Rajkumar Rao is inarguably one of the finest actors of our times. His diverse filmography justifies Rao’s effortless versatility in the movies he has done till date. The ease with which Rajkumar gets under the skin of the role has made him one of the best onscreen performers of the Indian film industry. His ability to take unconventional roles in a simple way has earned him a mass fan following from metro cities to hinterlands of India. Rao has able to capture the characters of common man flawlessly and made a special connect with his audience. The young thespian has already proven his mettle in his short but diverse stint as an actor.
Based on the real-life story of an Indian lawyer Shahid Azmi who was popular for taking cases of poor Muslims who were falsely accused. The movie tracks the story of a real-life hero emerged from the slums of Mumbai who was falsely arrested in his childhood on the charges of threat to national security. After his release from the Jail, the boy goes on to study law and save other innocent people who were behind bars just because of their names. Rajkumar Rao is looking gritty, compassionate and motivated like the real-life Shahid would have looked.
India’s official entry to the Oscars of 2017; Newton is a stunningly beautiful film set in the backdrop of Chattisgarh’s Naxal-hit areas. The movie is a warm story of an idealistic youth who fails to understand the importance of logic and Indian jugaad in adverse situations of Naxal-hit areas. The movie beautifully reflects the belief of a man in the system who is not ready to take ‘no’ for an answer.
While the Queen was all about Kangana Ranaut’s character Rani, Rajkumar Rao’s performance took the movie to another level. In Vikas Bahl’s directorial, Rao played the character of a conservative and confused Vijay and walked away with a stellar performance in just a few scenes.
Trapped is arguably one of the best performances of Rajkumar Rao till date. It is a story about a young man with limited income who rents a cheap apartment in an under construction, empty building to marry his girlfriend. But things go haywire when he accidentally locks himself in the same apartment without food and water. Trapped has tested the acting skills of Rajkumar Rao to the extreme and he passed in every scene with flying colors. He locked himself up in a room for days and went on the diet of carrot and coffee to get into the skin of the character.
#5 City Lights
The magic triangle of Hansal Mehta, Apurva Asrani, and Rajkumar Rao gave an impeccable performance to remember for the rest of our lives. It is the story of a simple man Deepak; who migrates with his family from Rajasthan to Mumbai in search of a better livelihood. But the story unfolds when he finds out the bitter truths of city life and shakes the foundation of his life.
Aligarh was largely praised for Manoj Bajpayee’s flawless performance of a homosexual professor. He was completely immersed in the role of a respected professor of Aligarh Muslim University Ramchandra Siras. But the reporter who told his story to the world was Deepu – played by Rajkumar Rao. The movie is a subtle commentary on the draconian and controversial section 377 of the IPC, where Rao’s character plays an important string in setting the narrative.
#7 Kai Po Che
Kai Po Che is probably one of the first films of Rajkumar Rao which brought him into the limelight of mainstream cinema. It is the story of 3 friends based on the popular novel of Chetan Bhagat – The Three Mistakes of My Life. All the three friends have a different story and nature but one common dream of opening a sports shop together. Rajkumar has played the role of Govind – a common man with a humble background working sincerely to achieve his goal. The boyish charm of Rajkumar Rao will leave in awe with his character.
#8 Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana
By the time this movie was released, Rajkumar Rao was already ruling millions of hearts. In this movie, he played the character of an IAS officer – Satyendra aka Sattu (Rajkummar Rao) with his love interest played by Aarti (Kriti Kharbanda). They meet for a proposed arranged marriage and fall in love in the process but on the night of the marriage, Aarti breaks the marriage to pursue her dream of becoming an IPS officer. Rajkumar Rao has intensely played the role of a heartbroken IAS officer determined to prove his worth.
#9 Bareilly Ki Barfi
Amid the characters of Ayushmann Khurrana and Kriti Sanon; Rajkumar Rao managed to make deep inroads and emerged as the X-factor of the movie. Amid all the melodrama of the love triangle; the movie manages to create stellar performances by the three actors. Bareilly Ki Barfi is probably one of the most entertaining works of Rajkumar Rao in the mainstream cinema.
In Omerta, Rajkummar Rao has nailed his part as the dreaded terrorist Omar Sheikh. His nuanced performance was able to catch every move of Omar’s chilling demeanor. Rao is looking nothing more and nothing less than a terrorist dedicated to successfully execute his terrorist mission. Directed by Hansal Mehta, Omerta is a must watch if you want to see Rajkumar Rao in a completely different avatar.