This article is in Collaboration with Nupur Nigam hazela
While the Bollywood is engulfed in a debate about nepotism, a common boy from Gurugram has shown that there is no barrier for grit, determination and talent. We are speaking about none other than the versatile actor Rajkummar Rao aka Rajkumar Yadav. A simple looking guy with superb acting skills has made his mark not only on national cinema but also on international scene.
Rajkummar made his debut in Bollywood with Love, Sex and Dhoka in 2010. However in a short span of seven years, Rajkummar has not only created a niche for himself but has also managed to win the prestigious National Award and Filmfare Award. The ultimate feather in his cap has come as the nomination of his latest movie Newton for Oscars 2018 in the foreign language category. Owing to Rao’s stellar performance, Newton has already been gaining accolade on international film circuit. It bagged the CICAE award at Berlin film festival and also the jury award at the Hong King International Film Festival. The film also received nominations at Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, TriBeCa and Jerusalem film festivals.
2017 seems to be the year of Rajkumar Rao who is giving one stellar performance after another. Whether it was the role of a helpless Shaurya in Trapped or an innocent guy trying to impress a girl in Bareilly ki Barfi, Rajkummar Rao always manages to pull of each role with ease. In the era where big budget films with their stars are flooding the theatres, it is a feat that actors like Rajkummar Rao are managing to impress audience and critics alike with their performance and honesty.
It is not often that an actor manages to impress the legend of Bollywood, Mr Amitabh Bachchan. Having been in the industry for more than five decades, Big B continues to inspire actors, and when he claims to be impressed by an actor, it is the ultimate praise an actor can get. Rajkummar Rao has managed to impress the legend himself with his stellar performance in the movie Bareilly ki Barfi. In the movie we saw Rajkummar being transformed from a shy and soft-spoken saree salesman to an energetic young man who dominated the room and the screen.
This transformation forced Big B to acknowledge Rajkummar’s acting skills through a handwritten note. The note said, “I got to see your film Bareilly Ki Barfi. It’s amazing, outstanding… I’ve been an admirer of your work for a long time, but your performance in this film was beautiful. All my best wishes, always. Loads of love, Amitabh Bachchan.” Amitabh Bachchan certainly knows talent when he sees it.
In Trapped, we saw Rajkummar as Shaurya, who is trapped in an apartment without food, water or phone. The movie was the responsibility of the actor alone as it was mostly limited to a single apartment with him solely responsible for the movie. He did not disappoint us and it was a treat to watch so many emotions and expressions on the face of the actor.
The latest in the series of his successes as an actor is Newton where he plays the role of an honest government clerk who wants the elections to be held fairly in Maoist controlled area. Once again Rajkummar has left has speechless with his conviction and honest efforts. Once again he managed to steal praise from none other than Amitabh Bachchan who tweeted, “Saw the film ‘NEWTON’ .. its stark reality was a treat to watch ! An eye opener .. on many aspects .. !!”
In the times of multistarrers with budget of billions and aggressive advertising campaigns, Rajkummar Rao continues to make us believe that real talents neither need Godfathers nor fancy sets and locations. Even a movie limited to a single room as Trapped or those showing cruel and stark reality as in Newton will garner praise and accolades.
Rajkummar Rao is known for working really hard to ensure that he understands the characters and prepares well for them. For Trapped, he went on a diet of black coffee and carrots to portray a person who had gone hungry. Similarly, for Bose: Dead or Alive, he gained weight and also shaved half his head. While watching his movies, we forget that it is Rajkummar Rao, such is his honesty and dedication towards his roles.
So far 2017 can be termed as his and his year alone with movies like Trapped, Bareilly ki Barfi and Newton. The nomination of Newton in Oscars is just the beginning and we are sure that there is much more in store for the Newton actor and for his fans as well.