Discussion Post: Why is Ranbir Kapoor Such a Disaster for a Movie?

Somehow since my Rockstar review, this has turned into “pile on to Ranbir” week. And I decided, let’s lean into that and keep it going!

We were just talking about the YRF slate of upcoming movies and I found myself just assuming that the Ranbir movie would be delayed. And then I unpacked that thought and discovered, after following Hindi movie news day by day for 4 years, I have come to subconsciously equate Ranbir Kapoor with “filming disasters”.

Ranbir Kapoor in the past 12 years since his launch has lead 20 movies. Of those 20 films, 11 have either been extremely delayed, or flops, or both (Anjaana Anjaani, Barfi!, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Besharam, Bombay Velvet, Roy, Tamasha, Jagga Jasoos, Sanju, Brahmastra, Shamshera). And this has happened at an ever increasing rate as his career progresses.

Image result for sanju poster
Big hit, release delayed I lost track of how many times

Ranbir’s first film was a flop, but I’m not gonna put that on him necessarily, he was just starting out and Bhansali was the director and had had all hits up to that point. Saawariya was his first critical and commercial flop. And then Ranbir had a string of successful films, up to Anjaana Anjaani, which failed to be as popular as expected and whose release was overshadowed by rumors around Ranbir’s personal life (messy break up with Dips and relationship starting with Kat). Rockstar was a big critical hit and decent box office hit, followed by Barfi! which was a decent critical hit and big box office hit. And which also had a last minute filming and release delay, and a very long filming schedule. Because of the Barfi! delay, Ranbir’s next film Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was also delayed, although filming went smoothly once started and it was also a massive hit on release. Ranbir’s biggest hit was followed by his biggest flop, the first total commercial and critical failure since Saawariya, Besharam. It actually lost money, despite a really good opening day brought in by Ranbir’s good name after YJHD.

Ranbir’s next major release was a full two years later, Bombay Velvet which had big names and good buzz and ended up being a massive legendary flop even on day one (almost unheard of for a film to fail on day one before word of mouth spreads). In between Besharam and Bombay Velvet was another massive flop, Roy, in which Ranbir did an extended cameo appearance. After Bombay Velvet, Tamasha. Filming lasted over a year with multiple extensions to the short schedules and big gaps between schedules. And the release was moved around last minute, from 2016 back to 2015 thanks to the juggling going on around the changing release dates of Ranbir’s other movies. The budget somehow went very high, so high that despite a decent box office on release the film was still a loss when it did ultimately release. His next film ADHM had “only” a 10 month filming schedule, short for Ranbir by this point. It made a good box office and got some critical acclaim.

Image result for ranbir kapoor ae dil hai mushkil poster
One of only two Ranbir films to actually release on schedule since 2010.

And then Jagga Jasoos. A 2 and a half year filming schedule, with Ranbir called in for reshooting long sections twice. Release delayed 2 years past the scheduled date. And then it came out and was a box office bomb, lost massive amounts of money, so much so that it helped Disney decide to shut down all original production in India. Sanju came next, a box office hit. Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra initially nixed casting Ranbir and wanted Ranveer instead but director Hirani held firm on Ranbir. Ranbir got a month break between each shooting schedule, filming was completed in 12 months, with the release date being pushed multiple times during and after filming was completed. And now, Brahmastra. If it releases on schedule, Ranbir would still have an almost 2 year break between releases. Brahmastra was scheduled for multiple shooting schedules of about a month each, with 3-4 month breaks in between. It is already far beyond schedule and the announced release date has been canceled. Shamshera is Ranbir’s next, filming started in December of 2018 and was scheduled to be completed by July of 2019. It was not.

