I went back and forth on this one. I really really wanted to do Nargis Farkri, because she drives me crazy, but that didn’t seem fair. Because she was kind of set up to fail in her movie roles, with a bunch of characters that never made sense and no real direction, so she was left to sort of pouting her way through the part as best she could. No, I want to give it to someone who had a good script backed role and failed to manage it. (did that header trick you into thinking it might be Kat? No! She actually did a pretty good job in her movies this year)
Yes, poor Siddharth Malhotra, you have won my Worst Actor award. Despite my great love for you in SOTY, I fear that level of character is about the height of your abilities. And trying to do anything more just leads to ruined movies.
Both Baar Baar Dekho and Kapoor & Sons were flawed movies to begin with (whereas Student of the Year is just about perfect). And the flaws were biggest with your character. In Baar Baar Dekho, the script isolated you from other characters, you had too few moments of connection and understanding with those around you which could have served to make you sympathetic. Therefore, the pressure was on you as an actor to make your hero empathetic, to make us feel what he was feeling and understand his struggle, to care about what happened to him. And your failure to do so lead to the failure of the film as a whole.
In Kapoor & Sons, your character was surrounded by complex human people. An older son struggling to live up to his mother’s “perfect” vision of him, a mother who has poured her life’s frustrations into her son, a father who has poured his life frustrations into resentment hidden in tiny barbs and self-pity, a grandfather whose selfishness and self-interest have helped create this environment of bitterness, and even Alia, the “girl-next-door” who is a lot more than her happy facade. And then there’s you, the blank slate perfect one, the one who is always done-to, not doing.
You are supposed to be our entry into this family, the silent sufferer who finally learns to stand up for himself and earn his happy ending. The catalyst that makes everything happen. But instead, Fawad Khan, the older brother who is supposed to be part of the “problem” not the solution, the one with even more issues than you, ended up running away with the movie. And because Fawad became the most sympathetic one, suddenly the rest of the family, in the way they used and abused and blamed him, became unforgivably horrible. If the Siddharth Malhotra character had been the centerpiece, then the sins against him would have been forgivable, and the happy reunited family ending would have been earned. But since Siddharth inevitably slide into second place in the audience concern, suddenly the much greater sins against Fawad became the centerpiece and the ending falls apart.
(see Fawad off to the side, like we aren’t even supposed to notice him?)
Oh Siddharth, hopefully 2017 will be kinder to you. The Bang Bang sequel that you are supposedly doing next, that should be about your speed.