One of the fastest rising Bollywood stars of the silver screen is Ranveer Singh, who celebrates his birthday on July 6 (#HappyBirthdayRanveerSingh #जन्मदिनमुबारकरणवीरसिंह).
Having come from a theatrical background, his performances are honest and unbridled. His charismatic presence in a scene ensures that audiences are embraced in the narrative.
Though his acting career in Bollywood only began five years ago, he has been a lead actor in seven out of the ten films he has appeared in. To date, he has won eight acting awards and been nominated for several more.
It seems that once Ranveer Singh stepped onto the silver screen there was no looking back.
In the 2015 Zoya Akhtar ensemble cast film, Dil Dhadakne Do, Ranveer Singh once again shows his remarkable ability to make audiences fall in love with his character. As Kabir Mehra, the son of a wealthy business owner, his struggle is to live a life that doesn't quite fit the mold that his parents have carved for him. As he tries to sort out his life, he brings clarity to the lives of others.
Here are five Ranveer Singh films to watch if you are new to Bollywood.
Description: Romantic comedy. No-nonsense Shruti (Anushka Sharma) has her life goals all laid out by the time she reaches her final year of college. Street-smart Bittoo (Ranveer Singh) spends his final college year having fun with his buddies, barely scraping through his exams. Fate brings the two of them together on a tumultuous journey where they become partners in a wedding planning business. As their business prospers through the ups and downs of lavish Delhi weddings, Shruti and Bittoo discover their partnership has blossomed into something more.
Why I Love This Film: Besides highlighting the fun and variety of Indian weddings, this is a story of two different personalities who manage to find their purpose together. While Shruti and Bittoo try to keep their relationship strictly business, life has different plans for these two friends. Ranveer Singh prepared for his role by spending time with students at Delhi University. In a glamsham.com interview, he explained:
I was running free in the university, meeting all students, hanging out with them; see how they speak, what their tastes are, where they come from. All my days in Delhi were spent with them, while I also lived with them. And I went incognito as Bittoo. I used to introduce myself as Bittoo Sharma. Every day I would meet new people. Attended classes, went to watch movies together, did loaferbaazi. Interestingly, I met this guy who was very close to Bittoo. He had the swagger, the way he dressed, spoke, I knew when I met him for the first time, I knew he was my guy. So I studied him for a few days, hung out with him and have made Bittoo like him. He had the attitude and energy of Bittoo. I knew this is as Bittoo as it gets! He was crucial in my preparation of Bittoo!
Recognition: Won, Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Award for Best Male Debut; Won, Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut; Won, International Indian Film Academy Awards for Star Debut of the Year (Male) and Hottest Pair (along with Anushka Sharma); Won, Lions Gold Awards for Favourite Debutant Actor (Male) and Favourite Jodi (along with Anushka Sharma); Won, Star Screen Award for Most Promising Newcomer (Male); Won, Stardust Awards Superstar of Tomorrow (Male).
Description: Romantic comedy. When three women (Parineeti Chopra, Dipannita Sharma, Aditi Sharma) discover they are victims of the same handsome, smooth-talking grifter (Ranveer Singh), they team up to take revenge. They hire sales clerk Ishika Desai (Anushka Sharma), a woman who can sell anything to anyone, to get their money back by turning the tables on the grifter. They are on the verge of winning the battle to get all their money back when Ishika falls in love with Ricky who seems to have fallen for Ishika.
Why I Love This Film: The story is clever and fun. Watching this confidence man conduct his scams highlights his well-honed skill and resourcefulness. The victims - though vastly different in background and demeanor - manage to find common ground when it comes to getting revenge. When they arrange to have this con artist meets his match in Ishika, the film takes on a different tone. You can see these two players offering measured responses as they try to read between the lines of each conversation and glance. As the grifter becomes the griftee you almost feel sorry for him. Almost.
English Title: "Robber" | Portions based on: The Last Leaf by O. Henry
Release Date: 5 July 2013
Director: Vikramaditya Motwane
Music by: Amit Trivedi
Producer: Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor, Shobha Kapoor, Vikas Bahl
Description: Period romantic drama. In 1953 a visiting archaeologist called Varun Shrivastav comes to the village of Manikpur in West Bengal to excavate the temple grounds of the Zamindar, or local aristocrat. Pakhi, the Zamindar's feisty and only daughter, finds herself irrevocably drawn towards him. As the simmering attraction between him and Pakhi leads to a tender and deep love, Varun suddenly disappears. Pakhi struggles to move on with her life, determined to forget him and their relationship. Until one day, when Varun returns.