Looking at each film individually, I can give excuses for all of them. Anjaana Anjaani, not Ranbir’s fault that his personal scandal overtook the film. Every star is allowed at least one personal drama of that level. Barfi!, well, that was a difficult concept and a director known for delays. The YJHD delays, just a side effect of Barfi!, that’s fine. Besheram, everyone can pick a bad script sometimes. Roy, that was a cameo as a favor, not his fault the movie was terrible. Bombay Velvet, the filming completed on time it was the post-production where everything went wrong. Tamasha, the shooting schedule ran long and the release date was moved around because of the issues with Ranbir’s other films, can we really blame the budget going high on him or isn’t that the producer’s fault? Jagga Jasoos, an ambitious concept that was always going to be a gamble, a director known for delays, can we blame Ranbir for that flop and the delayed filming? Sanju, a biopic covering multiple eras is hard for a star, he needed the breaks in between to transition, the release was delayed but it still was a big hit when it came out. And Brahmastra, another ambitious concept, filming scheduled between other films for him and his co-stars, a delay on that film isn’t unexpected. Shamshera, same thing.

The confrontation scene before this, maybe 5 minutes of film time, took 3 days to shoot because Ranbir was “emotionally exhausted” after each take.

But cumulatively? Except for ADHM and Rockstar, every single Ranbir film since 2010 has either been a flop or delayed release after announcing a release date. So either they rush out and are terrible, or they take a lot of time and are a hit. Or take a lot of time and are still terrible (in the case of Bombay Velvet).

A lot of this is because he is filming simultaneously, long breaks between short schedules to make time for his other responsibilities. But if that is the issue, wouldn’t you think there would be more films in total released? We’re looking at 11 movies in 8 years, some years (like 2019) without any release at all. For comparison, in that same period, Ranveer Singh had 12 movies in that time period, only 2 flops and the rest solid critical and commercial successes to a varying degree, no filming delays to the point of rescheduled releases except Padmavat, which was nothing to do with him.

Actually, lets expand that comparison. Ranveer signed two demanding roles at once, Lootera and Ram-Leela. He had a year long gap in his release schedule to make space for them, but both films came out smoothly. Dil Dhadakne Do was a multi-starrer including a shoot that was broken up thanks to the schedule of the cruise ship they were using. It was completed in 90 days in total, and over 5 months. Bajirao Mastani shot during the same period. It released on time after a shooting schedule of 214 days in one year, despite Ranveer requiring shoulder surgery in the middle and needing to rerecord several scenes because of technical issues, and him filming DDD at the same time. Befikre was the first time Ranveer faced actual schedule conflicts, thanks to trying to squeeze it in around DDD and Bajirao. The original schedule had to be rearranged, but it still released on the date planned over a year in advance. Simmba filmed in 6 months, with Ranveer getting married in the middle of filming, and released on the announced date. Gully Boy actually completed before Simmba in 4 months of shooting with Ranveer taking a 2 month break between the two to transition from a troubled poor rapper to a muscular cop. ’83 is his first film to have major issues, the release has been pushed over a year already. Meanwhile he has signed two more films, a costume epic Takht that is yet to start filming, and a small YRF comedy that was announce shortly after the ’83 release was bumped again. So it is possible to be a young actor with multiple complex projects in the air at once and still release every film on time. It is also possible to be a young actor taking on intense roles and managing to work straight through without large gaps between schedules to “prepare”.

Ranveer also did his own rapping for Gully Boy, while still managing to complete and release on schedule 3 major films the previous year.

Yes, going back to work in demanding action sequences 2 months after a shoulder surgery is a lot to ask. Giving up all breaks in order to justify taking time off for your own wedding is inhuman. Taking only two months to gain muscle mass and get ready for an outgoing action role versus an internal artist role is an almost impossible goal. And performing at weddings and other events and filming ad campaigns at the same time means giving up sleep. But, that’s the job. Ranveer does the job, and so does every other young actor on their way up (Shahid Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, Sushant Singh Rajput, all of their schedules look like this and all their films release on time).

What I hear about all the time with Ranbir is his preparation. For Sanju, he asked for two months off between schedules to transition between life stages of Sanju. For Jagga Jasoos, he did special training to get the stutter right. For Rockstar, he actually learned to play the guitar. And while that may be a good thing to do as an artist, as a movie star it is dangerously indulgent. Ranbir had to take time completely off filming off just to learn to fake guitar for Rockstar, and fake a stutter for Jagga Jasoos. Other people do that preparation and don’t stop their other work to do it. Ayushmann Khurrana played a blind man and a concert pianist, learning to play piano and shadowing blind people, in a year long film shoot in between making 3 other movies, all of his films released on schedule and on budget.

