New Delhi: The entire casting of Vishwaroopam is not finalized yet but Rahul Bose's name has been announced as the villain. The versatile actor is reportedly growing a beard to play the role in film to be directed by Kamal Hasan. Known for his passion for playing realistic roles, Bose has not been seen in mainstream potboilers for a long time.
With an unconventional face for the traditional Hindi cinema, Bose has always been looked as someone who can make a character breathe by infusing lifelike mannerisms into it. The director's actor is fluent in English and Hindi and this has helped directors cast him in versatile roles.
There are several actors who can portray characters in languages other than their mother tongues, but Bose's mastery lies in the fact that he can talk in the character's language without loosing his urban charm. This might be the reason for his non-acceptance as rural characters, but this is what makes him endear to multiplex audiences, who want to see stories with semi-urban center stage, but can't understand the deeper nuances of the local accent and dialect.
Essentially metropolitan Rahul Bose's tryst with the visual medium goes back to early 90's when he associated with theater personalities such as Rahul D'Cunha and learnt to bring forth the spontaneity of the character by just tilting the chin up and down. Role of Agastya Sen, gave recognition to his mannerism of reflex reactions.
Till Takshak, Bose had discovered a new style, which made the public notice him without remembering what the character had said on the screen. His high voltage energy and cynical gestures acquired him a place, which was completely misfit for low profile roles. Some sequences became humorous just due to the fact that Rahul Bose tried to under play in them.
Bombay Boys and Everybody Says I'm Fine showcased some of them, where the audience expected a volley of dialogue until the scene wrapped up. Takshak and Mr. And Mrs. Iyer got Bose the respect, where he played the heir of a powerful builder lobby and a photographer Jahangir Chaudhary respectively.
Sunny in Takshak was a well crafted and profoundly directed character. Govind Nihalani's villain never scratched head or banged forehead with his flat palm uselessly, such as typical Hindi villains, but still he managed to send chill down the spine, by just smiling blankly. Jahngir Chaudhary aka Raja in Mr. And Mrs. Iyer, was much mellowed down character, but the feeling of concealed anger and fear that Aparna Sen wanted to convey was done superbly.
Jhankaar Beats, Mumbai Matinee, Chameli and White Noise consolidated Bose's image as a sensible actor, but at the same time, made him odd as traditional actor, the Hindi film viewers were habitual for.
Then came 15 Park Avenue and Pyar Ke Side Effects, two heroine oriented films, but Bose excelled in both of them. 15 Park Avenue had Konkona Sen Sharma in the lead, a difficulty actor to match up to, but Bose matched her frame by frame. Pyar Ke Side Effects won Mallika Sherawat a lot of accolades, but whosoever saw the film remembered Bose for providing Mallika a helping hand to improve. Bose's deliberate modesty was quite visible in some of the scenes.
Remember, when he goes back to Mallika's flat and gets cross-questioned by her 'Dracula' room mate Suchitra Pillai. The shots taken were primarily point of view or over the shoulder shots,keeping Bose's facial expression out of the frame, just to grant the other actor 'footage'.
Shaurya, the Indian adaptation of Few God Men, faced him with a challenge, whether to play it on the lines of Tom Cruise or to make it indigenous. He took the middle path, and probably this is the reason the film belonged to Kay Kay Menon in the climax, rather than his own character.
His recent films Kuch Love Jaisa and I Am have shown him in new light, in characters that he had not done before. Many actors could have played the role of Raghav Passport in Kuch Love Jaisa but very few could have done justice to Jay of I Am. The director Onir was visibly dependent on Bose, as the most important scenes of the story were acting dependent, without having ample scope for directorial creativity.
However, a number of such roles are also in his curriculum vitae, which are better forgotten. Dil Kabaddi, Kaalpurush, Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii and Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam did not contribute anything new to the film industry, but Rahul somehow managed to keep his urban image intact.
It seems that his forthcoming films are going to cash on in Bose's unprompted acting skills and urban image only, but he is one actor, who likes to experiment even within a confined space. Or, Vishwaroopam might give an altogether new dimension to Bose's acting journey.