On Varun Dhawan’s birthday, here’s comparing his successful arc to his closest competitor Ranveer Singh
Actor Varun Dhawan is celebrating his 32nd birthday today. The actor just saw the release of Kalank and has a lot to count and take credit for. See how he stands opposite another ruling Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh.
Twelve films, career spanning seven years and not a flop in sight – birthday boy Varun Dhawan has had a run that would be envy of many of his colleagues. The actor had a dream debut with Student of the Year and the same adjective can be applied to his filmography. Kalank, with its underwhelming box office performance, is a road bump in an otherwise perfect 10 score but as an ensemble film, it is hard to single out any one reason for its debacle.
Amid the crowd of several established actors of his generation, Varun faces competition from very few and Ranveer Singh is one of them. The two actors have a similar career graph with an interesting mix of commercial and experimental films to their credit.
Varun vs Ranveer in numbers
Despite being two years older than Varun and making his debut two years earlier, Ranveer has featured in as many films as a male lead as Varun. Both the actors have delivered 12 films so far with Ranveer having delivered five films that entered ₹100 crore club while Varun has four.
Golilyon Ki Raasleela: Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Simmba and Gully Boy are Ranveer’s highest earners whereas Varun’s ₹100 crore films include ABCD 2, Dilwale, Badrinath Ki Dulhania and Judwaa 2. For the record, Varun’s biggest solo entertainer was Judwaa 2 with domestic box office collection of ₹138 crore while Padmaavat is Ranveer’s highest grosser at ₹302 crore, followed by Simmba at ₹240 crore. However, comparing the number of their respective hits and misses, Varun may rank with a better percentage. Ranveer’s Lootera, Kill Dil, Befike did not bring in major profits while Varun’s Kalank seems to be the only anomaly in his career in terms of the commercial aspect.
Varun vs Ranveer: Walking the walk
Ranveer made a successful debut with Band Baaja Baaraat in 2012 and moved out of his comfort zone with Lootera, three years later. The film may not have been a commercial game changer and did not get its due at popular awards events, but Ranveer’s acting prowess and charm won the hearts of the audience and the critics. Ranveer cemented his position with consecutive performances, his turn as Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat and Murad in Gully Boy being cases in point.
Similarly, Varun also took a break from masala fare and delivered a powerful performance in Badlapur, three years after making his debut. The Hindustan Times review of the film said about Varun, “In just 15 minutes of film’s opening, Varun transforms from the young Student of The Year to a mature, well-trained actor.” He once again shut his critics with his breathtaking performance in Shoojit Sircar’s slow emotional drama, October. Both the films were his lowest grossers (Badlapur collected ₹50 crore and October collected ₹39 crore at the domestic box office) but proved successful.
Talent over nepotism
One would agree that Ranveer is way ahead of Varun and the latter enjoys the star kid advantage. However, Varun has surely made the best of what he was blessed with. Varun not just benefitted from his father’s name but also contributed in the latter’s career whose last big hit was Partner in 2007. After two successful films such as Rascals and Chashme Baddoor and a disappointment in the Govinda starrer Do Knot Disturb, the senior Dhawan directed Varun for the first time in Main Tera Hero (2014), which went on to collect ₹50 crore at the domestic box office. Not only this, the father-son duo delivered their second hit together, Judwaa 2 in 2017 that became Varun’s highest solo grosser.
Varun and Ranveer: Fascination with Govinda
Varun has often been criticised for aping the much-loved star of the 90s, Govinda. However, Varun spoke in his defence on Arbaaz Khan’s online show Pinch and said that since he has grown up watching the actor, he sometimes ends up emulating him “subconsciously” while dancing or doing comedy. A look at his father’s filmography also hints at where the inspiration comes from. David and Govinda delivered some of the most popular successful comedies of the 90s such as Coolie No. 1, Raja Babu, Partner and many more. It’s no surprise that Varun will now star in the Coolie No. 1 remake, to be directed by David. This will be their third film together and it seems the filmmaker has chosen Varun as his new Govinda.
Meanwhile, Ranveer is a chameleon who can transform into any avatar, any character he chooses for the day or a project. A look at his regular vibrant looks and flamboyant style often reminds his fans of Govinda’s onscreen characters in Raja Babu and others. Unlike Varun’s happy-go-lucky casual looks, Ranveer puts in a lot of effort and quirkiness to stand out in the fashion arena every single day. Call it reel or real, Govinda’s impact on the two remains a constant.
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