There’s also the question if Ranbir actually can be an actor. If he is taking months to prepare his performances, and the end result is something slightly less than what other actors can create with no preparation, than is it worth it? Especially since it is a matter of record that his films have required reshoots purely because his performance was not good enough in the first go round, adding on months of delays. On the other hand, Shahid Kapoor’s performance as a rapper in Udta Punjab had no particular preparation, no massive reshoots required and was (although this is all subjective and only my opinion) as good or better than Ranbir’s in Rockstar.

Shahid went from playing Hamlet, to a rom-com, to this. No major breaks or preparation in between, no filming delays.

And there’s Ranbir’s personal life. Some of that is simply the name he was born with, the media will always pay attention to a Kapoor and he runs the risk of that overshadowing his films. But again, if you work at it this is less of a problem. Hrithik Roshan also hit a career rough patch lately, although compared to Ranbir it is nothing. In the past 8 years, he has only released 7 movies, 2 of them flops and 5 hits. The reason he has only released 7 movies is that he took a looooooooooong break to deal with his personal issues in order to make sure they did not overshadow his films or split focus. Hrithik’s career took a hit by being off screen for so long, but the individual movies he released had a far better success rate than Ranbir’s films in the same era. And they released smoothly and on time. Ranveer Singh started a high profile relationship, got engaged, and got married during the same time period. The reveal of each of those steps was coordinated around film releases so as not to overshadow them, even his wedding was scheduled around filming and movie releases. It is possible to be a movie star and protect your films from your public persona, you just have to work at it a little harder than Ranbir seems willing to do. Even his own rumored partners have learned this lesson, Sonam and Deepika and Katrina and Alia have never had a personal story that interfered with their career EXCEPT for the stories they shared with Ranbir. He is either terrible at de-escalating a rumor, or simply doesn’t care.

And yet, he keeps getting jobs. I wonder why? Is the industry banking that his name and fame will benefit their movies? Have they bought into the hype around his acting? Or is this actually an illusion, do producers NOT really want to work with him? VVC wanted to avoid him if at all possible and right now Ranbir just has the two stalled films on the line while everyone else is juggling multiple releases into the future. Anyway, what do you think?

45 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Why is Ranbir Kapoor Such a Disaster for a Movie?

  1. As usual a very thoughtful and well developed post looking into all of the reasons that this might be happening. But for my vantage point, I just can’t look at his face. I don’t know why, but his face just makes me mad.

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    • Sometimes his face makes me mad, sometimes not. Also, when he is wearing a turtleneck, he looks like a thumb.

      On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 4:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. I am with Rachel on this one. I don’t need an actor to be attractive to be interesting, but I find Ranbir to be neither. Maybe if and when he grows up he will be worth watching, but for now, no thanks.

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    • Yeah, I get glimpses of him being an adult in all his performances, but then it goes away in the next film. And Brahmastra does not look like it will be an adult movie either, not if it is an origin story with Alia as his love interest.

      On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 5:16 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I think he got away with everything because of excellent PR….somehow none of the flops/delays were blamed on him…it was “Movie is terrible but Ranbir is lovely to watch”…everyone just bought into his persona/charisma and gorgeous face….of course, this won’t last long…producers are probably realizing he isn’t bankable…and audiences will find a new pretty face (hello Tiger!)

    More than anything I want to see him go because of his self-entitled arrogant attitude…he really thinks he is the greatest gift to Hindi cinema since Raj Kapoor…blech!

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    • Probably his arrogance helps, right? He acts like he is the best actor around and believes it so much that everyone else starts to believe it too. I could see that even in his Koffee episode, he would take all the praise with false humility, but it all still came with the assumption that he is an Actor first and foremost. Meanwhile Shahid, Ranveer, even Aamir and Shahrukh, they made fun of themselves a little bit for their work.

      On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 5:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • And when someone else makes fun of him, his parents come and make a fracas. Like really? 30-something adult guy needs his parents to fight for him?

