Remember Raj Kapoor’s legendary roles as a happy-go-lucky tramp in Awara (1951) and Shree 420 (1955)? He had apparently taken inspiration from Hollywood great, Charlie Chaplin, to play these characters, sporting the now-famous ill-fitting trousers and floppy hat.
And now, 57 years later, his grandson Ranbir Kapoor has taken pointers from his late grandfather for his next film.Ranbir's look in his upcoming Barfi! is an instant reminder of the late Kapoor’s Chaplinesque avatar, complete with a thin moustache, umbrella and hat. In Anurag Basu’s film, the actor plays Barfi — a simpleton, who is deaf and mute and always has a prank up his sleeve.
“When Anurag was designing Barfi’s look, he wanted a very innocent and loveable appearance. He instantly thought of Kapoor sir in Awara and Shree 420 and his look was also believed to be a take on Chaplin’s. But since we have already seen Kapoor sir in Indian cinema, the audience would connect to him. Plus, Ranbir’s familial connection with Kapoor sir made it all the more special,” says an insider close to the project.
When contacted, Basu confirms the news saying, “Ranbir plays a lovable character, someone you adore and who leaves a lasting impression on your mind and heart.I can say his character is like that of Raj Kapoor, Charlie Chaplin and Roberto Benigni. The shades are similar to the lovable tramp, much like you have seen these actors portray with ease. They mesmerised audiences with their charm and simplicity.”
Ranbir’s look in his debut film Saawariya (2007) was also compared to his legendary grandfather’s by critics and audiences alike.