Ranvir Shorey is one of the best actors that we have today in contemporary Hindi cinema. Known for his out of box acting and getting into the skin of the character that he portrays, Ranvir began his humble journey as a VJ and went on to host comedy shows like ‘The Great Indian Comedy Show’ on the channel Star One. This show was well appreciated by the audience, especially Ranvir for his witty quips. Soon he went on to debut in ‘Ek Choti Si Love Story’ (2002). But his breakthrough role came with ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ and ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’. He has done a plethora of serious, off-beat, quirky, slice of life films such as ‘Fatso!’, ‘Kadvi Hawa’, ‘Moh Maya Money’ etc..Having collaborated on the majority of his work with actors like Vinay Shukla and director-actor Rajat Kapoor, Ranvir belongs to that group of actors, who even after performing their hearts out, aren’t appreciated enough by the cine-goers. Nevertheless, we at the Cinemawala went into the vaults and found ten of his stupendous performances and ranked them in order. Read on!
12. Vikramjit Chaudhury – ‘A Death In The Gunj’ (2017)
Konkana Sen Sharma directed one of the visceral films about loneliness – ‘A Death In The Gunj’. It is an amalgamation of masterful storytelling, wonderful acting and a background score that soothes as well as slays the soul. Ranvir plays Vikramjit Choudhury, a shady character who has his roving eyes on Mimi, played by Kalki Kolchin. Shutu, the protagonist of the film is threatened by the presence of Vikramjit who is ways better than him and that eats him from within. Ranvir’s look was styled in the seventies, with a moustache and long hair. Initially reluctant to play this role, Ranvir did a great job as the grey shaded Vikramjit.
11. Mohan – ‘Aaja Nachle’ (2007)
Cinematographer turned director Anil Mehta’s first foray into direction was ‘Aaja Nachle’ which was touted as Madhuri Dixit’s comeback film after a long hiatus. The film talked about a dancer’s passionate to revive her hometown’s interest in a dance school, which was to be usurped due to changes in town planning. The film was a financial failure despite being a good film. Ranvir played the simpleton Mohan who gets stood up at the alter by Dia, the dancer played by Madhuri. When Dia comes back to the town, Mohan becomes one of the major distractors for her plans of reviving the school. It was a much-layered performance of a man, betrayed in love. Ranvir did a great job as Mohan, who overcomes his bitterness towards Dia and extends his hand in saving the theatre.
10. Bunty Khosla – ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ (2006)
Dibakar Banerjee’s humourous take on the plight of the landowners is a favourite film of many cine-goers. Ranvir played the younger son Balwant ‘Bunty’ Khosla of Anupam Kher’s Kamal Kishore Khosla. Bunty is the kind of guy who has the solution to all problems, irrespective of the fact that solution may later come and bite you in the nether region! Duped by the land shark Kishen Khurrana, played by Boman Irani, Bunty hires some wrestlers to protect his father’s land, only to get the shock of his life to see his father getting arrested for trespassing. Ranvir did a fantastic job as Bunty. His best quote after seeing the warning message for people not to urinate on the wall – Lo jee, Hum Yahan Pesaab Karne Aaye Hain!
9. Inspector Kolte – ‘Lootcase’ (2020)
In the search for the bag full of cash, aptly named ‘Anand Petikar’, everyone starts running halter skelter. Among them is the corrupt cop Inspector Kolte played by Ranvir Shorey, who’s got a bad repute of fake encounters. Kolte is forced to do the investigation of the missing bag, at the MLA’s behest. But when he realises the value of the bag is much more than the cash it contains, he sets out on a separate plan of his own. Ranvir is a hoot as the ruthless cop Kolte. He excels in his scenes where he interrogates people on gunpoint, has a den which incidentally is a crime location and mouths funny one-liners. Sample this – When Nandan sits on the backseat of the car, he goes – ‘Teri Ma kaa, Uber Hai Kya? Saamne baith!’;
8. Sunil Arora – ‘Mixed Doubles’ (2006)
Sunil Arora is married to Malti for the last ten years. With their only son growing up, boredom creeps up in their bedroom. Frantically looking for a solution, Sunil stumbles upon a solution – Swinging couples. Literally pleading with Malti, he sets out on a mission to seek a couple with a similar mindset, so that for a night, they can exchange spouses. And then as always, disaster happens! Ranvir gives a terrific performance as Sunil, the hapless husband who seeks solace in looking for a partner in exchange. A take on modern-day relationships and ‘amoral’ stuff, ‘Mixed Doubles’ is immensely watchable thanks to Ranvir.