        And I agree that his arrogance and “I’m the best actor” pose help, but also shows like KwK where Karan ask in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE: who is the best actor?: Ranbir or Ranbir?

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        • Yes! I mean, Karan always gives a list, Ranbir or someone or someone, but we all know Ranbir is the only acceptable answer.

          When is someone going to be brave enough to give the ranking of “Ranveer, Shahid, Ranbir” instead of the reverse?

          On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 8:54 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • This is a problem with most Indian men in general. They are mollycoddled by their families forever. You see this situation in nearly every family – the girls are raised to be independent because it’s expected that they will leave someday and need to learn to take care of themselves. Men forever remain their mom and dad’s little boys. So many of them are at sea even if they’re left alone for two days. They wouldn’t even know how to cook for themselves to eat a healthy meal.

          This is even more apparent in film industry families. Hrithik, Salman and Ranbir are all like that. Their dads are always hovering around and whitewashing them at every turn. Every time 54 year old Salman screws up, Salim Khan starts making the rounds of every tv channel to justify his son, meets up with important people, fixes things if he’s involved in fights, etc. Rishi gets into public fights with girls half his age if they say something about Ranbir that’s unflattering and literally threatens them or puts them down like they’re unimportant. Rakesh Roshan is one of the most undignified ones who thinks his son is the second coming of Jesus. During the Raees/Kaabhi clash, he said so many disgusting things about SRK on a daily basis so Hrithik could maintain a false facade as a saintly little boy while passive aggressively tweeting things like #ISupportPapa on twitter. They never have to take responsibility for anything because their Papas are always around to handle it.

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          • So FRUSTRATING!!!! And also weird, because the sons both get spoiled and protected and also, usually, are expected to work like little workhorses to support the family. Salman and Hrithik at least are legitimately supporting their whole family, part of the reason they are so protected is pure self-interest on the part of the people living off of them.

            But Ranbir? No. I am sure he and Rishi and Neetu are still living off the Kapoor family money more than his own earnings.

            Also, Ranbir is bad, but purely in terms of indulged spoiled untalented little boys and how they are treated by their fathers, can we agree that Jimmy Bhagnani and Harman Baweja have even worse parents?

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    • Oh Ranbir, by a mile! I’ve really liked Mahesh’s performance in several movies, I just really hate a couple of them. Ranbir I’ve never super super liked his performance.

      On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 8:15 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. As I’m reading this, I kept looking for Wake Up Sid and Bachna Ae Haseeno but I think some of his films are deliberately being left out..?

    I’m neutral with Ranbir but I always thought he has an arrogant “I know it all” face. Probably that works against him. Like I try to like him but can’t because of his face. Sorry Ranbir and fans!

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    • Nothing’s being left out, I just picked an arbitrary starting point (2011). That’s the interesting thing with Ranbir, the first 3 years of his career he made Rocket Singh, Bachne Ae Haseeno, Raajneeti, Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahaani. All released on time, all made money. And then once he got to be a solid star and a hit, all of a sudden this pattern started.

      Based on his interviews, I think Ranbir might have a bit of a “I know everything” attitude too. The funny thing is, his Dad is even worse but his face doesn’t show it at all.

      On Mon, Sep 9, 2019 at 9:54 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. The prolonged ‘preparation’ farces,smug know-it-all face and Kapoor surname creates the persona of a method actor who is also Raj Kapoor’s son. It’s like he is born & living for greatness & the people around him aren’t good enough for him-be it the women or his collaborators. Alia says he was her crush and the vibe is that she is obliged to him for dating her. I think all the Kapoors have a sense of entitlement (Karishma,a little less maybe) and the grandson is like the true blue heir to the imaginary throne of Bollywood. In many ways Bollywood is still old fashioned in clinging to the old names and heritage but without doing the hardwork to preserve the legacy. They are selling away the iconic Raj Kapoor studio and production houses cos noone in the current generation is capable or interested enough to manage it. Compare this against the families of Rana Daggubati,Nagarjuna etc in Telugu who never get tired of taking their legacies forward. Ranbir tried producing once ,failed and gave up easily. So much for being Raj Kapoor’s heir.What does he really do btw all these long breaks?