Why I Love This Film: This gentle and bittersweet romantic story is almost like two films in one. The first portion highlights the love story of two young people who seem destined to spend their lives together. But their love story is derailed before the intermission. The second half of the film brings these lovers together again - world weary and wiser.The anger felt from the previous betrayal is offset by the tenderness that is shared between Varun and Pakhi. Ultimately, the film is a story of redemption. Portraying the quiet character of Varun was difficult for the energetic Ranveer Singh. In an Indian Express interview he explained what director Vikramaditya Motwane told him that helped him embrace the role:
He said, "You like to infect people with energy, to make them smile and laugh all the time. And you do this to diffuse tension and evade conflicts, but these are your bad habits. While this is a part of your personality, I can see the other side of you, your sensitive side. I can see that depth in you. You are scared to allow people to know that you are sensitive and vulnerable, so you do all of these things that prevent you from grasping the character. If you want to grow as an actor, then you have to let go of the fear of letting people know that you are sensitive." That particular day was a breakthrough for me as a performer.
The film left an impression on Ranveer Singh as shown by his recent tweets celebrating #2YearsOfLootera:
2 Years of LOOTERA ..... A love story that stole my heart <3 pic.twitter.com/abmvizR3UP
— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) July 4, 2015
Recognition: Nominated, BIG Star Entertainment Award for Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Film–Male
Inspired by: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Release Date: 15 November 2013
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Music by: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Hemu Gadhvi, Monty Sharma
Producers: Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Chetan Deolekar, Kishore Lulla, Sandeep Singh
Description: Romance drama. In the village of Ranjaar, Ram (Ranveer Singh) is a colorful and charming peace-loving village Romeo of the Rajadi clan. The beautiful Leela (Deepika Padukone) is an unbridled and passionate daughter in the Sanera clan. The two clans have been sworn enemies for 500 years. When Ram and Leela see each other for the first time, their worlds collide, wars are fought and destinies are written in blood, forever. Ram and Leela fight the world as "enemies in love."
Why I Love This Film: Against a magnificent musical backdrop and rich dramatic tapestry placed in a unique setting, the film presents a delightful anachronism - traditional costumes and set designs are juxtaposed against players exchanging cell phone numbers and twitter handles. This beautifully shot film is a credible adaptation of the famous Romeo and Juliet saga - itself a story of unbridled youthful passion, bawdy humor, and vengeful rivals. Yet these lovers are not innocents and they must struggle to remain loyal to friends and family while fighting for true love. Set in a land full of guns and violence, this familiar tale of ill-fated lovers has enough twists and turns in the narrative to keep hope alive for the love story of Ram-Leela. The film is high-energy throughout, a reflection of the theatrical source material. In a rediff article, Ranveer Singh explains:
I want a director who can extract all the energy out of me. Bhansali sir is a director who drains you out. I love that because I love when someone pushes me beyond my boundaries. Challenging things are always fulfilling.
Recognition: Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actor; Nominated, Apsara Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role; Nominated, BIG Star Entertainment Award for Most Entertaining Actor (Film)-Male; Nominated, Zee Cine Award for Best Actor-Male' Winner, Lions Gold Award for Best Male Actor
Description: Action crime thriller. After the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 gives Bangladesh it's independence, the orphan boys Bikram (Ranveer Singh and Bala (Arjun Kapoor) take to a life of crime which soon forces them to run away to Calcutta. They get involved in the illegal coal trade and grow up to become notorious gangsters in the city. When ACP Satyajeet Sarkar (Irrfan Khan) arrives with the goal to catch them red-handed in their criminal activity, they ignore his threats. But when Bikram and Bala both fall in love with cabaret dancer Nandita (Priyanka Chopra) their empire and friendship begins to fall apart.
Why I Love This Film: The film has a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid feel to it. In a Punjab2000.com interview, Ranveer Singh explains:
We are basically playing bad guys with good hearts. We basically compliment each other. We are forces of nature when we’re together. We’re friends but more than friends. We’re like brother in the film. ‘Bikram’ and ‘Bala’ would give their lives for each other. ‘Bala’ is the younger one. He is slightly immature. He is like a loose canon, a bit of a light head and slightly immature and ‘Bikram’ is Bala’s equilibrium. He is a bit more calculative. Together they expand their business and become the ‘Dons’ of Kolkatta. They are most powerful, most fearful and most reckless men of Kolkatta. And at the age of twenty five to twenty six, they’ve got it all. They’ve got immense amount of wealth and power.
The bromance between the Bikram and Bala provides moments of both fun and heartbreak as these two friends find they can only rely on each other. Ranveer Singh's Bikram is the brains of the duo, managing to navigate the two through many difficult situations. When the two are separated, Bala loses this anchor and Bikram loses his heart. The story is often told in broad brushstrokes with Bikram and Bala seeming bigger than life.
Don't know with film to watch first? The following video playlist features trailers for each of the films, including Dil Dhadakne Do.
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