7. Asif Merchant – ‘Bheja Fry’ (2007)
‘Bheja Fry’ is a great movie thanks to the amazing Vinay Pathak. In the utter confusion that Mr Bharat Bhushan, played by Vinay, creates in the household of Ranjeet Thandani and Sheetal Agarwal, Ranvir adds his magic touch to make it absolutely hilarious. Ranvir plays Asif Merchant, Bharat’s friend and co-worker at the Income-tax department. A cricket freak, he and Bharat are one of their kinds. Even in the dire situation caused by Bhusan, Asif doesn’t miss the chance to pull his legs. In one of the funniest scenes of the film, Asif finally understands the gravity of the situation, when he hears his die-hard team India fan friend saying ‘Hindustan Bye Bye, Rahul Dravid Hai Hai’. With his weird mannerisms, suspicious looks and kickass acting, Ranvir was simply fabulous as Asif.
6. Sunil – ‘Kadakh’ (2020)
Rajat Kapoor’s ‘Kadakh’ is about a bunch of people partying in a house, with a dead body hidden in it. The premise reminds you of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’, but the similarity ends right there. In every aspect, ‘Kadakh’ is an original and authentic black comedy that has come out of Hindi film industry for a long long time. Ranvir Shorey brilliantly plays the role of a man, living with guilt as the party goes on. His guilt grows four-folds, as he starts getting a rotten smell and throws away the freshly cooked food, whereas it’s his conscience that starts playing with his head. It is an author-backed role and Ranvir does full justice to it.
5. Aman – ‘Moh Maya Money’ (2016)
In this epic tale of betrayal and the human conscience, Ranvir plays the shady real estate dealer Aman who dreams of breaking the shackles of being a middle-class person and moving up in the ladder. This dream forces him to do something unthinkable. He is a pathological liar who doesn’t think twice before swindling people. He’s so cynical that when his wife gets into an accident, he first asks whether the involved party is seeking for money and then the condition about the car, without even thinking about his wife’s well being. Ranvir performed his heart out as Aman, who gets into the murkiest deal of his life.
4. Nanoo – ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’ (2006)
Narayanan Balgopal Swami Iyer aka Nanoo is a friend that nobody wants. A man who eats out of his underwear, has an unrealistic expectation from women, poses like a chick magnet yet jumps on any chance to have sex with them, Nanoo is a disaster. Nanoo is also a great buddy of Sid. Behind Nanoo’s eccentricities, there is a sad reality about his love life, which makes Sid ponder about his choices in life. With Rahul Bose’s fantastic Sid, Ranvir held his fort with his epic portrayal of Nanoo and set the screen on fire with their camaraderie. His one-liners were truly epic, especially the monologue about how Superheroes cannot be married!
3. Vakeel Singh – ‘Sonchiriya’ (2019)
‘Sonchiriya’ isn’t only a film. It is a social commentary about caste, creed, colour, belief and people of our country. Ranvir Shorey plays the rebel Vakeel Singh, who has an ideological difference with other rebels after their leader is found dead in a crossfire with Police. He truly embodies the word Rebel, who fearlessly roam the ravines and their former oppressors turned foes, infest the bylanes of the village. Ideologically different yet when it comes to castigation, he’s just like the upper caste oppressor. Ranvir did as a fabulous job as Vakeel Singh and stood tall among stalwarts like Manoj Baypayee, Ashutosh Rana and the late Sushant Singh Rajput.
2. Vikram – ‘Titli’ (2014)
‘Titli’ is the story of a family of three brothers and their father, that deals with carjacking. Ranvir plays Vikram, the violent elder brother, who leads this pack. Vikram is a ruthless man who can go to any extent. He forces his youngest brother to marry a girl and then include her in their gang of carjackers. But behind the facade of a hardcore criminal lies a broken man. Vikram who’s so tough on the exterior, is, after all, a lonely figure, with his estranged wife threatening him for a lawsuit. Ranvir gives one of the best performances of his life as Vikram.
1. VK/Raje Bhai – ‘Mithya’ (2008)
‘Mithya’ is about a man and what he considers as truth. VK, an actor is hired by a gang to impersonate a criminal, whose face he resembles. As fate would have it, VK gets into an accident and loses his memory. After he gets back on his feet, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred. One of the best black comedies, ‘Mithya’ is a multi-layered thriller and Ranvir excels as VK who is struggling to get his identity. He also plays Raje Bhai but VK’s performance tops that of the Don. Along with a stellar cast that boasts of Naseeruddin Shah, Saurabh Shukla and Vinay Pathak, Ranvir is absolutely on top of his game. And who can forget that epic grunt!
So what’s your favourite performance of Ranvir Shorey? Do tell us.