In 2010, Indian audiences saw a bonafide Bollywood hero. Ranveer Singh made his acting debut in the Yash Raj Films' romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat and a star was born. Over years, Singh came into his own as a serious actor, honing his craft with every project. Singh made method acting his ‘thing’, deeply immersing himself into all his characters – from the menacing Alauddin Khilji, to the brat-next-door Kabir Mehra, to the legendary Kapil Dev.
In Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani with Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar, Singh is going back to his roots of a romantic hero. While we wait for Rocky, we’re looking back at some of our favourite performances.
Vikramaditya Motwane adapted O. Henry’s The Last Leaf into a poignant tale of a dashing young archaeologist (Singh) who falls in love with a wealthy heiress. Pakhi, played by Sonakshi Sinha, is unaware of Varun Shrivastav’s double life. He portrayed the character's charm and vulnerability with subtlety, making his performance stand out. The film provides Singh breathing room to develop the complexity of his character – you follow Varun’s eyes when he paints, you see his anguish when he falls. They say that our eyes are the windows into our souls; in Lootera, Motwane lets Singh open the windows to Varun’s soul ever-so-slightly. Just enough to let light enter and build intrigue. Lootera is perhaps Singh’s most underrated performance till date.
You can watch Lootera on Disney+Hotstar.
A 2013 romantic drama, Ram-Leela is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In this movie, Singh stars opposite Deepika Padukone as Ram and Leela, star-crossed lovers from feuding clans who are determined to be together despite all odds. Singh portrays Ram as a hot-blooded and intense man with a heart of gold. From his fierce dance moves to his fiery dialogues, Singh steals the show in every scene. And let's not forget the film's stunning visuals and soulful soundtrack, which make it a timeless classic.
The film is streaming on JioCinema.
In Sanjay Leela Bhansali's epic historical romance, Bajirao Mastani, Singh played the role of the Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao. He delivered a nuanced and powerful performance, bringing the character to life with his energy, charm, and intensity. Singh worked on sculpting Bajirao for over a year, paying special attention to the smaller details of characterization like his walk and his accent. Singh's chemistry with Deepika Padukone as Mastani was sizzling and elevated the film's emotional quotient. He conveyed the complexity of the character's emotions and conflicts with ease.
Bajirao Mastani is available to watch on JioCinema and Voot.
In Zoya Akhtar's family drama, Dil Dhadakne Do, Singh played Kabir Mehra, a carefree and rebellious son of a wealthy family. The film explores the complicated relationships and dynamics between a dysfunctional family aboard a cruise ship. Singh's performance was natural, charming, and confident. He effortlessly embodied Kabir’s wit, charm, and vulnerability. He had excellent chemistry with his co-stars, especially Priyanka Chopra, and delivered some of the film's funniest and most poignant moments – “Aunty wo butter knife hai” will always be funny.
Dil Dhadakne Do is streaming on Netflix.
In Sanjay Leela Bhansali's period drama, Padmaavat, Singh played the role of Alauddin Khilji, a brutal and ambitious Sultan who invaded Chittorgarh to capture the beautiful queen Padmavati. Singh's portrayal of the antagonist was a masterclass in acting, as he brought alive the cruel and ruthless character. His performance was intense, commanding, and memorable. He went to great lengths to prepare for the role, undergoing a physical transformation and immersing himself into the character's psyche. Despite the controversies surrounding the film's release, Singh's performance was widely appreciated and earned him many awards.
Padmaavat is available on Amazon Prime Video.
A Ranveer Singh-fronted Rohit Shetty film is exactly what we wanted. In this movie, Singh plays the role of Sangram "Simmba" Bhalerao, a corrupt police officer who, after witnessing a brutal event, decides to take matters into his own hands. Singh delivers an electrifying performance as the macho-yet-compassionate cop. With its high-voltage action scenes and catchy soundtrack, Simbaa solidified the Rohit Shetty Cop Universe.
You can watch Simbaa on Zee5.
In this critically acclaimed film, Singh brought Bombay 17 to our screens, delivering a performance rooted in truth. The film, directed by Zoya Akhtar, is a coming-of-age story of a young rapper who rises from the slums of Mumbai with his hard work and determination. Singh's performance was praised for its intensity, honesty, and authenticity. He perfectly captured the essence of the character, his struggles, and his passion for music. His rap performances were outstanding, and he convincingly portrayed the emotions of a man who had nothing but his voice, his dreams, and his heart.
You can catch Gully Boy on Amazon Prime Video.
83 is a biopic of the Indian cricket team that won the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Director Kabir Khan made Singh his Kapil Dev - the man who led the team to a historic feat. Singh underwent training and preparation for the role, with special guidance from actual cricketers. Singh received praise for his portrayal of Kapil Dev, capturing his idiosyncrasies, spirit and personality on screen. Critics applauded his portrayal of the captain's inspirational speeches, accentuated English, and on-field tactics. Khan's direction was also praised for its authenticity and attention to detail.
83 is available on Netflix.