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Vicky Kaushal: The Star on the Rise

With the opening success of URI: The Surgical strike, let’s look at Vicky’s progressive transformation.

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Vicky Kaushal is a man who, in his three-year long career of being in the lead, till date has not received a single bad review, and he proves his calibre every time he enters that 70 mm frame. With three successful theatrical films to his credit in 2018, Vicky opened 2019 with his film URI:The Surgical Strike and God, he nailed our hearts again with his performance!

For a boy who was introduced to us as non-quintessential hero, Deepak, in Masaan, to playing an Army officer in URI, Vicky deserves all the appreciation that comes his way. The current crush of the nation is also ruling the silver screen from the very beginning of this new year. His film URI:The Surgical Strike released yesterday on January 11, and opened to unbelievable numbers. It earned around Rs 8 Cr on the first day of its release, which is huge for a film of this genre. The possibility is that Vicky is turning out to be a highly bankable actor, bringing in numbers, along with the quality of his performances. With URI: The Surgical Strike being successful at the Box Office, let’s look back at list of Vicky’s films that we loved him in.

Masaan

 

To debut with a film that doesn’t showcase you as a pretty looking hero who is the epitome for the men-to-be, is a risk for a newcomer to take. Moreover, you might get lost in a crowd of actors, and standing out might be difficult. But Vicky aced that path and came out shining in Neeraj Ghaywan’s 2015 film Masaan. Vicky played a small-town boy Deepak who wants to come out of the strata he is living in (the community of people who burn the dead at the Ghats in Benares), and achieve his goals. His struggles and trials form a major thread of the film. Vicky’s portrayal of Deepak was poignant and understated and he burned his path into our hearts.

Raman Raghav 2.0

 

After winning in the Neeraj Ghaywan film, Vicky took on the challenge to prove himself in  Anurag Kashyap’s zone. He played the complex, convoluted cop Raghavan who meets his alter ego in the character of a serial killer played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He realises that they are essentially the same, and that is an indigestible fact that eventually drives him crazy. Vicky played the part with so much swagger, completely in contrast to his Deepak, simply proving versatility.

Raazi

 

This was not his lead role. Raazi, based on Harinder Sikka’s Calling Sehmat, was the story of an Indian spy played by Alia Bhatt, who saved our nation from a major attack. Vicky played a Pakistani Army officer and Alia’s husband in this film, and his portrayal was unique. He imbued his role with so much character (whether going through angst or anger or the gentle nuances) contrary to expectations, breaking the stereotype yet again.

Sanju

 

The character that everyone took back with them from Rajkumar Hirani’s Sanju was not the lead, but his friend Kamli, played by Vicky. The high point of the film was the bond Sanju and Kamli shared, which wouldn’t possible had Vicky and Ranbir not shared that chemistry. There is nothing wrong in saying that a major chunk of the film Sanju’s success belongs to Vicky, no two ways about it!

Manmarziyaan

Experimenting once again, in Anurag Kashyap’s debut romantic directorial, Manmarziyaan, Vicky played the clueless-about-his-life and complicated-in-his-mind DJ Sandhu, who doesn’t know where his life is heading towards, and is the classic example of how someone is not supposed to be. And, no surprises for guessing, Vicky rocked this part as well! Seemingly effortlessly! This boy even acts with his eyes in the parts he has no dialogues. It was due to him that a role/character we were not supposed to root for, was loved by us, flaws, warts, blue hair and all….

URI: The Surgical Strike

 

In his recent release URI, based on the 2016 surgical strike conducted by the Indian Army, Vicky is playing an Indian Army officer. Vicky owned his part, so into character was he immersed. He melded himself as the army man and was super believable. The film opened to around Rs 8 cr which is an amazing first day collection. And this is just the beginning. The film will probably traverse the path towards achieving more milestones. Yet another feather in his multi-hued cap, and one more notch in his brief but chequered filmography.

 

Vicky has his hands full with projects this year and we are excited about them. Do let us know in the comment section what you feel about this superb actor and also which of his films you like the most.

