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For cinema and the box office, Rishi Kapoor remained a bankable star

Rishi Kapoor is among the few actors from the yesteryear who has remained relevant to cinema as well as the audience

April 30, 2020 / 02:57 PM IST

The child of cinema — this is how Aamir Khan described Rishi Kapoor in his tribute to the actor who passed away on the morning of April 30.

Rishi Kapoor is among the few actors from the yesteryear who has remained relevant to cinema as well as the audience.

His films not only stood tall at the box office in the 70s and 80s but he delivered successful ventures in recent times too.

“Rishi Kapoor managed to stay relevant in Hindi cinema for more than 45 years, which is a testimony to his acting talent and versatility. In the last 10-15 years, he managed to make a very smooth transition into supporting roles that were often edgy and unconventional. His name in the credits of any film added credibility for the audience, even if he was not the lead star of the film," said Shailesh Kapoor, CEO, Ormax Media, a media consulting firm.

Kapoor’s 2018 offering 102 Not Out, in which he was paired with legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, tickled the funny bones of the audience and scored half century at the box office.

Also, who can forget the lovely old granddad Amarjeet Kapoor, played by Rishi Kapoor in Kapoor & Sons, the film that brought the story of a dysfunctional family on the big screen and collected over Rs 69 crore with a budget of Rs 38 crore.

And before we check out his old hits, let’s not forget the fierce Rauf Lala’s role that Rishi Kapoor played in the 2012 venture Agneepath that surprised both the audience and Karan Johar, the producer of the film. Agneepath was a super hit at the box office with collections to the tune of Rs 119 crore.

Plus, in February this year it was announced that Rishi Kapoor would star in the remake of Hollywood film Intern with actress Deepika Padukone.

A trip down memory lane

Rishi Kapoor started his career with the 1973 film Bobby, a musical romance that made Kapoor Bollywood’s lover boy. The film back then earned Rs 6 crore, which in today’s time is as much as Rs 216 crore (inflation adjusted numbers).

His other hit film Khel Khel Mein in 1975 minted over Rs 2 crore, which today stands at around Rs 46 crore.

“Rishi Kapoor came in a period where action films dominated, with the 'angry young man' persona being the hero archetype. And yet, he managed to carve a niche for himself as a feel-good, romantic hero, delivering several hits in lead and supporting roles. Some of the best Hindi film music from late 70s and the 80s, and even the early 90s, is from his films,” said Kapoor.

In fact, many say that after Amitabh Bachchan, it was Rishi Kapoor who became the most bankable star of that time. And many filmmakers wanted to cash in on his romantic, chocolate boy image.

Rishi Kapoor’s films like Rafoo Chakkar, Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin bolstered his image.

While 1975’s Rafoo Chakkar collected Rs 1.7 crore then, which today is around Rs 39 crore, Kapoor’s 1977 venture Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin would have neared the century mark today as the film back then earned Rs 4.2 crore which in today’s value is around Rs 98 crore.

So be it Kapoor in 1980’s Karz or him in 2010 film Do Dooni Chaar, the actor remained evergreen to cinema and the moviegoers.

“Rishi Kapoor was an extraordinary actor and an unforgettable human being. Larger than life and evergreen. I grew up watching his films and learnt more about life from the films during his second stint. Mulk, 102 Not Out, Kapoor & Sons to name a few showed me and his fans how an actor can transform,” said producer Anand Pandit.

Maryam Farooqui
first published: Apr 30, 2020 02:57 pm