Vicky Kaushal has made a name for himself as an actor who can be trusted to excel in any given role. From Masaan — where he played a man who lights funeral pyres, to playing a special ops soldier conducting a surgical strike across the border — he has done all sorts of roles in between and has always been amply praised for them. On the occasion of his birthday today we bring you a list of seven of his best films so far to add to your movie watching pleasure this quarantine. Enjoy!
Director: Neeraj Ghaywan
Cast: Richa Chadda, Vicky Kaushal, Shweta Tripathi, Sanjay Mishra
Masaan was an episodic film carrying three different narratives, which nevertheless get woven together in the end. Vicky acts in the second story. His character Deepak Kumar belongs to the Dom community who traditionally burn corpses on the banks of the rivers. He studies civil engineering at a polytechnic college where he meets and falls in love with Shaalu Gupta (Shweta Tripathi), whose caste is way higher than his. They fall in love and when he tells her about his low caste, she asserts it doesn’t make a difference to her. She promises to be with him even if her family stands in the way and tells him to concentrate on his studies. But she’s tragically killed in an accident and is coincidentally brought to the same cremation ground where Deepak’s family works. Deepak loses direction after seeing her dead body. After grieving for a long time, he finally overcomes his sorrow and studies hard to fulfil his dreams. He gains a placement as a civil engineer in Allahabad.
Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016)
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Sobhita Dhulipala, Vicky Kaushal
The film is director Anurag Kashyap’s take on the actual case of Raman Raghav, a serial killer who had terrorised the homeless living in Mumbai during the ’60s. The director added a new twist in the sense that the cop investigating the murder cases too is shown to be a basketcase himself. ACP Raghavan Amrendra Singh Umbi (Vicky Kaushal) is a drug addict who comes across the body of his regular dealer and another man when he goes to buy his supplies. He’s ironically assigned the case and comes to know it might be the work of a serial killer. The police capture the alleged killer Ramanna (Nawzuddin Siddiqui) but he escapes them twice. Ramanna has been keeping watch on Raghavan as he suspects the cop to be a killer just like him. That’s confirmed when in a fit of rage he kills his girlfriend. Ramanna makes a deal with him saying he’ll go to jail for the killing of the girlfriend if Raghvan agrees to kill the sole witness to the crime. The film was gritty as hell and both Nawzuddin and Vicky topped themselves essaying their complex roles.
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Vicky Kaushal, Taapsee Pannu
What’s the meaning of love? Is it pure animal attraction, where you can’t wait to take yours and your partner’s clothes off and jump in the bed every time you get some privacy or does it exist at some deeper level where it’s important for the hearts to beat as one as well and not just the bodies. Is it what you say to your beloved or what you do for him/her that’s important. It’s not an easy question to answer and everyone has their own interpretation, their own approach, towards solving it. Rumi (Taapsee Pannu), and Vicky (Vicky Kaushal) are a much in lust couple who believe in rutting like rabbits whenever time and place permits. But is there something deeper between them? That question comes to haunt them when they are once caught red-handed. Vicky is hugely commitment-phobic and just doesn’t see them as a married couple. Rumi wants to settle down for the sake of love and understands one cannot survive on love alone. Vicky Kaushal brought out the inherent madness of his character who is all about living in the moment and doesn’t care two hoots about the future. His angst, his pain as well as his almost drug-addict-like need for Rumi is palpable.
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Cast: Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapur, Shishir Sharma, Jaideep Ahlawat, Ashwath Bhatt, Amruta Khanvilkar, Soni Razdan, Arif Zakaria
The 1971 war serves as the backdrop of this spy thriller. Tempers are high on both sides. The Indians are covertly training and supplying arms to the Mukti Bahini which is struggling to turn East Pakistan into Bangladesh. Pakistan naturally doesn’t want this to happen and is hatching up secret plans of its own, preparing for a full-scale war with India. Alia Bhatt plays a Kashmiri girl Sehmat, who gets married to a Pakistani army officer Iqbal Syed (Vicky Kaushal) at the insistence of her father Hidayat (Rajit Kapur), a double agent whose loyalties lie with India. Though it was more of Alia’s film, as she played an Indian spy planted in Pakistan Vicky Kaushal rose to the occasion as a gentleman who loves her with quiet dignity. The love doesn’t waver even when he reports her betrayal. His eyes spoke volumes when he came to know of her duplicity but in her heart he still loves her. The duo makes for a nice couple and does share certain chemistry and you actually feel bad for him in the film because of that.
Lust Stories (2018)
Director: Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar
Cast: Radhika Apte, Akash Thosar, Bhumi Pednekar, Neil Bhoopalam, Manisha Koirala, Sanjay Kapoor, Jaideep Ahlawat, Kiara Advani, Vicky Kaushal, Neha Dhupia
Some say lust is the most direct expression of love. It’s love at its most unadulterated form. The four stories contained in this episodic film explored just that. Vicky acted in the story directed by Karan Johar. Kiara Advani and Vicky Kaushal star as a young couple while Neha Dhupia plays a rather lustful librarian. The film talks about how sexual satisfaction too is a right and women shouldn’t be seen in a bad light if they demand it. It’s the most light-hearted of all films, getting the full Karan Johar treatment but the questions it raises are no less pertinent. Vicky Kaushal played against type, portraying a clueless husband who doesn’t know how to properly make love to a woman. And when he does understand that he apologises for his immaturity. It was all handled nicely without resorting to excessive melodrama.
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Manisha Koirala, Vicky Kaushal, Anushka Sharma, Jim Sarbh, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza
Sanju, based on real-life actor and friend Sanjay Dutt and has pulled no punches in his treatment. Drugs, sex, AK 56, RDX — it’s all there, make no mistake. It’s a reexamination of the life of one of our most controversial film stars and Rajkumar Hirani has made every episode seem as real as it could get. Life’s all about choices and two fictional characters — God (Jim Sarbh) and Kamlesh (Vicky Kaushal), represent those for Dutt. Both are fast friends but whereas one introduces him to the vices of the world, the other insists he takes a look at the virtues as well. Vicky Kaushal, as the nerdy Kamlesh, is a revelation indeed. One can see the pain Kamlesh suffers when he sees his friend deteriorating in front of his eyes. He’s so good he even forgives the fact that Sanju scored with the girl he planned to marry. It’s one of the best performances by Vicky so far.
Uri: The Surgical Strike (2019)
Director: Aditya Dhar
Cast: Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal, Yami Gautam, Kirti Kulhari, Mohit Raina
It’s a fictionalised account of the surgical strike conducted by the army in P.O.K. The film begins with a surgical strike being conducted by special force commandos led by Major Vihaan Shergill (Vicky Kaushal) against North-East insurgents hiding in Myanmar. Some days ago, they had carried out a dastardly attack on an Indian Army infantry convoy in Chandel district of Manipur. We learn that Vihaan wants to leave the army on compassionate grounds as his mother is suffering from an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. He’s transferred instead as a pen pusher in Delhi so he can be with his mother. His brother-in-law Karan (Mohit Raina), a fellow major in the army gets killed when Pakistan based terrorists strike Uri. A devastated Vihaan asks permission to lead a counter-strike across the border. How he goes about it forms the crux of the film. It’s Vicky Kaushal’s dedication that compels you to invest in the film. He method acts to glory amidst the madness and comes out triumphant from the heart of darkness. He has once again shown that you can cast him in any sort of a role in any sort of a film and he’ll deliver his hundred per cent.