The Bawaal trailer just dropped and got all of us talking about Varun Dhawan once again. He is one of Bollywood's most bankable stars, and has consistently delivered hit films throughout his career. Dhawan has always shown a desire to explore diverse roles and challenge himself as an actor. Ahead of Bawaal, we’re looking at some of the times he has proven his versatility on the big screen. Here are our picks:
In the movie Badlapur, Varun Dhawan stepped out of his comfort zone and delivered a gritty and powerful performance. For Dhawan, it was a complete departure from his previous lighthearted and romantic and comic roles. Directed by Sriram Raghavan, the film follows the story of a man named Raghu, played by Dhawan, seeking revenge for the death of his wife and son during a bank robbery. One of the most impressive aspects of Dhawan's performance in Badlapur was his ability to portray the complexities of his character, a man consumed by grief and driven by revenge, with haunting realism. Dhawan's transformation from a charming and innocent young man to a vengeful and brooding individual was commendable. Raghu is a man of few words, Dhawan uses his body language to convey the inner turmoil of his character, making his performance even more impactful. This dark and morose role was a departure from his previous roles, which primarily relied on his energetic and charismatic persona.
Dhawan proved his mettle once again with his performance in the movie October, directed by Shoojit Sircar, the film showcased Dhawan's ability to deliver a heartfelt and nuanced portrayal of a complex character – as opposed to the one-dimensional hero we’ve seen him play over the years. In October, Dhawan is Dan, a young hotel management trainee. The film revolves around the journey of Dan as he discovers love, loss, and the importance of cherishing every moment. One of the most striking aspects of Dhawan's performance in October was how understated it was. Dhawan surprised everyone with his restrained and realistic portrayal in this film. He beautifully captured the vulnerability of his character, making the audience connect with Dan. Dhawan doesn’t try to fill the silences, he sits in them, and you get a sense of his grief. October is a slow film, you have to breathe with the characters, sit with them on this journey.
Dhawan excels in light-hearted romantic comedies, having inherited from David Dhawan the effortlessness with which he’s able to become the prototype of a romantic hero. Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a prime example of his versatility. Directed by Shashank Khaitan, Badrinath ki Dulhania addresses societal norms and prejudices while still being a Bollywood family entertainer. The film revolves around the story of Badrinath Bansal (played by Dhawan) and Vaidehi Trivedi (played by Alia Bhatt), who come from contrasting backgrounds but eventually fall in love. Dhawan brings out the charm and innocence of Badrinath, who is an uneducated yet well-meaning young man. His impeccable comic timing adds a delightful element to the film, making the audience laugh along with his character's amusing antics. Dhawan also effectively portrays the growth and maturation of his character, as Badrinath begins to question his own beliefs and transforms into a more progressive and empathetic individual. In addition to his acting skills, Dhawan's chemistry with co-star Bhatt is another highlight of the film.
Sui Dhaaga: Made in India is a film where Dhawan pushed his boundaries and transformed himself physically and emotionally. Directed by Sharat Katariya, this film tells the story of a small-town couple, Mauji and Mamta, played by Dhawan and Anushka Sharma, respectively. Dhawan is Mauji, a sincere and hardworking character who overcomes various challenges to fulfill his dreams. Dhawan goes from commercial cinema roles to a more grounded and relatable character like Mauji with ease. He retains Mauji’s innocence and fully immerses himself in Mauji's world. Dhawan tries his best to root his performance in the reality of the film. Sui Dhaaga: Made in India not only solidified his position as a versatile actor but also garnered critical acclaim.
An out-and-out comedy, Judwaa 2 allowed Dhawan to display his impeccable comic timing and flair for physical comedy. Playing dual roles as twin brothers with contrasting personalities, Dhawan brought the right mix of humor and charm to the film. His energetic performance was hugely entertaining and brought a fresh take on the original film. This film was a quintessential Varun Dhawan rom-com, where he plays twins Raja and Prem. The film is a remake of the 1997 film Judwaa. Raja, is the mischievous and confident twin, in stark contrast to Prem, the innocent and naive one. Dhawan manages to distinguish their mannerisms and dialogue delivery in the most Bollywood way possible. Known for his incredible dance moves, Dhawan brings his signature style and energy to the film's songs, making them a visual delight. The fact that Dhawan can do this and also do Badlapur is a testament to his versatility.
We’re looking forward to what Dhawan will do with Bawaal (2023).