I see a great actor whose name is Vicky Kaushal. This young actor has something unique in him; he literally lives the character he plays on screen. I have seen three of his movies so far: Masaan, Razi and Sanju. He mesmerizes the audience with his performance.
He plays Deepak Kumar, a Varanasi boy from the Dom community who works with his family in cremation ghats by burning funeral pyres. Deepak wants to rise above the restrictions of a casteist society. He studies civil engineering at a polytechnic college where he meets and falls in love with Shaalu Gupta (Shweta Tripathi) who is a high caste Hindu girl. Deepak and Shweta spend a lot of time getting to know each other. Vicky Kaushal, delivers an outstanding performance as Deepak. He is a delight to watch in his solo scenes as well as shared scenes. What wondered me about him is that he shares a fantastic rapport with the added extras that play his friends. Massan is a story of five characters; but, Deepak’s story melts your heart. Vicky is so real and engaging that you feel like watching more of the Deepak-Shaalu story.
In Razi he honestly supports the protagonist of the movie Alia Bhat. People were apprehensive about Alia’s pairing opposite Vicky, the industry felt it was an unconventional pairing. He plays a Pakistani Major in the movie. Though he has few scenes in the movie, he has left a mark in each scene of his. He steals hearts of the audience as a Pakistani Major. In most part of the film, he is wearing the uniform and he looks striking. He had to portray few vulnerable scenes in the film: as a son, a brother and a husband. Though Alia Bhat plays the protagonist of the film as an Indian spy called Sehmat, Vicky dominates the hearts of the audience as Iqbal. He plays a gentleman who does not force himself on her after they are married, he gives time to Sehmat to get familiar with him, his likes and dislikes and his house. He takes care of her needs. Vicky has played every woman’s dream man. His role as Iqbal is charismatic. It seems Kaushal thoroughly enjoyed playing Iqbal because the character had a lot of novelty in defying the stereotypical notion of a Pakistani soldier as a crude, cruel man. Iqbal is stern as an army man, but also has a soft heart for his Indian wife. He plays the contradiction simultaneously in each scene very convincingly.
For an actor, seeming real on the screen is a vital requirement. An actor’s job is to know the breadth of emotional leeway and reaching the depths of his own acting skills. Vicky Kaushal gets deep into the skin of the roles he plays. He shares the screen with his co-stars with ease. He emotes his characters nakedly, without any guard. It is very difficult to fake emotional nakedness. In Masaan as Deepak Kumar he churns himself inside out and squeezes out all pain felt by Deepak Kumar.
I have seen this clearly in all three movies of his: he knows how to listen. It’s intriguing to watch actors when they’re not speaking, but are listening and while emoting facial expressions. He plays Kamali in Sanju and in few scenes he is just listening to the protagonist played by Ranbir Kappor who is another good actor of today. I am not a Sanjay Dutt fan, but went to watch the movie for Ranbir Kapoor. I felt that Vicky Kaushal has supported unbeatably Ranbir Kapoor in the movie. He steals every scene with Ranbir playing his best friend as Kamli. In fact, just the friendship between Sanju and his best friend Kamli would make an interesting story in itself; both Ranbir and Vicky Kaushal leave you spellbound. Ranbir is an established actor, what enlightens is Vicky Kaushal’s strong support to the central character.
A good actor is well-honed, means he knows how to use his voice and body to serve whatever role he is playing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he should have a great physique, blond look, six packs, is tall and handsome etc, etc. In all the three movies that I watched of Vicky Kaushal, he has used his body well. He knows how to move and talk in expressive ways. I didn’t see his voice and body fighting him or holding tension that’s inapt to his role. He surprises the audience with the ease he carries. He is truthful while playing multiple and contrasting roles. He is vocally and physically gifted. He is slowly and steadily climbing the charts. I see a shining star in him.