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    • We don’t even have to go to the south. Compare how Ranbir is handling his family legacy with how his girlfriends did. Sonam and her sister are taking the “other Kapoors” forward in production. Sure they had some flops, but there is just no comparison between something like Aisha and something like Jagga Jasoosn. Alia’s sister Pooja turned her back on fame to help run the family studio and direct her own movies, and their cousins and uncles are all pitching in too, and Alia is squeezing in her first home production between all her other paying jobs. Deepika started her own production house. All of these hardworking woman who are juggling fame and acting and trying to build something special for the future, and then there’s Ranbir, hanging out on vacation to emotionally recover from his performances.

      I agree with all your points, it feels like the Kapoors are peak toxic masculinity and patriarchy. If you are raised in that family, you believe that boys rule and girls drool. Kareena and Karisma can be tossed out in the world and struggle for a chance, the Jain brothers and Ranbir get golden launches. Randhir and Rishi can sit in the studio offices and slowly fritter away the family legacy while their sister Ritu Nanda builds an insurance empire. And let’s not forget Nargis, whose contributions beyond her performances were never acknowledged during Raj’s golden years, despite her sitting in on every production meeting and practically living at RK Studios.

      Except for Shashi. The perfect man, whose daughter is running his legacy. Prithvi theaters also being the only Kapoor legacy property that is still in healthy financial shape. Perhaps girls rule and boys drool would be more accurate in terms of who can keep a business going?

      On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 2:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh I agree with the Sonam- Ranbir contrast. Sonam ,for all her off putting way of talking,is still doing more(with great support from her sister & zero from brother) to keep the family legacy afloat than say an Arjun Kapoor or Ranbir. But I constantly read about how the artistic Ranbir is a good product of nepotism v/s Sonam,who is called a bimbo when she has successfully created an ecosystem for herself and made a happy personal life. Even among the previlaged ,girls have no escaping from patriarchy. Why on earth did Alia think it’s a good idea to latch to the Kapoors?

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        • Alia’s what, 25 now? 26? How many 25 year old girls are there in the world who fall for the sob story of a much older guy who claims to “need” them? SO MANY!!!!

          And yeah, the unfair nepotism accusations drive me crazy! Alia’s even getting them now, and yet Ranbir is somehow untouchable. Heck, look at Varun! He’s dealing with “nepotism” blowback, his family is way way less powerful than Ranbir’s, and he actually puts in the time and does the work. If there is anyone I would actually accuse of benefiting from nepotism in the industry, it is Ranbir. He got his first few chances thanks to his family connections, the media and public forgive him everything, and people keep working with him because the name has such magic. But he hasn’t earned anything for himself!

          On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 7:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I just don’t like him as an actor and don’t find him at all attractive. He’s not physically unattractive but not leading man material either. I hated him in ADDM and thought Shah Rukh outshone him completely in a 5 minute cameo that showed what real passion looks like. Ranbir came across as a sullen little boy.

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    • I find him attractive in flashes. But really, a movie star needs to be attractive in more than just “flashes”!!!!! He definitely has the Kapoor charisma, he can hold the camera when he is onscreen. But that doesn’t necessarily translate to being attractive or enjoyable to look at, it’s more just irritating that I feel forced to watch this guy who just isn’t all that.

      I’m assuming he is also not open to notes on pure appearance topics. Like, if someone tried to have a “look” meeting with him and suggested shaggier hair, lose some weight, and grow a beard just so you look better, he’s gonna ignore that.

      On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 4:52 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • He is not the least bit attractive. If he wasn’t a Kapoor, he would not have gotten anywhere. The fact that they keep trying to position him as a hot hunk who changes girlfriends like underwear is quite something. The ONLY reason he’s able to pass himself off as a hot shot is because of the actresses who’ve been linked to him.

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      • And I can believe that he has some kind of unhealthy power over women in real life, even if there isn’t much attractiveness or charisma onscreen. A lot of people do, they just don’t try to turn that ability with women in real life into a justification for why they should be a movie star.

