From a callow youngster doing insignificant character roles in Hamare Tumhare, Hum Paanch and Shakti to the much acclaimed mature actor of today, Anil Kapoor has come a long way. There was a time in the late eighties when after three superhits – Mr.India, Tezaab and Ram Lakhan – in a row, Anil even occupied top spot for a while and was tipped to succeed Amitabh as the eternal superstar but a lackluster first half of nineties and emergence of Khan- trio took away the spot-light from him. Showing extra-ordinary courage and acumen, Anil came back through strong character roles in films like Biwi No.1 and Taal.
His spectrum of roles is quite varied – from angry young man (Tezaab and Ram Lakhan) to light hearted comic (Mr.India, Khel, Deewana Mastana, Masti and Welcome) to romantic sentimentalist (Woh 7 Din, Lamhe and Pukar) to plain offbeat (My Wife’s Murder and Calcutta Mail). From subtle underplay to loud overacting, Anil uses acting techniques rather well. He has repeatedly shown the ability to bounce back by re-inventing his image and he has also never shied away from playing second fiddle to others.
Here are three notable films from his varied repertoire.
Mashaal (1984) won for Anil, a Filmfare award in supporting role. He played a road- side ruffian who is reformed by his lady- love, a cub press reporter (Rati Agnihotri) and her principled editor (Dilip Kumar). The circumstances change drastically when the editor– a victim of criminal backlash, becomes a crime boss and his reformed protégé returns as a press reporter himself, leading to a direct moral confrontation between the two. Although not a commercial success, this Yash Chopra film is still remembered for the strong performances of protagonists.
Viraasat (1997) is a story of a modern young man (Anil Kapoor) returning to his village- based traditional family with a foreign degree and a girl friend (Pooja Batra) in tow. Following untimely death of his father (Amrish Puri), he is sucked into a marriage with an uneducated village- girl (Tabu) and is also forced to don the mantle of a village chief. The long standing family feud, for which he has cared nothing so far, then comes to haunt him, finally turning him into a violent killer – an unwilling victim of circumstances. In this dramatic tale with emotions and blood and gore galore, Anil’s performance was fabulous.
Judaai (1997) is an over-the –top, improbable tale of a husband (Anil Kapoor), who is sold by a greedy wife (Sreedevi) and bought by a millionaires (Urmila Matondkar).<