What Makes Birthday Boy Ranbir Kapoor Click Even In Flop Films?

OB Bureau

The success of ‘Brahmastra’ gave a much-need to boost to birthday boy Ranbir Kapoor’s career. The twin occasions and becoming a father later this year, have given him enough reason to celebrate. He is also looking forward to moving into his new house with wife Alia Bhatt.

The star, who turns 40 today, has many acclaimed films behind him before the success of Brahmastra and the failure of Shamshera, from Anurag Basu’s charming Barfi! and his ambitious musical Jagga Jasoos, Imtiaz Ali’s angst-ridden Rockstar and play of duality Tamasha. Then there were Wake up Sid, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Rocket Singh Salesman of the Year and Sanju.

With these films behind him and the immediate lineup, Luv Ranjan’s untitled romantic comedy and Kabir Singh helmer Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s revenge drama Animal, Bollywood’s favourite on-screen man-child seems to have grown up in his career of 15 years.

Son of Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, acting is in his genes. To quote trade expert Joginder Tuteja in The Indian Express, Ranbir Kapoor is a “legit superstar”, despite a bumpy phase  in the past. “It is just unfortunate that his last film Shamshera didn’t work, and he also had that phase where his films didn’t perform. But even those were big films. He has been traditionally only doing big films, except his initial phase, which had films Rocket Singh and Wake up Sid. He has been pretty much doing big films which have only gotten bigger with times, like Sanju, Shamshera and now Brahmastra,” Tuteja told TIE.

“In the first ten years, he chose to do work that he wanted to do. Now he’s shifting his gaze and doing these big tentpole films, which are getting bigger numbers. This is his transition, and he will gofrom  strength to strength from here. He’s been pretty clear that he now wants to do big commercial films,” trade observer Himesh Mankad was quoted as saying by TIE.

What has largely been working for Ranbir Kapoor, Tuteja said, is his “relatability” factor. Both him and Mankad said that the star has a huge, loyal fan base among youth, which is a crucial section for his films’ success.

Despite his lows, what kept the audience invested in him is that his films always came with the promise of at least not disappointing on the acting front. Tamasha, Rockstar and even Jagga Jasoos may not have fired at the box office, but they did help brand Ranbir Kapoor.

“The truth is, he is inherently a very good actor. Unless you are a good actor, nothing—your lineage, looks—matters. Also, he has been in the industry for 15 years but still looks like a boy. That adds to his relatability factor. He can never turn old! That’s why he has a huge fan base among people who started watching him in 2007 and also the younger generation. That range matters a lot,” Tuteja told TIE.

Mankad also noted Ranbir’s fan following in youth and said the star in fact has a mix of all three Khans: He has romantic films like Shah Rukh, bad boy image of Salman and is genre agnostic like Aamir.

“In terms of youth following, there’s no one close to Ranbir. Ranbir, like Shah Rukh, has been a face of a lot of love stories. So that makes him really the ideal man for a lot of girls and an aspirational figure for boys. He also has this bad boy image like Salman’s. His imperfections make him relatable. When it comes to films, he is a lot like Aamir- you don’t know what to expect of him,” Mankad believes.

According to industry sources, Ranbir is likely to not return to the space of “smaller” films, anytime soon. After Luv Ranjan and Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s next, he will most probably begin the sequel of Brahmastra and is also considering playing Lord Ram in director Nitesh Tiwari’s much-speculated big scale epic Ramayana. In the Ranbir Kapoor universe, there is now little space for “experiments,” the report adds.

OB Bureau

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