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        • His power comes from never caring about the girl as much as she cares about him. The one that loves less always holds the power. Deepika went crazy because of his mind games. He never gives enough but just when the other person is about to get tired and leave, he provides enough to make them stay. They are forever left fighting to get his affection.

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          • Yep, that’s what it feels like. With marriage/engagement as the ultimate “prize” to dangle in front of them and then yank away. It also seems like that is how Raj was, and Rishi learned from him, and Ranbir learned from Rishi.

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    • Yes, I’m trying to think of someone else it would be equally satisfying to tear down. There really isn’t anyone. So in that way, Ranbir is the unique snowflake he wants us to believe he is. The one perfect TERRIBLE person.

      On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 9:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I remember watching one of his older songs one day and my reaction we were all banking on him to be a huge star? While I do enjoy his performances now and then I don’t really find him particularly charismatic and don’t think he has any star power and will get easily overshadowed if the people around him are more charismatic. Much rather watch Ranveer or Varun if we’re being honest

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        • Yeah, it’s really obvious in this song. Ranbir is fine, but Kunal Kapoor easily steals the screen from him. Kunal is a beautiful beautiful man, but I’ve seen him in plenty of multi-star films and he doesn’t outshine his co-stars to this degree.

          On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 9:45 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I’m always debating with myself about who I hate more – Ranbir or Ranveer. I think I’ve finally figured it out.

    Off-screen, I hate Ranveer by a mile. He is hands down THE most annoying public personality I have ever come across in my life, Hollywood or Bollywood, ever. The constant attention-seeking, the repulsive PR, the idiotic clown outfits, always hyping himself as the best boyfriend and husband the world has ever seen, the arrogance, the desperation to pull down older actors, constantly acting like he’s high on coke, lining up paparazzi photo ops on a daily basis, lying about his background and acting like a himbo – “we were so poor we could only go to America and Goa for our annual vacation” type of stufff… ugh I detest him. The more attention he gets, the more obnoxious he’s getting. Just a vile personality.

    On-screen, Ranbir annoys me most. I just don’t see this amazing actor that is saving Bollywood and is the savior of all Papa’s boys in the audience. They think they are so deep and tortured because they like Rockstar. Off screen, he is fairly low key and is on break half the time so he doesn’t get to the point where he starts being annoying.

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    • I am Ranbir by a MILE!!! Ranveer irritates me for all the reasons you list when he is promoting a film. So many interviews, photo ops, transparent attempts to gain attention. But that’s temporary, in between films he goes quiet. And he ACTUALLY DOES THE WORK. I can forgive a lot of someone is a hard worker (possibly a lingering element of my repressed Germanic family?). Ranveer is one of the hardest working actors around today and I have never felt like he is lazing through a performance. I may not love his performances as much as the reviewers do (Padmavat, blech), but he does actually work at them.

      Oh, and I have never felt like he betrayed or sold out someone in his personal life for publicity. Of course there’s lots of stuff we can’t know, but we know that he has been respectful of Dips’ public persona, all their statements and actions have been joint. And he’s never leaned on his Anil and Sonam connection in a way that interferes with their films. Dil Dhadakne Do publicity could have easily turned into Ranveer versus Anil or something like that, but instead it was handled in a way that had dignity for both sides. And NONE OF THAT can be said about how Ranbir has handled his publicity. He’s always leaning on his family for publicity, and he sells out his girlfriends left and right in terms of undercutting their public identity without permission. Like, what was up with him making the statement about the relationship with Alia all on his own? Why wasn’t that joint? Or why didn’t SHE get to make the statement?

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  8. I agree with MKP on a lot of points. Words can barely describe how much Ranbir irritates me. To me, he’s everything I dislike about the Kapoors and has none of the things that somewhat redeem some of the other bad ones, and also he’s everything I dislike about patriarchal culture and male FILM CRITICISM culture. He is completely mediocre if not bad in every way, but because he is that in a way FILM MEN like we all have to pretend it’s great (well, I don’t, but you know what I mean).

