The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Definitive Ranking of Ranbir Kapoor Movies on his Ten Year Anniversary in Bollywood
It’s been a decade since we’ve been blessed with Ranbir Kapoor on our screens. On November 9, 2007, the actor made his debut on Diwali with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movie “Saawariya.” There’s been no looking back since. In these few years, Kapoor has given us some truly beautiful movies and enhanced his acting prowess.
He’s always been in the news, usually for his dating life or other controversies, but we choose to mark his 10-year anniversary by celebrating Kapoor for who he really is: a genuinely talented actor. This is a fact. He has a good grasp on making his audience feel everything his character is going through, whether it means laughing or crying or everything in between.
Of course, 17 films in 10 years is a big feat. Kudos to Kapoor for delivering such a wide range and proving to us he is a versatile actor. He’s also a gift that keeps on giving because his next batch of films looks very promising. They include “Sanju,” the Sanjay Dutt biopic, and “Brahmastra,” a fantastical Bollywood drama.
We can’t wait to see what he does next but for now, to help you in your Ranbir Kapoor movie marathon, we ranked all of his movies so you know exactly what you’re in for. Happy watching!
1. “Tamasha” (2015)
This film is, without a doubt, ahead of its time. It is progressive, realistic, and heart-warming. Kapoor plays Ved Sahni, a man with a mental disorder who is fed up with life’s monotony but doesn’t do anything about it. A brief encounter and courtship with Tara (Deepika Padukone) force him to reevaluate his life, even if it triggers a complete breakdown and facing the ghosts of his past. “Tamasha” is a poetic journey. Director Imtiaz Ali brings out the greatest side of Kapoor as an actor, making this film his definite best.
2. “Barfi” (2012)
This gem of a movie can touch even the coldest of hearts. Set in the 70’s, Kapoor’s Murphy ‘Barfi’ Johnson is mute and deaf but that doesn’t stop him from being an optimistic troublemaker. He falls in love with Shruti (Ileana D’Cruz) but her family forbids their wedding because Barfi cannot care for her due to his disabilities so she marries someone else and moves away. To earn the quick buck, Barfi kidnaps his autistic friend Jhilmil (Priyanka Chopra) because she hails from a rich family. This leads to a very sweet, very emotional love triangle. Undoubtedly, this is one of Kapoor’s most heart-rendering performances.
3. “Wake Up Sid” (2009)
What works about this film is that it’s not over the top or dramatic. It’s grounded in reality. Sid (Kapoor) is a carefree college student who spends his time hanging out with friends and spending all of his money. After he fails his finals and never really shows up for work at his dad’s company, he’s thrown out of his house for being irresponsible. He moves in with his friend Aisha (Konkona Sen Sharma), an independent, intelligent writer who gets him an internship as a photographer at the magazine she works. This movie was coming-of-age not just for Sid but also for Kapoor as an actor because he evolved into a truly bankable, solid protagonist.
4. “Rockstar” (2011)
Another work of art by director Imtiaz Ali, Kapoor’s Janardhan Jhakkar is a musician who dreams of making it big as a rockstar akin to his idol Jim Morrison. He decides the best way to fuel this is to get his heart broken so he tries to date Heer (Nargis Fakhri) but the two end up forming a deep bond. She marries someone else and moves to Prague whilst he initially struggles, a recording company signs him and he slowly starts becoming popular, eventually turning into the rock star he always wanted to be. Interspersed with this are his various reunions and romances with Heer, all of which culminate to one epic performance.
5. “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” (2013)
Everything about this movie makes for a solid modern romantic comedy. It helps that Kapoor is such a dreamboat in it. His character Kabir aka Bunny moves to the U.S. not knowing that his classmate and friend Naina (Deepika Padukone) is in love with him. Eight years later, the two meet at a friend’s lavish wedding only to reconnect and realize their lost feelings but neither of them wants to give up their very successful careers. Bunny is a travel show host and Naina is a doctor. The film revitalizes relationships and doesn’t stick to cheesy ideals we’ve seen before, making it the perfect experience.
1. “Raajneeti” (2010)
If an intense political drama is what you’re looking for, this is your jam. It’s packed with brilliant actors like Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpayee, Ajay Devgn but it’s Kapoor who truly stands out, which is really saying something because this was his first film as part of a big ensemble cast. He plays Samar Pratap, the youngest son of the leader of a political party. His transformation from an innocent, unaware NRI to the shrewd, revenge-addled politician is quite the cinematic experience, making it one of Kapoor’s more memorable performances.
2. “Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year” (2009)
This is Kapoor’s most underrated movie, ever. In it, he plays Harpreet Singh Bedi, and as the title suggests, he’s a salesman at a computer assembly and service company. He’s an honest man who is frustrated with the corrupt structure of his corporation, which thrives on bribery. To prove that customer service is, in fact, the greatest way to make sales, he forms his own company Rocket Sales, under the nose of his current employer. Disgruntled employees join Bedi in this venture to create something special. The plot may sound cliche because it’s all about using honest tactics to market a business, but Kapoor’s spin on this makes it a joy to watch.
