Every great actor is essentially a great magician. He knows his audience like the back of his hand and has numerous tricks up his sleeve to keep the audience second-guessing themselves. But the most significant selling point of his act is that one big magic trick that keeps bringing them back to his shows. The crowds know the trick; they even know when the bait is coming, but they still cannot help themselves from coming back to see how the magician does it, bringing an ease and finesse of his own.
For Salman Khan, the big trick is the fast-and-frenzied over-the-top action scenes with masaledaar dialogues, foot-tapping item numbers and, obviously, the scene where he rips his shirt off to massive roars from the crowd in the halls. For Shahrukh Khan, it’s his charm and mesmerising glances, his dimpled cheeks, and the trademark pose with which he pulls his fans in to submerge them in an atmosphere of romance and allure.
However, in the modern era of films and streaming platforms, versatility is the name of the beast when it comes to charming an audience. Actors such as the late great Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manoj Bajpayee and Kay Kay Menon bring in just that. However, cruel as it may seem, it doesn’t always translate into big revenue.
Ranveer Singh, though, having spent more than a decade in Hindi cinema, has become the perfect blend of massy and classy cinema. He’s got the peppy dance numbers and over-the-top dialogues to sell the tickets, and also the intensity and appeal to wow the critics. He has the energy to fascinate the younger demographic, coupled with the sincerity and sophistication he brings to his craft to engross the fans of yesteryear cinema. He can go from fighting tooth and nail for his heartland in Bajirao Mastani to a ruthless, menacing dictator invading the heartland in Padmaavat.
From the poster boy of Yash Raj Films in the early 2010s to becoming Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s go-to man, Ranveer Singh has come a long way.
When it comes to my favourite role for the actor’s, it certainly has to be Varun from the highly underrated gem that is Lootera. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, Lootera, loosely based on ‘The Last Leaf’, is a profoundly earnest and intrinsically heartwarming story that finds a place right in your heart.
I cannot stop talking about how gorgeous a film Lootera is, affectionately utilising its period setting with loving detail. Lootera has it all: from a quaint love story to a sophisticatedly told plot with intrigue and mystique. While Sonakshi Sinha is a revelation in her own right in the film, for me it is Ranveer Singh who steals the show with his effortless brilliance.
If his performances in Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl set up Ranveer Singh as the quintessential Bollywood hero, Lootera brought out the actor in him, establishing him as someone to watch out for.
Ranveer is spectacular as a man in love who knows he’ll eventually leave the woman heartbroken. Singh delivers a nuanced act for someone who was still finding his footing in Hindi cinema at that point in time. While Ranveer is often cited as the energy booster of his films, he does justice to this role by doing just the opposite, keeping his act low-key throughout the film. He is both the villain and the hero of this film, doing a tremendous job of initially charming your socks off and then breaking your heart, and then, just when all hope is lost, coming back to redeem himself.
Lootera was a fine way to let us know that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Ranveer Singh. It is undoubtedly one of his finest works, winning over the fans and critics like only he could.
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.