Shuddh Desi Romance (2013)
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkummar Rao,
Amit Sadh and Amrita Puri
Ishaan (Sushant Singh Rajput), Govind (Rajkummar Rao) and Omi (Amit Sadh) are friends who, like all young people, want to do something different. Ishaan is a talented cricketer and hence the trio decide to open a cricket coaching academy plus a sports shop. The seed money is provided by Omi’s uncle, who is a political henchman in a Hindu right-wing party. They discover a talented Muslim youngster, who has all the trappings of a cricket star. Ishaan becomes obsessed with mentoring him. Govind is only interested in expanding his business. While Omi gets embroiled in the political schemes of his uncle. Whether their friendship stands the test of time forms the crux of the story. Sushant Singh’s character, Ishaan, is the catalyst in the film. SSR brings in sensitivity as well as sincerity in the portrayal and made you root for his Ishaan.
Kai Po Che! (2013)
Director: Maneesh Sharma
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Parineeti Chopra,
Vaani Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor
Raghu (Sushant Singh Rajput), who’s not sure about settling down, is about to get married to Tara (Vaani Kapoor). He abruptly leaves her at the altar and falls for English teacher Gayatri (Parineeti Chopra). She attends weddings as a baraati for subsidiary income. They both are commitment-phobic and yet live happily as a couple without getting married. Things change when Raghu’s path crosses with Tara again. He falls in love with her as well. The film portrays a true picture of a confused generation, who has yet to understand the intricacies of love and commitment. They’re game for hook-ups and baulk at marriage. Sushant plays a clueless youngster with natural ease and won a lot of admirers for his performance.
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma,
Boman Irani and Sushant Singh Rajput
PK is a unique never-before-seen film to have come out of Indian cinema. It stars Aamir Khan as an alien called PK, who gets stranded on earth. He ends up being fascinated by everything around him. PK takes a keen interest in Indian customs and religions. His observations make people confront absurdities that lie within our common beliefs and practices. Anushka Sharma, who plays a journalist called Jagat Janani, is shown to be in love with the like-minded Pakistani national played by Sushant Singh Rajput. Jagat Janani helps PK come into the limelight. She helps him find his remote so he can contact people from his planet and get back home. SSR didn’t have much to do in the film. But he floors you with the natural ease with which he portrays his character – that of someone obsessed with Indian films and culture despite being a Pakistani.
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2014)
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Anand Tiwari
and Swastika Mukherjee
Based on the fictional detective Byomkesh Bakshi, created by Bengali writer Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! is a blast indeed. Set in Kolkata during the WWII era, it pits Byomkesh against an evil genius, out to destroy the world. The art direction is excellent and the costume department too outdid itself. Sushant submerges himself in his character and gives a credible performance as Byomkesh. Strangely, the film didn’t do well as expected at the box-office despite everything going for it.
MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)
Director: Neeraj Pandey
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Disha Patani,
Kiara Advani and Anupam Kher
This one is surely the pinnacle of Sushant’s career.
MS Dhoni is one of our most successful cricketers. He’s known for his prowess with the bat and also admired for his lightning fast wicket-keeping abilities. He’s the only captain in the history of cricket to win all ICC trophies. His biopic, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, chronicles his life and cricketing career up to the Indian team’s win at the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Former wicketkeeper Kiran More coached Sushant, for 13 months, in both wicket-keeping and batting before the filming began. Sushant does a brilliant job of being Dhoni – both physically and in spirit. It became difficult to separate one from the other.
Director: Abhishek Kapoor
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sara Ali Khan and Nitish Bharadwaj
Kedarnath is a slow burner, where love germinates over many a ride up and down a mountain. Mukku (Sara Ali Khan) is the younger daughter of a priest, who also runs a shop and a guest house and needs a pithoo –
porter – to cart her up and down. Mansoor (Sushant Singh Rajput) happens to be a Muslim but has faith in Lord Shiva. It’s thanks to the Shiv temple at Kedarnath that he’s able to earn his livelihood. He’s an affable man prone to giving discounts to his clients and posing for selfies with them. Their common love for cricket leads to a chance meeting. A smitten Mukku later hires him for the whole month. She bares her heart to him and he amusedly listens. Gradually, they fall in love. But there are complications. Mukku is betrothed to someone else. She’s emotionally blackmailed into marrying the guy but nature intervenes before the marriage is consummated. A huge flood, coupled with cloudburst envelopes the valley. Mukku and her father take refuge in the temple, which is the only structure left standing. Mansoor comes to their rescue. Their love and faith get tested again. Sushant’s chemistry with Sara works in the film’s favour. He acquired the body language of a porter beautifully.
Director: Nitesh Tiwari
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Shraddha Kapoor,
Varun Sharma, Tahir Raj Bhasin & Naveen Polishetty
It’s a campus romcom at one level but tackles student suicide on the other. Anirudh (Sushant) and Maya (Shraddha Kapoor) are a divorced couple. They’re traumatised when their young son Raghav tries to commit suicide. Anirudh believes that narrating stories from his college days might help his son recover. During college he’d formed life-long friendships with Sexa (Varun Sharma), Derek (Tahir Raj Bhasin), Acid (Naveen Polishetty), Mummy (Tushar Pandey), Bevda (Saharsh Kumar Shukla) and others. Sushant plays a caring dad in his older avatar and a happy-go-lucky student in his younger avatar. He won plaudits for both.
Director: Abhishek Chaubey
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Bhumi Pednekar, Manoj Bajpayee, Ranvir Shorey and Ashutosh Rana
Sonchiriya offers a potent blend of dacoit drama, karmic lessons and caste politics with some realistic action thrown in for good measure. Set in the ’70s during the Emergency era, Sonchiriya is a story based in Chambal, which has long been the favourite playing field of directors wanting to channel their inner Sergio Leone and whip up a curry Western. Maan Singh (Manoj Bajpayee), is the leader of a merry band of dacoits, only they call themselves baaghi (rebel). Their rebellion exists at an existential level, as more often than not they are men running away from themselves. Lakhna (Sushant Singh Rajput) and Vakil (Ranvir Shorey) are his trusted lieutenants. Virender Gujjar (Ashutosh Rana), a policeman has a personal vendetta against them and has vowed to kill them. Their lives take a turn when they help a woman (Bhumi Pednekar), who stumbles into Chambal carrying a sick girl. Nothing is what it seems as the narrative goes back and forth in time. It was a huge gamble for Sushant to play a dacoit in this period film. The film won lots of critical acclaim and awards.