Anil Kapoor

- Vikram Chandiramani 

His debut film 'Woh Saat Din' is a distant memory, and he did bit roles in some films even before that, but even today Anil Kapoor goes on. As a leading man in Bewaffa, Nayak: The Real Hero, Badhaai Ho Badhaai, Hamara Dil Aapke Pas Hai, My Wife’s Murder and Darna Zaroori Hai he is the fittest hero from his generation. 
   
Anil Kapoor’s forthcoming films are Welcome, Chandralekha and Mazhab: The Religion

Anil Kapoor is one of the toughest survivors in the industry, and that is because of his humble beginning in Chembur. "I saw the local dadas and gangsters, interacted with them and even saw knives and home made missiles flying during fights." Kapoor has admitted.

There also was another struggle. Father Surinder Kapoor was the secretary of Shammi Kapoor and here his middle son, Anil, was nurturing the dreams of becoming a star! It was difficult. Anil only got bit roles, not even when brother Boney Kapoor producer `Hum Paanch`.

But the family ultimately decided to back him, launched him in 'Woh Saat Din'. The tramp was obviously inspired by Raj Kapoor (rather Charlie Chaplin) but was a hit.

Though Anil has consciously projected tramp like in `Mr India`, also a home production, it is the tapodi who has won the day for him one several occasions. In `Mashaal`, Kapoor playing Dongarbati ka ladka unflinchingly faced Dilip Kumar and got rave reviews. The same tough tapodi playing a lawyer in `Meri Jung`, an idler-loafer in `Tezaab` and `Ram Lakhan` brought him success.

He also has paid attention to the roles that have won him acclaim and awards. 'Eeshwar','Lamhe' and '1942 - A Love Story'  are some of them. For Eeshwar he went out of his way when he was made up as an old man. " My mother could not recognize me," he said happily after the film was released and appreciated.

In a very calculated plan, the entire family of Kapoors has settled for a three-pronged approach.

1. There will always be a home production opposite the top heroines of the day: Sridevi and Madhuri in the eighties and nineties. While the outside producers signed him opposite second rung of heroines like Amrita Singh and Kimi Katkar, which would have reduced him to a lesser status, the home productions placed him on par with the top heroes of the day and also managed to see that he was compared with Amitabh and touted as the 'next number one'. As a result of this strategy, he also figured opposite Karisma, Kajol, Aishwarya and Rani Mukherjee.

2. Anil Kapoor will always work with the best banners even if the role or money were less.

3. Anil will have good public relations.

Anil, therefore, may get a less important role as Govinda's costar in `Deewana Mastaana` and shares the limelight in Darna Zaroori Hai, Musafir and Om Jai Jagdish but ensures that he has author backed (read: producer-director backed) roles in Judaai, Bulandi, Nayak: The Real Hero, Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate, Hamara Dil Aapke Pas Hai, Pukar, My Wife’s Murder, Badhaai Ho Badhaai and Bewafaa.

Anil Kapoor is believed to have financed most of brother Boney Kapoor's films before they parted ways in their business, a few years ago, rumoredly over a financial dispute. Now Anil Kapoor is officially producing a movie titled 'Gandhi My Father' about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's philosophy. The movie is expected to release sometime in 2007.