(In the fourth and final part of our series on contemporary Bollywood heroes, we look at the mainstream actors who have made a mark but are yet to find a niche)
Varun Dhawan and Tiger Shroff are two budding stars, one of a kind. Together, they could be the last of the industry kids whose primary ambition is superstardom.
What sets apart these two spirited youngsters from a host of others of their generation is that, looking at their overall filmography, you realise that both are agreed upon the fact that in commercial cinema, it is the hysteria that ultimately counts. When it comes to audience expectation, both these young actors raise expectation of the good old ‘paisa vasool’ entertainer. What’s more, although both actors have delivered a fair amount of box-office hits, they are still to be serious contenders to the throne yet.
At a time when many say the days of superstars are over – that the numbers game is all but gone – Varun and Tiger seek to defy that contention with a good dose of old-school glamour.
VARUN DHAWAN: SALMAN+GOVINDA+GEN-NOW SPUNK
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that he is the son of the phenomenal David Dhawan, but Varun Dhawan’s on-screen image in his mainstream entertainers has always constantly reminded of a mix of Salman Khan’s happy-go-lucky charmer and Govinda’s funnyman prankster. Varun has consciously lent that mix his own originality, with ample new-generation spunk.
Yet, Varun has managed to impress with a couple of performances of depth, too – In “Badlapur” and “October”. These roles are perhaps an announcement to rivals, fans and critics alike: In an era when content is fast dominating every other aspect of mainstream Bollywood cinema, Varun Dhawan is ready for the complex scripts, too. For everything else, being the old-school entertainer of “Judwaa 2″ works just fine for him for now. He needn’t experiment with misplaced ambitions as ‘Kalank”, and he will be on cruise mode.
TIGER SHROFF: FIGHT, DANCE & BE MACHO
He is a dream as long as he dances and fights on the screen. The trouble starts the moment he utters his lines and tried to emote. Tiger Shroff’s career is over five-years-old now. He has become a better dancer and a more invincible fighter. The trouble is there seems not much movement in the emoting aspect.
Look at the bright side. Despite revealing limited histrionic talent, Tiger’s fan base has only grown with every new release. Clearly, the young audience likes him – which should be enough for now.
Many industry watchers see a lot of Akshay Kumar’s early years in Tiger, owing to his dancing and stunt skills. In his early years, Akshay, too, was often written off because of his dialogue delivery and awkwardness before the camera. Today, Akshay has scaled the heights, as a superstar survivor who is counted among the industry’s most restrained actors. There’s a lesson over there for Tiger, if he must emerge beyond being a traditional commercial star and survive a rapidly changing Bollywood
By Vinayak Chakravorty