 

Analysis

Before Badla, Amitabh Bachchan’s box office track record looks impressive

Badla actor Amitabh Bachchan is a bankable star and his track record at the box office is proof

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amitabh bachchan box office track record bankable star badla

Amitabh Bachchan is one of the biggest superstars Bollywood has seen. In fact, his popularity across India is massive. He has been acting in Indian cinema for several decades and over time, he has become quite the bankable star. In fact, the megastar commands a huge following and can guarantee an opening even today. If you look at his last five releases before Badla, you will understand that he can assure you a considerable amount of money and profit even today. Just that everything depends on the script, the story, the actors and the size of release!

Looking at his last five releases and analysing them, you will realise that he is a pretty bankable star. In fact, with a limited release and low buzz, he could still garner Rs 20 crore for a film like TE3N (2016). And even though Sarkar 3 (2017) did not work due to the poor screenplay, he could make it earn Rs 10 crore. He delivered stand out performances in Pink (2017) and 102 Not Out (2016). And both of them had a fantastic lifetime collection. Pink, with a limited release, managed to collect Rs 70 crore. 102 Not Out, on the other hand, raked in Rs 50 crore. Thugs of Hindostan (2018) was his biggest release in the last decade. And though it was not good enough, it gave him his biggest collection, with a box office total of Rs 150 crore.

Talking about Amitabh Bachchan’s stature, Akshaye Rathi (exhibitor and distributor) mentioned, “Mr Bachchan is a legend in his own right. He’s been one of the biggest superstars the country has ever seen! But I really feel it is unfair to put the onus of the film’s recovery on him, because he is the pricey jewel on the crown. He decorates the film like no other actor can. So I guess as big a legend he is, I really feel it is unfair to draw parallels to his popularity in the business to the amount of money his films draw. He is like a MF Hussain painting today, you cannot really put a value to it. He is a thing to watch. Let’s not try and read into his stature. He is beyond that! He is priceless!”

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Analysis

Before Badla, Taapsee Pannu has consistently raked in the moolah at the box office – here’s proof

Badla actress Taapsee Pannu is a consistent performer and her track record at the box office is proof

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taapsee pannu box office track record consistent star badla

Taapsee Pannu is one helluva actress. Her choice of roles and the conviction with which she pulls them off is fantastic. Yes, she might not call herself an A-lister yet. But Taapsee cannot deny the fact that she is a consistent performer. Not only for the audience, but also at the box office. Don’t believe us? Well, check out the actress’ box office track record before the release of Badla. And you will have your answer! In fact, she is so consistent, that she will pretty soon be one of the most bankable actresses of recent times.

Taking a look back at her last five releases, let us tell you that she has balanced her career well. From masala entertainers to commercial potboilers and some unconventional roles, she’s chosen it all. Her biggest hit till date is Judwaa 2 (2017), which saw her in a pivotal part. The movie raked in nearly Rs 150 crore, making her one of the few actresses to have managed to achieve this feat. Post that, she was seen in a very limited release – Dil Junglee (2018). And even though it did not do well due to its story , it did earn a meagre amount (Rs 2 crore) courtesy her fan following. Then started her consistent phase, which saw her deliver three back-to-back decent releases. And mind you, Soorma, Mulk and Manmarziyaan collected the amount it did because of her strong presence. While Soorma raked in Rs 35 crore, Manmarziyaan (Rs 30 crore) and Mulk (Rs 20 crore) followed suit with decent collections.

Talking about Taapsee Pannu’s track record, Akshaye Rathi reveals exclusively, “It is nice to see a young and fresh actress like her try out new roles. It is really great to see her take the onus of a film’s business on her shoulders. Like Mulk was a Taapsee Pannu film supported brilliantly by Mr Rishi Kapoor. If you look at Manmarziyaan, of course Vicky Kaushal and Abhishek Bachchan were there. But Taapsee was also as responsible for the business of the film as they were! She is making some really brave choices. She balancing it up with films like Judwaa 2 and whole lot of others, which are commercial. That earns her a fan following and an audience base! I genuinely feel she is making some great moves. If she sustains and continues to deliver, then she will be a bankable star at the box office!”

