Rishi Kapoor

Rishi Kapoor

Rishi Kapoor (Sep 04, 1952 – Apr 30, 2020)

 

“Rishi Kapoor defined my childhood, my teenage and then adult years… I can chart my life by referencing Rishi’s films. How much joy those films gave us! Even though he never became the number one star — there were others who kept edging him out, from Amitabh Bachchan to Anil Kapoor and later, Shah Rukh Khan — Rishi was adorable, likeable and full of charm, at least on screen. His off screen personality would be revealed to me many years later… I saw the side of the actor that I did not experience while watching his films. I realised Rishi Kapoor was first a movie star and that stardom had greatly affected his persona… Rishi showed different facets of his personality. He would be demanding and yet continue to show his endearing side… I drank whiskey with him, a drink I rarely touch. I did not feel comfortable saying I would much rather drink beer or wine. I feared he would judge me. It was a strange friendship or connection we had, where I felt I should not challenge him. It seemed important for me that my favourite actor from my teenage years should like me.”

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Aseem Chhabra, Rediff
Aseem Chhabra
“A song is something pitched at a hyper-real zone, and Rishi knew that zone like few other actors. He knew just how “real” to be, given that you’re essentially moving around to the sounds of an invisible orchestra and mouthing lines sung by other people. Naturally, he wasn’t taken seriously at all. He was a baby face. He was good in those Bobby-type movies, which got a lot of money but little respect! He didn’t brood like Bachchan, whose face was made for intense acting. People seemed surprised when they saw Rishi in films like Mulk and Aurangzeb. Indeed, something had changed. When he was younger, he was always a competent performer, and sometimes even a good one, but the roles he was typecast in and the assembly-line filmmaking of the time rarely let him break out and deliver anything radically new. Like any actor stuck with the “spontaneous performer” tag, he did the things that came spontaneously — everything was on the surface. Laughs and tears came a little too quickly. His lines burst out from the top of his head, as if he couldn’t wait to leave for the next schedule in the next studio. But now, older and fleshier, he’d slowed down. We saw pauses, silences. He’d become the “Bollywood”-era definition of an actor…. He smiled on screen and the world outside became a little bit lighter. He gave us joy.”

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Baradwaj Rangan, Film Companion
Baradwaj Rangan

 

“Rishi Kapoor was born to face the camera. And not just because of his Kapoor legacy or undeniable good looks. He never looked like he was aware of any of it. He could be a gamut of emotions — dramatic, whimsical, hysterical, childish, magnanimous, gregarious or sullen, but there wouldn’t be a hint of artifice in his portrayal… No matter how many young girls he romanced around trees, time wasn’t running backwards… Rishi Kapoor was a complete original. He dazzled the screen and stayed a live-wire off it as well… The man lived on his own terms and made no bones about it. He said what was on his mind. He did as he pleased. Screamed when he wanted to, apologised if he felt like. He couldn’t care less if you judged him for his lifestyle or adored him just the same. There is no one like him.”

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Sukanya Verma, Rediff
Sukanya Verma
“Self-effacement was one of the keys to this persona. If he seemed to melt into the background in multi-starrers where he worked with action heroes, this was equally often the case in the “social dramas” where the focus was on the women… Any real appreciation of Rishi Kapoor the star-actor requires being able to marvel at the many quiet moments of magic he found within long-established templates.”

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Jai Arjun Singh, Mint Lounge
Jai Arjun Singh

 

Guardian, New York Times, & Variety  pay tribute to Rishi Kapoor

 

Rishi Kapoor on IMDB | Wikipedia. Below: an old interview of Rishi Kapoor by Rajeev Masand

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