A strapping young man in his early 20s came to Mumbai from Delhi with stars in his eyes. He had a towering personality and he believed he was good-looking enough to become a Hindi film hero. After a few stints as a model, Sidharth Malhotra signed his first film – a thriller which was to be directed by Anubhav Sinha. He was ecstatic and thought his time to shine has arrived. He started preparing extensively for it and waited for six-seven months for the film to take off but as luck would have it, the film got shelved and Sidharth was back to where he started out from. A friend suggested that he should assist a filmmaker as that would help him gain exposure to the world of cinema and helped him understand the intricacies behind it. Sidharth soon got an opportunity to assist Karan Johar on ‘My Name Is Khan’ (2010) and a year later, he was announced as one of the three new actors who will be launched in Johar’s next film ‘Student Of The Year’ (2012).
‘Student Of The Year’ was the kind of debut most aspiring actors dream to have and Sidharth Malhotra, along with Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan, made the best of this dream launch. In the next year, none of the three actors had a single but in 2014, each of them had multiple releases – these were the films that helped them propel their career forward and make the audience give the confidence that these actors were in it for a longer run. Siddharth’s second release was ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ (2014), the first joint production between Dharma Productions and Phantom Films. The film was a moderate success but Sidharth got to play a character that was vastly different from the one in his debut film. He finally had a big, solo hit in ‘Ek Villain’ (2014). In the Mohit Suri directed film, one saw him in an out-and-out action-based avatar. Apart from indulging in a lot of action, he got to say some punchy dialogues (written by Milap Milan Zaveri who has now directed him in ‘Marjaavaan’) which became a hit with the masses.
‘Ek Villain’ helped Sidharth build his bankability as an actor and now, one keenly looked forward to the next step he would take in his career. ‘Brother’ (2015), on paper, was quite a good follow-up to ‘Ek Villain’. In this film, too, Sidharth was going to be seen in a rugged avatar and doing quite a bit of action. Unfortunately, this film, which was an official remake of the American film ‘Warrior’ (2011), failed to set the cash registers ringing. He did taste both commercial and critical success with Shakun Batra’s ‘Kapoor & Sons’ (2016) but after that, he had to deal with failures in the form of ‘A Gentleman’, ‘Ittefaq’, ‘Aiyaary’ and ‘Jabariya Jodi’.
Though Siddharth did play to the gallery in ‘Ek Villain’ and ‘Brothers’, ‘Marjaavaan’, in a way, is his first true-blue masala film. In the film, he is seen to be paying homage to the ‘angry young man’ roles Amitabh Bachchan played and immortalised in the 70s. In the promos, he seen breaking bones, braving fire and of course, mouthing heavy-duty dialogues. The film is being keenly being awaited and is expected to reach out to the places where few Hindi films reach these days – the B and C centres or the single-screen theatres in smaller cities and towns. If the film works, it will not only provide a huge turnaround to Sidharth’s career, it will also help him reach out to the mass audience in a big way.
What is important to note here is that every time he face a lull in his career, he bounced back with much vigour. At this juncture in his career, he needs a big hit. Come Friday and we shall know whether ‘Marjaavaan’ proves to be that one film which will change things for him.