    Look at what is valued in Western FILM MAN culture; overly complex or annoying unnecessary “method acting” that really is meant to show how special the actor is, focus on the average male in roles and values in the film, and how great the connections of the actor/director are to other FILM MEN. And that is what Ranbir is good at.

    It’s not even nepotism, because if it was why does nobody give a shit about the way he and the other current Kapoor men have completely destroyed the Kapoor legacy as soon as Shashi was gone? If these FILM MEN cared, they would have safeguarded the studio and the film legacy, the way Shashi’s kids have done with Prithviraj’s theatre legacy. I and many other actually care about the Kapoor legacy, and would donate to rescue artifacts or restore and translate Prithviraj’s films. I don’t see these clowns doing it.

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    • Agree with EVERYTHING!!! Especially your description of “FILM MEN”

      What really bugs is that the reason I got into Hindi film in the first place was because it was so safe from FILM MEN. It was the art form for women and lower classes. Along with the rise of Ranbir, we have had the rise of FILM MEN culture in Hindi cinema. Suddenly Student of the Year 2 is dismissed and Sanju is genius. But boy, I had a heck of a lot more fun watching Student of the Year 2 than I did watching Sanju!

      Have you seen Sullivan’s Travels? It captures this so perfectly, all these pretentious artists who think they know what speaks to people, and meanwhile the actual people just want to be entertained.

      And YES with actually caring about film! Speaking of people I hate, Rahul Desai (my nemesis reviewer) is constantly comparing Indian films to Hollywood in his reviews, and of course the Hollywood option always did it “better” or “more realistic” or whatever. But the examples he chooses for Hollywood reveal this enormous lack of knowledge of Western film history, the very thing he claims to love he just doesn’t know anything about. If he really thinks Hollywood is so much better, than why isn’t he trying to learn more about it? There’s a particular kind of FILM MAN who, when you scratch the surface, turns out to only care about films that are about him, and therefore only know about films that are about him, and the whole rest of film history is a blank to him. But of course if you try to bring up something he doesn’t know about, the response is to minimize what you like in order to maximize what he likes. So, in this example, someone could talk about how much Rockstar speaks to them, but if you bring up Awara, they would say “oh, those old films are so corny” or something.

      On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 1:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • ugh, I agree 1000%. I think our kind of film lover knows all about this.

        I also got into Indian film partly as a refuge from FILM MEN. This is also why I like silent film so much, because it had a completely different culture and aesthetic. And then film was ruined slowly in the years after sound came by FILM MEN.

        Speaking of things film men don’t know about, silent film is definitely one. Because they love film so much they can just barely sit through a few picks from the silent canon and then hammer on about those forever because they’re the only ones they know.

        I don’t know how to fix it, because Western film is just ruined forever now, and no amount of academic conferences about the follies of auteur theory are working there. Look at the insanity of the recent Venice film fest. Just terrible. So, what do?

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        • And thus, the rise of this blog!

          You know I only started writing here because I couldn’t get published in academic places OR get hired at any legitimate publication OR get people to come to my talks at conferences? The least I can do is create a little refuge for those of us who like movies because we like movies, not because we think we are supposed to like movies.

          On Tue, Sep 10, 2019 at 2:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

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  9. I think this whole discussion can make way for two posts-the star sons v/s star daughters journey or the FILM MEN. I think the latter is such an unspoken and important one. Constantly see the male cinephiles cherish some directors/actors while putting down those who fit into the ‘genius’ bracket. Not everyone needs to be genius & quote Tarantino or Kubrick verbatim.

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    • Hmmm. Interesting! I’ve dealt with both topics before but not directly, the issues with the troubled artist hero and the problem with film criticism and and the issue with male versus female “fans” plus nepotism and why there are so few women in power, but I don’t think I’ve tackled it head on in an angry feminist rant kind of way. I’ll have my coffee and see which topic I can work up a real head of steam about.

      On Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 12:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • OH!!!!!! Is this my in to finally write the “here is why Rahul Desai is the worst person on earth?” post that I have been dreaming about?!?!?!?!

      On Wed, Sep 11, 2019 at 12:40 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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