yesteryear actors.
Heroes earlier had definitive screen presence and matchless aura and hence the big question is - what is the shelf life of each of the young actors on screen?
How many of these young super talented men will be able to rule the decades to come is an answer worth waiting for.
There is tough competition ahead without doubt. Aditya Pancholi’s son- Sooraj, Jackie Shroff’s son- Tiger, Anil Kapoor’s son Harshvardhan and Sunny Deol’s son- Karan- are believed to be planning careers in Bollywood. Tiger’s début film- ‘Heropanti’ - may have not have been the perfect launchpad for him, but he does have plans to take-off his career to great heights in times to come.
If each of these super talented new kids on the block could develop their unique trait, it would be great. But as they say variety is the spice of life, gen-next actors may not prefer swimming against the tide.
In the end, entertainment is what matters the most, isn’t it?