3. “Anjaana Anjaani” (2010)
This may not be the greatest love story you’ll witness but if a heartbroken, anguish-filled version of Kapoor is what you’re looking for, this is it. He plays a New York City businessman Akash who wants to jump off a bridge because he’s bankrupt his company. As he’s about to do this, he meets Kaira (Priyanka Chopra), who wants to also jump to her death because she found out her fiance is cheating on her. I told you, not the greatest way to meet someone. The two decide to end their lives on Dec. 31 and seeing as they have three weeks, they decide to live it up. It’s a little morbid but Kapoor and Chopra’s cute as a button chemistry make it work.
4. “Bachna Ae Haseeno” (2008)
Kapoor had a lot riding on this movie because it was his next big release after his debut and oh boy, did he deliver! He plays Raj, a childish playboy who leads on two women, Mahi (Minissha Lamba) and Radhika (Bipasha Basu), at two different stages in his life. When he’s finally matured and enjoys a successful career in Australia, he falls for Gayatri (Deepika Padukone), who is as afraid of commitment as he used to be. This realization is a gut punch for him so he sets to make things right for the two women he left behind.
1. “Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani” (2009)
When I say this movie is bad, I really mean it. The only saving grace of this film is Kapoor himself so if you want to watch it for him, I won’t blame you. He plays Prem Sharma, a freeloader who falls for his friend Jenny (Katrina) while helping her elope with her boyfriend Rahul. In a chaotic and supposedly hilarious turn of events, she’s kidnapped by some goons who want a ransom from Rahul’s rich politician father. This movie has a caricature-like vibe to it, making it unnecessarily gimmicky. Besides Kapoor, everyone else overacts their heart out, making it tough to finish the film.
2. “Sawaariya” (2007)
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s romantic drama led to the debut of Kapoor and his co-star Sonam Kapoor. For the first film for both, this one was a real disappointment. It moves at a snail pace and the very obviously Hollywood-esque sets fail to make an impression. Ranbir also plays a character named Ranbir and falls for Sakina (Sonam) but she only see’s him as a friend. She’s been waiting for years for her true love Imaan to return to her. That’s…it. That’s basically the whole film. On the plus side, he shows his very smooth behind during a song. What a great initiation into Bollywood!
3. “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil” (2016)
Rightfully touted as one of the most-awaited because it starred two big names, Kapoor and Anushka Sharma, but was also touted as Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan’s return to the big screen, this film was a big bust. It recycled lots of romantic tropes aka love triangles, illnesses, and fiery romances. These tropes have been used in many Kapoor movies, making it a bore to play out. He plays Ayan and falls in love with Alizeh, who’s still into her ex-boyfriend. Ayan recoups by hooking up with Saba only to find his way back to Alizeh. Yeah, done and done. Too bad even solid acting couldn’t save the film.
4. “Jagga Jasoos” (2017)
This mystical comedy about Jagga, a curious but shy detective in search of his father who suddenly went missing, had lots of potential. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to the hype it had been building since 2016 when it was to originally release. Jagga and his accident-prone partner Shruti (Katrina Kaif) find themselves in the dangerous racketeering world as they try to track down his father but the magic of this film is only shown in sparks, making it a tad bit too long to endure. It doesn’t help that the movie has 29 (!) songs and Kapoor’s dialogues are also sung, not spoken.
1. “Besharam” (2013)
Coming off of highly entertaining movies like “Barfi,” “Rockstar,” and “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani,” this film was just utterly ridiculous. India’s Box Office declared it a flop four days after it’s release. In this action comedy, he plays a small-time crook and car thief Babli being chased by cops Chulbul and Bulbul (played by his on-screen parents Rishi and Neetu Kapoor). While trying to continually escape them and help provide for the orphanage he grew up in, he tries to woo Tara (Pallavi Sharda). If it sounds like a movie from 80’s, it’s because the plot was weak and the acting weaker. For a movie that includes the Kapoors together for the first time, this one just made everyone roll their eyes.
2. “Bombay Velvet” (2015)
Set in the 60’s, this movie has all the glam and glory but absolutely no substance. Kapoor’s Balraj is a boxer who starts working for a criminal named Khambatta (Karan Johar!) by managing his club Bombay Velvet, which becomes a hub for his illegal activities. His crush, a jazz singer Rosie (Anushka Sharma), becomes a spy for a rival criminal. It all goes downhill from there for our two lovers and for the movie itself. Yawn. Watch it only if you want to see Kapoor looking all perked up. There’s not much else to gain.
3. “Roy” (2015)
Another snoozefest for Kapoor this year (until “Tamasha” released, that is), “Roy” is just your typical off-the-mill drama that will end up confusing you for no reason. But let me try with this brief summary. In the movie, Arjun Rampal plays a filmmaker Kabir who falls in love with another filmmaker Ayesha (Jacqueline Fernandez) while filming his movie trilogy. Now in this trilogy, the main character is Roy (Kapoor), an art thief who tries to steal an expensive painting from Tia (also played by Fernandez) only to fall in love with her. There are parallels drawn between Kabir/Ayesha and Roy/Tia’s love stories, both of have a happy ending. So the point of the movie was there was no point and it didn’t need to exist at all.