Not a Love Letter to Ranbir Kapoor

There's no way out of it. Post 'Rockstar' chances are that anything anyone writes about Ranbir Kapoor's performance might sound like a love letter. I'll try my best not to make mine sound like one but Ranbir makes it tough.

In Imtiaz Ali's latest, Ranbir pitches his rockstar (middle figure intact) as part Sufi and part Morrison. Credit to the young actor the way he wraps himself around Mohit Chauhan's full-bodied silky voice. After a long time, finally there is a singer- actor connect which sounds real. As Jordan the rockstar, Ranbir puts it all in there but it's his passionate intensity as a lover, which Ranbir completely makes his own. Watch the scene where he says, "Baahar reh nahin paunga…" His expression when he says it, that gaze, that look… he totally owns it. As a leading man this originality, this naturalness is Ranbir's biggest edge.

Is it sounding like a love letter? Oh no.

In romantic scenes, it's never so much as the grand gesture. Sometimes only a look is enough to catapult a boy to loverboy status. Shah Rukh had his look moment as Raj Malhotra in 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' in the pre interval scene when he refuses Simran (Kajol)'s invitation to her impending wedding. That look and that line, "Naa main nahin aaunga…" earned SRK gold star status and hooked a generation of girls. Salman Khan had his cult Prem moment in'Maine Pyar Kiya' when after the fracas with Jeevan (Mohnish Behl) at the party, he gazes longingly at Suman (Bhagyashree) while she evades him.

The baap of all screen-scorching look is of course Dilip Kumar. He burns it up every moment in Bimal Roy's 'Devdas' but there's a small little scene in 'Madhumati' that is my personal favourite. It's the scene where while making a portrait of Madhumati (Vyjanthimala), he suddenly stops, cups his cheek, gives her a look and sighs softly. It's just a look but enough to make any girl go Haaye. The dialogue is simple but most effective. She: "Kya dekh rahe ho?" He: "Tumhe." It's enough.

... contd.

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