Rishi Kapoor always grumbled about not getting to do black or grey. “Why are they always casting me as a bhala insaan? There is dark side to every human, me also. I’m dying to explore that,” he once told me. It isn’t as if he never got to play negative roles. He did. Take a look at these.
1. Zehreela Insaan (1973): Right after his star launch in Bobby, Rishi wanted to play a diametrically opposite character. While Raja in Bobby was pure-hearted, simple kind and generous, Arjun in Zehreela Insaan was ill-tempered, foul-tongued, brutish and unpredictable. The only one who could control him was his Masterji, played by Pran (who had played his tyrannical father in Bobby just months earlier). In a fit of rage, Arjun kills his beloved Masterji and then jumps to his death with his girlfriend Margaret (Neetu Singh). No wonder, Zehreela Insaan flopped miserably. It was a remake of the Kannnada hit Naagarhaaavu. R D Burman even adapted one of the songs from the original Haavina dwesha into the Hindi remake as Saanp se badkar mera zehar hai, sung in Rishi’s Bobby voice Shailendra Singh. But the song from Zehreela Insaan remembered to this day is Oh hanseeni by Kishore Kumar. Rishi quite liked himself in this film. Considering how self-critical he was, that was a big thing.
2. Khoj (1989): The one time when Rishi Kapoor did a whodunit, he turned out to be the killer! And boy, did Rishi enjoy the change of image!! Brazenly inspired by Michael Anderson’s Chase A Crooked Shadow Khoj featured Kimi Katkar as Rishi’s wife who goes missing during their honeymoon. All of inspector Naseeruddin Shah’s investigation leads to Rishi Kapoor. Recalling the thrill of playing a murderer Rishi Kapoor had said, “Director Keshu Ramsay had probably chosen me because of my innocent face and my goodygoody loverboy’s image.Who would think I’m a killer?”
3. Agneepath( 2011): Rishi Kapoor shocked the world by playing a butcher who indulges in the trafficking of minor girls. He was supremely happy with his role. “ My character was not there in the original Agneepath I am an actor. It was a challenge to play such a repugnant character. I convinced myself into doing the film. My wife also encouraged me to do the role. I am very proud to have played such a terrible villain.This is one role that I was really scared of playing . All the credit for seeing me in that role must go to producer Karan Johar and director Karan Malhotra. Hats off to their foresight.And then Karan Johar cast me in radically different role in Student Of The Year,” said Rishi to me
4. D Day(2013): Rishi Kapoor as a Dawood doppelganger had a whole lot of fun with this evil character. “I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed myself so much,” he told me after completing the film. Speaking of casting Rishi Kapoor as Dawood director Nikkil Advani says, “It was a daring move, considering Rishi Kapoor had a romantic image all his career.But he did play the dark and sinister Rauf Lala in Dharma Productions’ Agneepath. That was my cue for signing him to play the crimelord in D Day, and boy, was I right in my decision!” As Dawood…sorry, Iqbal Seth, Rishi Kapoor was an asset to the film. “He brought a childlike quality to the crimelord’s role. It wasn’t the first time that Rishiji had played a negative character. But it was certainly the first time that an international crimelord was played with a mix of hard-core stealth and naïve glee,” says Nikkil.
Image source: IMDb
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