In an interview given to a magazine a couple of years back, Amitabh Bachchan had stated that though he has done a wide variety of roles, he would always be called the ‘Angry Young Man’ as the majority of the roles he played at the peak of his superstardom were set in that mould. Most of the biggest superstars in the history of Hindi cinema are associated with a particular image. That image is often a result of the majority of roles they have essayed throughout their career. While Dilip Kumar will be known as the tragedy king, Rajesh Kumar will be remembered for his romantic roles. There are a few actors who are not associated with a particular moniker and are known to be versatile. This happens because they keep reinventing themselves at regular intervals and jump from one role to another with effortless ease.
Ajay Devgn made his acting debut with director Kuku Kohli’s action drama ‘Phool Aur Kaante’ (1991). The 90s did not really give commercial actors the opportunity to experiment with different kinds of roles and Ajay was seen in similar-themed films for the next couple of years. It was actually in the late 90s when the actor came into his own. There were romantic dramas (‘Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Dil Kya Kare’), comedies (‘Ishq’), action films/thrillers (‘Hindustan Ki Kasam’, ‘Kachche Dhaage’) and slightly offbeat films (‘Takhshak’, ‘Zakhm’). A couple of these films turned out to be major hits while a few missed the mark at the box-office but what they did bring to the fore was the fact here was an actor who was not afraid of experiment with different kinds of roles and films. While his home production ‘Hindustan Ki Kasam’ broke the opening day record at the domestic box-office, Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Zakhm’ fetched him his first National Award.
He carried forward this tradition of doing an eclectic mix of films in the 2000s as well. He had a ‘Golmaal: Fun Unlimited’ and an ‘Omkara’ release in the same year. In fact, the same year he made his debut in Bhojpuri cinema with ‘Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke’. His new film titled ‘De De Pyaar De’ is his first romantic comedy in a long time. Though the core conflict in the film reminds one slightly of Ajay’s track in Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Dil Toh Hai Bachcha Hai Ji’, this is a very different film, firmly entrenched in the world Luv Ranjan is familiar with. In the film, Devgn plays a fifty year old man who falls in love with a twenty-six year old woman (Rakul Preet) and then, goes through a host of difficult situations at home while trying to introduce her to his family which consists of his wife (Tabu), whom he has been separated from and two children who are in the same age bracket as his girlfriend.
Ajay has stepped into this zone after a long time and with diverse films like ‘Shivaay’, ‘Golmaal Again’ and ‘Raid’ behind him and a biopic (‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’), a part in S.S Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ and his third directorial venture which he plans to announce next year. Ajay Devgn is clearly at a stage in his career where he is looking to reinvent himself and has a definite plan how to go about it.