Off The Beaten Track

By Ambika Sharma

Ambika Sharma

I accidentally happened to watch Bareilly Ki Barfi and though Rajkummar Rao was supporting the lead actors in the movie, it was his character that really stole the show for me.

It was marvellous how he switched from a ‘Tapori’ to ‘meek person’ in a split second right in the middle of a scene. While he kept switching between the personalities, he managed to do both of them so convincingly that every time he was in the character, it looked like that was the true him. This, in my opinion, is a mark of a brilliant actor, never let it look like you are acting.

After I watched the movie I decided to dig into his past and present work.

After completing his graduation from FTII, Rajkumar Rao spent almost a year visiting studios auditioning and even facing rejection. In his interview at the ‘Tape Cast’ with Farah Khan he even mentioned that he was once told by some filmmaker that he would never be an actor because he was not fair to look at.

However, finally he did get his first break when he responded to an ad by Dibakar Banerjee for fresh faces for his upcoming movie ‘Love Sex aur Dhokha’.

​Rajkumar started his career in 2010 with the movie ‘Love Sex aur Dhoka’ where he portrayed a negative role of a pervert who films his intimate moments with a girl who is vulnerable with an intention to make money from selling the clip. ​

He next played the character of Uday in the movie ‘Ragini MMS’ again of a fetishist pervert who wants to film his intimate moments with his girlfriend but gets stuck in some paranormal activity.

Rajkummar Rao in the film ‘Trapped’

Despite him playing a negative role again in his very second movie, his acting was much appreciated by audiences and people of the fraternity. He even spoke to Rajeev Masand in an interview on how he had received an appreciation message from a film critic after his second movie saying, “A star was porn” but he also mentions that this message also served as a reminder of not wanting to get stereo typed. He then played some remarkably small yet powerful roles in the movies, ‘Shaitan’, ‘Gangs of Wasseypur -2’ and ‘Talaash’.

​It was his role as “Govind Patel” a typical Gujarati boy trying to make a business work in the movie ‘Kai Po Che!’ where ​everyone in the nation started to notice him and his work but it was ​his​ movie “Shahid” that gave him the recognition and the national award that he yearned for. His movie “Newton” even went to the Oscars from Bollywood.

Be it a very annoying boy “Vijay” from the movie ‘Queen’ who calls off his wedding because he thinks he has become ‘cooler’ than his fiancée after working abroad or a migrant “Deepak Singh” from the movie ‘CityLights’ who is desperate to earn to survive each day in a big city or even an abusive husband “Hari Prasad” from the movie ‘Humari Adhuri Kahani’; Rajkumar has managed to play a different role in each film of his and he is like a chameleon who blends into the skin of all his characters so well that it is really difficult to tell the real and reel him apart. ​​

RajKumar’s first look in ‘Omerta’

The physical transformation that he willing goes through for his characters, be it weight gain or loss or even shaving off his head partly is enough proof of his dedication towards his passion – acting. ​​

Though Rajkumar does not fit the typical bollywood hero genre of cute chocolate boy looks or a greek god like handsome looks, his dedication and his want to become an amazing and promising actor along with his truthful acting skills ensured that the audience and the critics love him, which garnered him some box office hits and some national awards and a few nomination in his 7-year career. With five movies of his that released last year in 2017 the actor has no looking back now.

We wish him the best of luck for a very successful career and may all his dreams come true.


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