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Rishi Kapoor's Death Anniversary: From 'Mera Naam Joker' to 'Kapoor & Sons', a legacy to remember

Updated on: 29 April,2023 08:30 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

From the self-conceited and soft-hearted filmmaker of 'Luck By Chance' to the charming and cantankerous grandfather of 'Kapoor and Sons', the versatile, volcanic actor has done it all

Rishi Kapoor's Death Anniversary: From 'Mera Naam Joker' to 'Kapoor & Sons', a legacy to remember

Pics courtesy: Neetu Kapoor/ Instagram

Rishi Kapoor faced the camera as an actor for the first time at the age of 17 when he acted in his father’s most ambitious and audacious film 'Mera Naam Joker'. The Showman of Hindi Cinema Raj Kapoor made his son play the younger version of himself, a decision that was nothing less than a masterstroke. The actor won a National Award for playing it so real, making his love for his teacher both heartening and heartbreaking.

From the blockbuster success of 'Bobby' in 1973, there was no looking back, all RK Studio had was an acclaimed film that failed to buy many takers. This romance of a young couple made Kapoor the new romantic kid on the block, the boy next door waiting to step inside and woo the girl of the house with his aura. This continued for over 25 years, before age began to catch up. Stardom and success began to reek of sameness, and he stepped away from the limelight to focus on meatier roles he could sink his teeth into.

His unfortunate demise on April 30, 2020, was nothing but the brutal truth of life's severe unpredictability. The actor, after a 2-year battle with Leukemia, left behind a nearly 5-decade legacy that shall never fade away. And in the glorious second innings of his towering career, he truly gave some gems that will always shine for Hindi Cinema:

Luck By Chance (2009)

It was a long wait, but when offers rained, they poured. One of the first performances of Rishi Kapoor 2.0 that still and will always remain a personal favourite is Romi Rolly from 'Luck By Chance'. A self-conceited yet soft-hearted filmmaker who derives great pride in establishing careers. His career is built on making blockbusters with only one star- Zafar Khan, played by Hrithik Roshan. This buoyant debut by Zoya Akhtar mirrors the grime and glamour of an industry admired by many across the world. Kapoor’s nuances change throughout, blending with the mood of the narrative. He channels pride, confusion, heartbreak, and happiness. A filmmaker can be sometimes more expressive than an actor, especially if that filmmaker is played by an actor called Rishi Kapoor. 

Do Dooni Chaar (2010)

In 2010, another debut director cast him in the role of a middle-class teacher who strives to buy a car for his family. In Habib Faisal’s 'Do Dooni Chaar', he reunited with Neetu Kapoor for an endearing slice-of-life drama cum comedy. All actors, even the newer ones, appeared to be seasoned performers, immensely supported by sharp and relatable writing. Kapoor’s world is filled with mayhem and miseries, but he rarely raises his voice in the film. The face emotes everything and we know he doesn’t have to say anything at all. When he does buy a car in the end, he misses his scooter only because it can skid through the city’s traffic. How many can relate to this scenario? 

Also Read: Ranbir Kapoor reveals what advice his father Rishi Kapoor gave him when he stepped into the film industry

Aurangzeb (2013)

Shades of grey over stains of black, any day. This is the reason why 'Aurangzeb' makes it to the list over the bigger hit and more recognised 'Agneepath'. Both saw Kapoor as the antagonist, but the former had a far more interesting character. We know right from the beginning of the story he’s a corrupt officer, but there’s something more evil and demonic he hides for long. The mask begins to peel off gradually as the narrative progresses and when he reveals his true face, there’s shock and silence. His line shows why the film was titled over the Mughal Emperor. He says that kingship knows no kinship. It’s a classic line, a classic character.  Is it a classic film? Watch and decide.

Kapoor and Sons (2016)

There’s more to Daddu than the prosthetic makeup and Shakun Batra's unique style of filming this character that made the actor (almost) quit the film twice. This 86-year old man was cute, charming, and cantankerous. His intention is to bind his family together that’s crumbling due to flawed decisions and nearly unpardonable sins. No actor comes to mind when it comes to this character, and Shakun Batra, arguably the best thing to have happened to Dharma Productions, never allows his mannerisms to go over the top.

Special Mentions: Mulk, Agneepath, D-Day

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