Dear Rishi Kapoor
Yesterday, almost two weeks after its release, I went to watch KAPOOR & SONS, yet again. Two things drew me to watch this ‘family flick'. First, the overall treatment of the film and the genius of the young director, Shakun Batra, and the other-your performance! Of course, the casting was another stroke of genius, not to mention the performances of each and every actor on board.
According to me, this probably has to be your best performance till date. Thus far, you had never ventured out of your comfort zone playing roles that would challenge your physical looks. This time you did, and I'm sure, gauging from the accolades that have come your way, you are happy with your decision to have played the 90-year-old grandfather!
In AGNEEPATH (the remake or sequel) four years ago, you did try to be different. But that role of Rauf Lala did not suit you. Rather, you were not able to portray the evil you were required to, or characterize the evil in a way it was meant to be. You did try, but as someone who is into the ‘flesh trade' and also a vital part of the drug mafia, yours was a poor choice for that role.
But KAPOOR & SONS, my word, what a performance! Lovable and laudable, your character and performance was the soul of the film. Your role was the fulcrum on which the plot revolved. A bit of overacting would have smashed the plot right in the face.
You dished out just the right dose of humor, slight rejection, and non-intrusive ‘opinion' on the entire family situation. From the wheelchair, with old age at your side, you were able to impart wisdom to the younger Kapoors in your family. And that bit about Mandakini was tempered with the right amount of humor, which ensured it never even veered towards crass.
You have a legion of followers, right from the time you came on screen in MERA NAAM JOKER to your first full-fledged solo role in BOBBY. Your sweatered-self still has housewives drooling over your performances either in Switzerland or Mumbai.
Your clean, good looks and numerous romantic performances has ensured your place in Bollywood history which no hero has been able to upset, not even your talented son, Ranbir.
You will forever be the eternal romantic hero.
But for me, you will always be Akbar Illhabadi and also the grandfather hero!
God Bless You.
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be…)
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