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Ranbir Kapoor

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Lineage is the kind of thing that damns those who have it as much as it annoys those who don’t.

Ranbir Kapoor, though, seems the perfect argument for all that is right about lineage; genetic good looks, great charm, and talent serious enough to prevent the first two from being annoying.

He has also, seemingly, escaped the self-angst that comes so often to those that receive legacy – and this one is quite a legacy. The fourth generation of filmdom’s celebrated Kapoor family, Ranbir is great-grandson of Prithviraj Kapoor, a pioneering theatre and film actor and founder of Mumbai’s legendary Prithvi Theatre; grandson of the iconic Raj Kapoor and son of celebrated actor parents Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh.

This intimidating cinematic lineage doesn’t seem to weigh on him, though – he shows an affection and deference for it even while being determinedly his own person, maybe because the last few years have demonstrated that what he has inherited above all is talent.

It’s odd today to think the world hadn’t registered much about Ranbir till barely 5 years ago, when he arrived on the scene with a flourish – double-edged, though – with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya. A clutch of interesting, and surprisingly varied, roles have followed. There was the charming, breezy playboy of Bachna Ae Haseeno; the aimless poor-little-rich-boy of Wake Up Sid; the Chief-of-All-Things-Happy in Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahaani; and then the transition into the aspiring politician of Rajneeti and the idealistic salesman of Rocket Singh. And then there was Rockstar, 2011’s spectacularly successful inside look at the making and crumbling of a rock musician and earlier this year, Barfi, where Ranbir played the eponymous title character.

If something has remained consistent across these roles, it’s the reaction to Ranbir’s skill as an actor. He conveys arguably the most difficult attribute for an actor to pull off: effortlessness, and in doing so, has charmed viewers across ages, gender and geography.

Today, he carries the weight of another ‘title’ along with his legacy: film critics and media reports almost universally call him ‘the future of Indian cinema’. Typically, Ranbir carries the weight of it effortlessly.

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