Monday, July 15, 2024

Three Reasons why Ranveer Singh is a poor choice for Shaktimaan

Robin Bhuyan 

Shaktimaan – This is a special name in the heart of almost every kid in India who grew up in the 90s! As India’s first superhero TV show, Shaktimaan had gained a lot of popularity in every Indian household! Starring Mukesh Khanna in the lead role of Shaktimaan as well as his alter ego Pandit Gangadhar, the show had gained a cult status within a short time. The show featured other actors such as Vaishnavi McDonald, Lalit Parimoo, Tom Alter, Surendra Pal, etc. The show aired for several years on Doordarshan, but all of a sudden, it stopped airing during the mid-2000s, and the reason was never clearly explained.

In 2016, it was reported that Shaktimaan would make a comeback, but unfortunately, that day never came. Mukesh Khanna, the lead actor, and the mastermind behind Shaktimaan, claimed several times through his Youtube channel that Shaktimaan would be making a comeback, and a huge surprise was awaiting Shaktimaan fans. And sure enough, in early 2022, it was announced that a big-budget Shaktimaan triology would be made, set to be produced by Sony. However, one question was still lingering: Which actor would play the iconic role of the superhero Shaktimaan?

Portraying the role of Shaktimaan, especially on the big screen, is not as easy as it may sound, because Mukesh Khanna has already created an iconic image of the superhero, which is imprinted in the minds of everyone who watched the show. So, it would require an actor who would not just resemble the previous version of Shaktimaan in looks as well as personality, but it would also need someone who can play the role of the goofy Gangadhar, Shaktimaan’s alter ego. Many fans speculated that Vidyut Jammwal would be the ideal choice for the role, considering his proficiency in martial arts and yoga, since Shaktimaan is a superhero whose powers originate from yoga and spirituality. Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, Rajkumar Rao, were some of the other names that some fans had suggested as potential actors who might be able to do justice to the character.

Eventually in February 2024, after a long gap, it is announced that actor Ranveer Singh, who is known for his roles such as the titular character in Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, and Alauddin Khilji in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavaat, is going to play the role of Shaktimaan in the upcoming trilogy, and the film would be directed by Basil Joseph, director of the superhero film Minnal Murali. Now, the netizens seem to be extremely upset over the choice of Ranveer Singh as Shaktimaan, as they feel that the actor would not be able to do justice to the iconic character. Many fans have already declared the film to be a flop, due to the poor choice of the actor. Well, their anger indeed seems to be justified. Here, we will take a look at three reasons why Ranveer Singh is indeed a poor choice for Shaktimaan:

No similarity to the original Shaktimaan: While Ranveer Singh’s efficiency as an actor cannot be questioned due to his convincing portrayal as Allauddin Khilji, the character’s persona and acting style just does not match at all with the traditional image of Shaktimaan, a character with a calm demeanour having a strong seriousness about justice. Singh has an overly energetic persona, which many audiences also describe as “goofy”. This kind of persona matches perfectly with the character traits of Gangadhar, but if we talk about Shaktimaan, then Ranveer Singh just doesn’t give the “vibe”. Let’s just hope Singh’s exaggerated acting style does not turn the Shaktimaan film into a parody, detracting from the spiritual and moralistic themes of the character!

Lack of physical resemblance and experience: Another reason why fans are upset is because Singh does not physically resemble the traditional depiction of Shaktimaan either. A tall, muscular figure with a stoic presence- that is the image fans have of the traditional Shaktimaan. Ranveer Singh’s physical presence just does not seem to have the ability to capture the essence of Shaktimaan! In addition, Ranveer Singh has never played a superhero character before, and playing Shaktimaan is a huge responsibility which he might not be able to pull off!

Fan Backlash: Die-hard fans of the original Shaktimaan can be seen rejecting Singh’s portrayal of the character, worried that the film might turn into another Aadipurush or who knows- even worse! So this might lead to the film becoming a disaster at the box office. Especially when an international production house like Sony is involved in the project, it is important that the makers consider the opinions of the fans, as it is the audience that decides whether a film becomes a hit or not.

While it does not seem likely that the makers will change their decision regarding the lead actor, all we can do is just wait and hope that the film does not ruin our childhood memories!

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