Until a few years ago, there were some unsaid rules that defined an actor’s stardom. Having a genre that one could call their own, some superhit songs with signature dance moves and most important of all, a catchphrase that was an instant reminder of the said star. Until the 90s, if one did not have any of these, they had not arrived. In fact, a few years ago, Ranbir Kapoor had mentioned in an interview that he feels he will only be a star after mimicry artists start replicating his style, which he had not established by then.
Times have changed and so has Bollywood. The signature dance moves or catchphrases don’t define stardom anymore but the ones who achieved it once are still basking in the glory of the same.
One such ‘Jhakaas’ superstar is Anil Kapoor.
With a thick moustache on his face and a petite frame, Anil was introduced to the Hindi film audience in a leading role with 1983’s Woh Saat Din. It wasn’t a heroic role in any way, but he made it work. Showcasing craftsmanship is the only way of earning stardom and knowingly or unknowingly, the actor took the same route. With films like Mashaal, Saheb, he got a chance to work with the legendary Dilip Kumar and while it must have been a daunting task for him at the time as a newcomer, he aced the roles he got.
His ‘Jhakaas’ image got highlighted with films like Karma, Ram Lakhan, Tezaab and many others and once that was established, Anil was a bonafide star. But while the actor did the commercial potboilers, he also did some serious author-backed roles in films like Lamhe, Virasat and Pukar. Winning many accolades along his journey, Anil was always the star who knew the value of consistency. He maintained a steady balance between the kinds of films he chose and moved ahead with the times.
Anil Kapoor’s career saw a turning point after he appeared in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire. The film gave him an international platform. Post his many appearances in Hollywood films and international TV shows, the actor was all over our social media timelines. Be it through memes or how he had found the elixir of youth, Anil’s fandom saw many new recruits and for a star, this certainly is the best kind of award.
In an interview with Anupam Kher, Anil had once shared that he still likes to stay fit because that gives him the opportunity to slip into any character as and when it is required, at least the physicality of the character could be taken care of well in advance. He is 62 and while 62 was considered old and ancient at one point, in no way can the Race 3 star be called an old man.
Sporting the coolest look in his upcoming film Race 3, Anil Kapoor has indeed grabbed eyeballs even though this film is a Salman Khan extravaganza. The actor has a busy year ahead with films like Fanne Khan and Total Dhamaal and in 2019, he has Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga and the Abhinav Bindra biopic. For an actor who has stayed relevant in the film industry for almost 35 years, this must be just another year but for generations of fans he has built across those years, this is a time to celebrate. A time to applaud his ‘Jhakkas’ attitude that is just as cool as it was three decades ago.