In 1983, a young, innocent Anil Kapoor charmed his way into our hearts through his comic act in Woh 7 Din. The film also starred Naseeruddin Shah considered to be one of the brightest actors that Hindi film industry has seen. Yet, Anil Kapoor easily managed to create his own space in the film. There was an unassuming energy about Anil. The actor played a young man from Patiala (Punjab) with a certain finesse and served that character to the audience wrapped in layers of his own style and charm. It also helped that film didn’t stereotype the character and it remains one of the most authentic take on people from rural Punjab.
Cut to 2017, after 34 years since Anil Kapoor made an impressive debut, he is seen sharing screen space with nephew Arjun Kapoor in Anees Bazmee’s Mubarakan. It seems nothing has changed. Anil Kapoor walks into Mubarakan with seemingly no challenge from Arjun Kapoor. Anil has easily stolen the limelight. Even as early reviews of the film are pouring in, Anil Kapoor seems to be the darling of critics and fans. He has given Arjun a run for his money. The comparisons between Anil and Arjun were inevitable as both come from the same family. With nepotism debate at its peak, Arjun Kapoor’s work will be scrutinised with a microscopic lens.
Arjun Kapoor and Anil Kapoor belong to two different generations. They are bound to be different in terms of style. But, Anil Kapoor is a natural talent. Can you say the same for Arjun Kapoor? Yes, he is successful. But a look at Mubarakan will tell how desperately we need natural actors. It’s also a gentle reminder of how often we are deprived of real talent and are incessantly served mindless chaos in the name of entertainment.
Let’s have a quick glance at some of the comedy films of Anil Kapoor where he didn’t need chartbusters or swag to thrust his stardom on us. Here’s a list of five films of Anil Kapoor that Arjun Kapoor should watch or rewatch:
1. Woh 7 Din
There is not a single speck of second in Woh 7 Din where Anil Kapoor gives you an opportunity to be distracted. He holds your attention with his humor and innocence. His character Prem Pratap is so naive and unsophisticated that you wonder if the same can be served in films today. Unlike slapstick comedy, the film’s humorous moments are situational. His funny character is a consequence of his circumstances and aspirations. While you laugh at the clumsiness of his character, you would also silently clap for his pride and morals.
2. Chameli Ki Shadi
The film saw Anil Kapoor playing a man who wants to become a wrestler. He meets Amrita Singh and falls in love with her. Over the years, the film has achieved the cult status for its commentary on the caste system. Amrita Singh stole the show in the film, but you also can’t ignore Anil Kapoor’s layered, restrained act.
3. Biwi No 1
The final scene of this otherwise mediocre movie is a gem. And that’s because it has Anil Kapoor and Tabu. Anil Kapoor is seen chasing and persuading Tabu after latter sees him hugging a girl.
4. Mr. India
Mr. India is often touted as country’s first science fiction film. But beyond certain tags, the film was also about Anil and Sridevi’s comic acts. As a young man looking after a group of orphan children, Anil brought a certain sincerity and sensitivity to this character that wasn’t devoid of humor.
5. Dil Dhadakne Do
Directed by Zoya Akhtar, the film had a long list of stars including Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, and Farhan Akhtar. Anil Kapoor played a Delhi businessman that required more subtlety. Anil brought a new set of quirks to this character and made it absolutely lovable.