“I don’t want to change with every film. Let me settle for this and then, I’ll do a makeover so that it’s a shocker for people!”- Ayushmann Khurrana
The Birth of a Star
Former radio and video jockey, reality show winner, singer, composer, actor and poet. That’s Ayushmann Khurrana for you. He started off his stint in Bollywood with a rom-com Vicky Donor. The movie’s name itself made everyone think twice: what would the content be like? But this hero braved it all and put all doubts to an end. Critics spoke of the newbie’s bold choice of debuting with an unconventional film and convincing acting skills.
The combination of cute, boy-next-door dimpled looks with a relatable Punjabi personality surely tugged at people’s hearts- was he to become the stereotypical rom-com hero of Bollywood? Just when we thought so, Khurrana was about to change the idea of the hero in the world of glamour. Starting from Dum Laga Ke Haisha to Bareilly Ki Barfi, the actor proved his mettle of being able to slip into any role you throw at him. Be it the doting husband in Dum Laga Ke…or the jilted lover in Bareilly, the actor pulled off every character with finesse.
He already had won hearts of the youth by showing his fierce yet flexible style in a reality TV show. Later, with a clearly unique choices of roles and scripts the actor was taking up, the masses too started accepting him on screen. No, he wasn’t a star kid neither was he launched by a big director, the actor was out there to spellbound everyone slowly and steadily with sheer acting. But the imperative question was- how much of experiment did the audience like? Would an entrant just a few films old break stereotypes and position his hold in B-town?
Steps Towards Stardom
The answer came in the form of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan. The actor picked up another taboo topic of erectile dysfunction and turned it into a light-hearted comedy. But with an industry chasing numbers, talking of Box Office collections to define stardom, was the actor really able to make the mark? In 2017, Ayushmann had two projects in hand, both being comedy-centric films. Bareilly Ki Barfi was touted as “quite a delicious dessert” and managed to fetch Rs. 587.5 million. Shubh Mangal turned out to be “One of the most enjoyable films of the year”, raking in Rs. 645 million. From there on, there was no stopping Ayushmann!
Next came 2018 and with more than half of the year passing by, audiences were already waiting for his new movie. With the announcement of Andhadhun, a Sriram Raghavan film- the expectations had been set high. This was to be the actor’s first try at taking up a black comedy crime thriller. Seldom enough do any of the “mainstream” heroes in Bollywood take up a black comedy. It was Ayushmann’s bold or rather experimental approach that made him choose this movie and boy, did he get too carried away?
Joining the 100 Crore Club
Ayushmann portrayed the role of a blind piano player and had trained for two months under a professional pianist in Los Angeles. Being a musician in real life, it was one of the toughest roles of his career and has even called it “doubly challenging”. More challenging than that we believe, would be for the actor to break away from the genre of slice-of-life films and the audience accepting him in an unexplored realm of thriller movies.
Andhadhun received critical acclaim. From the screenplay, characters to performances, the movie was talked about for all the right reasons. The film gathered a perfect 100% on review platform Rotten Tomatoes and even entered the “Top 10 Greatest Indian Movies on IMDb”. Critic Raja Sen gave it another perfect 5 on 5 score in Hindustan Times calling it “…a perfect game of blind man’s buff.’’ Reviews and ratings weren’t just enough, Ayushmann took the game a notch higher with Rs. 862 million at the Box Office. With the spotlight on Andhadhun, all eyes were now set on Ayushmann’s next movie in the same month- Badhaai Ho.
Jumping back to the genre of comedy, which by now had become his forte- Badhaai Ho touched upon another tricky topic with utmost convincing power. The movie, irrespective of revolving around a taboo theme, caught the eye of masses and families flung to watch it in theatres. The result was a whopping Rs. 100 cr and counting at the Box Office!
To reinvent oneself and get better with every movie is a Herculean feat pulled off ever so beautifully by Ayushmann. There have been very few actors who’ve delivered two hits in the same month and Ayushmann is one them.
The actor has managed to become a crowd-puller, not just due to the unconventional projects he takes up but also because of his performance which is always on point. Riding high on the success of Andhadhun, the actor has time and again proved that content is King.
Notably, Ayushmann has established himself as an actor to look out for in the film industry. We can’t wait to see what the actor has in store for the audiences in the future.