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Almost a decade back, a cool-headed completely unruffled guy entered the B-town, who unlike the legendary actors of our Indian cinema, had no lofty dreams of becoming an actor. Call him a destiny’s child or what, this easygoing chap did his first movie just for fun ! Neither he was the leading actor nor the movie was a starry-glossed one and to further add fuel to fire, the film rammed at the box office. But the failure gave much more to the actor than the apprehensible.
And I’m talking about none other than, Hashmi…THE EMRAAN HASHMI ! Yeah, the man does deserve the definite article in front of his name after giving a hard blow to absurd film critics on their faces with his consecutive sterling performances.
There is something unique about Emraan Hashmi’s career graph that defies established conventions. Okay, just try a simple search on YouTube or Google with his name as the key word ! You’ll be flooded with his various on-screen kissing scenes with his co-stars from the time he had debuted in Footpath (2003) to his last big hit – Jannat 2 (Shanghai didn’t have one ! ), as auto-suggestions. Actors of his generation would have cringed at the early tag of a ‘serial kisser‘, but Hashmi embraced the title, scoffed at his critics and sportingly endured the roasting by the media to churn hackneyed performances, film after film that somehow struck a chord with his audience.
Coming from a family of filmmakers known for experimenting with erotic thrillers, Emraan’s debut was almost a cipher to be written or spoken about. Yet there was something idiosyncratic about him that connected with a certain section of audience since as early as 2003. He quintessentially personified a certain discipline of acting that differed from the lineage of the Khans and the Kapoors.
A man endued with unconventional looks for a typical Hindi cinema actor, who got nervous by the idea of dancing, rising from rags to riches wasn’t a cakewalk at all ! Despite being promoted by the Bhatt camp in his initial days, Hashmi’s true claim to fame was a series of B-grade non-conformist erotic thrillers that surprisingly garnered a handsome amount of cash at the box office. He hit the jackpot with Murder – a movie far ahead of its times, which made him much more than just a star – A Serial Kisser ! A lot was heard and said about the film’s questionable success – its kinkiness, Mallika Sherawat’s bold image, a trussing storyline, Anurag Basu’s direction and lots more. It was extremely bold but also got its fair share of criticism.
Filmmakers had started finding a safe alternative in Hashmi, irrespective of his film’s outcome at the Box Office, the music has always hit the jackpot with the audience. Call it a boon or what, this is definitely quirkily exceptional !
After Jannat (2008) and Murder 2 (2011), he had established himself as a bankable actor. If getting stereotyped was part of the package, Hashmi never felt detrimental about it.
But the major breakthrough came with Once Upon a Time in Mumbai (2010), where he had proved that he could pull off a sensitive role with equal finesse and flair as the role of a Casanova or flamboyant roadside Romeo.
After delivering back-to-back hits consecutively – Milan Luthria’s The Dirty Picture (2011), Madhur Bhandarkar’s Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji (2011), everyone in the industry wanted to work with Hashmi. I had almost fallen for him after his awesome performance in TDP, it was such an irony that a man, who had been ascertained as a profane actor throughout his career, suddenly emerged out as the ‘cleanest’ character in a movie titled as The ‘Dirty’ Picture !
And then came Dibakar Banerjee’s political thriller Shanghai (2012), where he was seen sporting a paunch, stained buck-teeth and dark complexion. Hashmi indeed, emerged out as the star of the show, perfectly portraying the role of a porn video-maker but with a conscience. I simply loved him in the scene, where he flashes his white-yellow teeth trying to impress Kalki’s character with his pathetic broken English !
Emraan Hashmi’s USP lies in the realism and the credibiIity of the roles he portray. Having played some of the greyest characters on-screen, he has really ploughed his way. His characters are not the clichéd RAJs/RAHULs born with a silver spoon in their mouths but ordinary people with extraordinary deeds ! He’s a man driven by his instincts, who even didn’t fumble acting opposite a cluster of newcomers struggling to make an impression through their on-screen sex appeal viz. Udita Goswami, Geeta Basra, Sonal Chauhan, Tanushree Dutta, Hrishitaa Bhatt, Prachi Desai, Kangana Ranaut and Nisha Kothari. While most of his female leads have faded into oblivion, Hashmi has unabashedly carved a niche that A-listers deride and newcomers avoid.
He stood by his love by marrying his long-time girlfriend, Parveen Shahani and is now a happy father of a cute little boy.
I can go on and on, on Emraan Hashmi and there shall be no end to this write-up. Yeah, I’m his die-hard fan, who wakes up every morning and dozes off every night looking at his poster hanging blatantly on my wall with a dream to meet him one day !
All I’ll say,
“Emraan has always acted well…it’s just that the audience has started opening its eyes now…”