Birthday wishes: Vivek Oberoi’s on-screen avatars

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Today’s birthday superstar, Vivek Oberoi, has much to look forward to and is currently preoccupied with many forthcoming projects. However, in contrast, his career has seen ups and downs of sorts both in his personal life and in his films. It’s difficult to look at his career graph and not have it scream out to you exactly how many different representations the actor has undertaken in the films he has been a part of. BizAsia is taking a special look at the many on-screen avatars of Oberoi.

Vivek the Gangster

Oberoi in 'Shootout at Lokhandwala'
Oberoi in 'Shootout at Lokhandwala'

Arguably, the gangster roles are what Oberoi is perhaps most appreciated in and also most known for. Right from his debut in ‘Company’ (2002), he has been noticed for his rough, negative-shaded and earily sexy crooked characters. What he manages to add to these which others may not have as a USP is his deep voice which is always a pluspoint when trying to create a certain effect in a villainous avatar. The most noted films of his in such roles apart from his debut��is ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ (2007) and ‘Rakht Charitra’ (2010).

Vivek the Loverboy

Vivek-Rani in 'Saathiya'
Vivek-Rani in 'Saathiya'

When one thinks of Oberoi in this avatar, there is primarily just one movie that comes to mind; ‘Saathiya’ (2002). In what was a truly unforgettable role for the actor, he starred opposite Rani Mukerji and together they made the story of two bittersweet lovers come to life. Oberoi’s talent lies in the way he, at the time of the release of ‘Saathiya’, was able to show a different side to himself that the earlier ‘Company’ which saw release in the same year. He played a loverboy character in 2004’s ‘Kyun Ho Gaya Na’ as well, opposite his then girlfriend, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Vivek the Bechara

Oberoi in 'Masti'
Oberoi in 'Masti'

It’s hard to imagine an actor who plays such a good gangster can also play a commendable bechara but Oberoi does so with ease. The bechara role he is all set to reprise was first seen in 2004’s ‘Masti’ in which he played one of three male leads along with Aftab Shivdasani and Riteish Deshmukh. In a plot which leaves him awaiting his fate, Oberoi’s performance – although not critically appreciated – makes one feel sorry for him in true bechara style. His role in ‘Pyare Mohan’ (2006) also makes one feel for the guy who lands himself in strife due to his disability.

Vivek the Action Hero

Vivek Oberoi in 'Prince'
Vivek Oberoi in 'Prince'

2010’s ‘Prince’ received very mixed reviews but it rebranded Oberoi in an action avatar. Although he had previously been a part of action movies such as ‘Mission Istaanbul’ (2008), he hasn’t been recognised in this genre quite so much. The actor will be revisiting the genre again in ‘Krrish 3’ but in a villainous role and it remains to be seen whether he will see success this time.

Vivek the Knight in Shining Armour

Oberoi in 'Kurbaan'
Oberoi in 'Kurbaan'

He can be seen as a saviour in a film that stands out amongst the rest; ‘Kurbaan’ (2009). Oberoi comes in in the second half of the movie and completely changes the course of the story. His role and look are effective in this movie because he is there for a purpose.

Special mentions which don’t quite fit the one list can be given to Oberoi’s performances in ‘Yuva’ (2004), ‘Kisna’ (2005) and also the critically acclaimed ‘Omkara’ (2006). However, it can be concluded that the actor just needs some big banner projects and meaty roles in order to make a definite mark in Bollywood which unfortunately he has only done to an extent at this time.

Oberoi’s forthcoming projects are set in various genres such as comedy, action and sci-fi. This goes to show that audiences should be ready for a bigger and bolder Oberoi in the months and years to come… and about time too! BizAsia wish the actor a very happy birthday and hope his to-be-father status makes the coming year extra-special for him aside from his film career.

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