Emraan Hashmi is often considered to be the dark horse of Bollywood and some say that his acting prowess is akin to Hollywood’s Matt Damon’s. Let us see how he managed to make himself indispensable among the current Bollywood crop and become a credible performer even though once Director Dibakar Banerjee was criticized by a section of people for casting Emraan Hashmi in Shanghai. The defiant director had shrugged off the heckling and as Shanghai released to much critical acclaim we discovered a new Emraan Hashmi, who was desperate to come out of the image Bollywood had consructed for him. Moreover in previous movies such as The Dirty Picture or Once Upon a Time in Mumbai he had shown that he could handle roles that required dramatic and emotional intensity with the role of Joginder Parmer in Shanghai going on to be one of his most acclaimed in a career that had seen quite a few ups and downs.
Starting his career in the insipid and forgettable Footpath, Emraan’s arrival in Bollywood can be discovered as something of a whimper instead of a bang. But it was with Murder, Anurag Basu’s erotic thriller that he got noticed with some even comparing him to Shahrukh Khan with the way he handled the negative role. Murder became a surprise hit and Emraan soon became Bollywood’s hottest property but his roles more or less got stereotyped with the serial kisser image attached to him.
His next few releases can be dubbed as mediocre yet they were successful. Somehow his sincere performances in movies even with a bad script showed everyone his commitment. Finally another breakthrough happened with Gangster directed by Anurag Basu whose Murder had made him a much sought after star in Bollywood. Gangster saw Emraan in various shades as his character showed both positive and negative traits. Gangster was remarkable for a lot of reasons. It heralded the arrival of another talent, Kangana Ranaut, with whom Emraan would later form something of a partnership as well as a stunning soundtrack composed by Pritam. But what about the other movies that released during this period?Zeher was a decent hit and Ashique Banaya Apne, along with Himesh Reshammiya’s music did good business.
Awarapan,inspired by the Korean gangster epic A Bittersweet Life, can be considered as the next milestone in Emraan Hashmi’s career. Though the movie was considerably changed to include a romantic angle, Emraan Hashmi’s acting was appreciated as he played a broken hitman haunted by a traumatic incident that has made him suicidal. Awarapan was also his first tryst where he broke his image of a loverboy and took up the mantle of a character that had existential crisis. Unfortunately, Awarapan didn’t do well at the box-office but is now considered a classic of sorts and a quality remake among other South Korean remakes made in Bollywood.
Post-Awarapan,another movie that hit the mark was Jannat where he played a bookie with big dreams. Jannat tapped Emraan’s effusive nature mixed with an unbridled energy that helped him push his talent towards the right direction. Though a total masala entertainer, Jannat with some brilliant songs and Emraan’s fine performance, got itself a hit status at the box-office. Jannat was definitely a surprise hit at the box-office and this resulted in a golden run for Emraan Hashmi. His serial kisser tag too was now removed from the public psyche and he could explore and experiment with roles as and when as he deemed fit.
Emraan Hashmi’s midas touch continued in movies such as Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, Murder 2, The Dirty Picture,Jannat 2, Raaz 3D and Shanghai where we could see him portray various roles and not stereotype himself. These movies speak of his versatality. His role in The Dirty Picture which was of a no-nonsense director was much appreciated by one and all. Though The Dirty Picture played around the leading lady Vidya Balan, Emraan’s performance impressed everyone.
Emraan’s recent performance in the box-office might have not clicked but with the trailer and soundtrack of Humari Adhuri Kahaani getting positive vibes all around, Emraan might look forward to turn around the tide in his favour. Emraan Hashmi has worked hard to reach this position. He has done movies where his acting skills were rather limited but once he got an opportunity to perform he grabbed it. Be it Shanghai’s rascalous Jogi Parmer or the introvert Shivan in Awarapan, comic roles or roles that demanded negative shades, he has managed to fulfill them all. We hope Humarai Adhuri Kahani gives him the box-office success that he deserves because unfortunately movies like Ghanchakkar, Raja Natwarlal, Ungli and Mr. X couldn’t. Also the upcoming biopic called Azhar after India’s tainted captain is another movie that we are all looking forward to because it is a role that can only be pulled off by someone of Emraan’s calibre.
Emraan Hashmi is right now one of the most talented actors in Bollywood. He might not be part of so called big-budgeted movies or hobnob with the Khans or Kapoors but he has managed to create an immense fan following after delivering several hits. And surviving in an industry that often depends upon the Khans to deliver that elusive hit, Emraan Hashmi has rather done well and also has become the face of Vishesh Films.