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Analysis

Sonchiriya: 5 reasons why you should watch the Sushant Singh Rajput starrer

Raw and real – here’s why you should not miss Abhishek Chaubey’s Sonchiriya

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Sonchiriya is metaphorically the search for the elusive – for absolution and redemption. All of us are looking for our Holy grails – or if you speak dacoit  –  our Sonchiriyas. Abhishek Chaubey’s film Sonchiriya makes an impression for many reasons. Here are the five main pillars that held up Sonchiriya, amongst others.

NO GLAMOURISATION:  A dacoit film where despite notoriety as dacoits, the characters were not made to look larger-than-life or like caricatures. They were human. They were immensely fallible. Their nobility was not magnified nor criminality minimised. More than anything, it ventured an insight into the mind of the rebel, who questioned his dharam even though he lived by a code, who suffered agony and guilt even though he could be trigger-happy. And the film portrayed the real hardships in life on the run in the ravines. No, the dacoits were not glorified nor glamourised. Abhishek Chaubey’s takes are raw and real. So the response is gut level. Every single time.

REAL REAL REAL: The fact that the film was shot in real locations lent it credibility like nothing else could. And it must have been no cakewalk, shooting in the arid and mountainous parts of MP, and the Chambal. A logistical nightmare for a cast and crew of near 400 people, to create the most real looking dacoit film made. The shooting in the interiors of Madhya Pradesh distinctly lacked in facilities. The sweat, the grime was all real. The thirst, and the crinkled eyes from too much harsh sunlight was also real. The authenticity and attention to detail in near every aspect- whether it was the dusty and worn clothes, shoes, the gamchas, the windblown hair, the dirt in the fingernails and on their skin wasn’t  applied), their hair-cuts, the costuming of each character, the dust in the air, everything looked real.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: The camera work by Anuj Rakesh Dhawan was riveting. Chilling in points and blazing in points, it was the director’s vision translated in the most unaffected manner. The very soul of the ravines, the stillness of the ponds, and the screaming torment of the rebels’ minds… the stench of their sweat came through the screens… the maggots and flies buzzing on a dead snake, the weariness in their pores, the recoil from the staccato firing of machine guns, everything was captured in unforgettable frames.

THE PERFECT CASTING: Every single actor right down to the last member of the supporting cast seemed chiselled from that very soil, landscape, mountains and deserts. Sushant Singh Rajput as Lakhna, dacoit chief – Dadda Man Singh played by Manoj Bajpayee, Ranvir Shorey as Vakil Singh, Bhumi Pednekar as Indumati Tomar, Ashutosh Rana as the blood-thirsty vengeful policeman Virendra Singh Gujjar, and a horde of secondary cast played their parts perfectly. The dialogue delivery was noticeable, and since the Bundelkhandi dialect and accent is uncommon to the regular movie dialogues, it stood out, but rang no false notes. Apparently, in order for the cast to get acclimatised to speaking the accents, they made it mandatory for them to speak the same right through the shooting, even on breaks… sure enough, not one actor slipped up even once.  And Halleluiah, in the cause of authenticity, the dialogue which was rife with swearwords, sailed through the CBFC, without cuts, nothing short of a miracle!

HAUNTING MUSIC SCORE: Mercifully bereft of unnecessary songs, what played out in the score was soulfully eloquent and heartbreakingly beautiful music composed by Vishal Bhardwaj. So relieved to know that has not been set aside simply because he aced direction with a string of films. The right notes, and the right voices – Rekha Bhardwaj, Arijit Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, and Rajasthani folk singer Mame Khan nailed it for Varun Grover’s lyrics, except for two songs, Naina Na Maar, which had traditional lyrics, and was recreated by Ashok Mizaj Badr, and the Daaku anthem which had lyrics by Abhishek Nailwal and music by Ketan Sodha.

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