Bollywood’s ‘New Raj’ who is not the Stereotypical ‘Bollywood Raj’

Happy Birthday Rajkumar Rao! Rajkummar Rao for the longest time, Bollywood had been a hero driven industry. It feels the Indians righteously indignant hero constantly, who lived a lavish star lift off-screen. Beys grew up with dreams of stardom and carved for the attention and the reverence the stars received. But, not all dreams are the same!

Rajkummar Rao made that journey from Gurgaon to Mumbai not for fame or money, but just to act in movies.

Then how has he been able to create a niche for himself? How did he become the hero sans any big-budget monies? The answers lie in conscious choices made throughout his career driven by an unconscious urge to just do good.

DKODING | Rajkummar Rao – Bollywood’s Legendary Actor

Happy Birthday Rajkumar Rao! A combination of talent and his ability to attract the kind of work which suits his talent made him what he is today. India’s nomination at Oscars in Best Foreign language film category Newton is one such movie, which became a sleeper hit because the right production and script aligned itself with the actor.

But a Newton wouldn’t have been possible without a Trapped, or Omerta, or Aligarh, the movie which showcased his acting chops in droves and stood solely on their quality. Rajkummar Rao became the poster boy of Hansal Mehta movies which are a regular at acclaimed film festivals, because of his talent and dedication to the craft of acting.

Rajkummar is arguably one of the best actors of our generation but so was written for Manoj Vajpayee and IrrfanKhan, both are legends today also created a niche for themselves but never tasted the kind of success Rajkummar has early in his career.

DKODING | Rajkummar Rao tasted success early in his career

But, nonetheless, they paved the way for the Rajkummar of our generation. They did their part in keeping the independent movement-the arthouse culture alive. Good scripts survived and movies were made because these talented actors appreciated their value and role, even when the Indian audience had no intentions to give them their fail due.

Happy Birthday Rajkumar Rao! Now, when Bollywood is waking up to the success of content-driven movies the role of the subculture which did the hard part of surviving can’t be neglected. Rajkummar has continuous work, because Manoj, Irrfan, and tabu didn’t, and yet they persisted.

DKODING |Roundtable Discussion with Rajkummar Rao | Courtesy: CNN

Even though some recognition arrived, Bollywood is far from the leagues of French cinema or Japanese movies. Bollywood is even struggling to keep up with regional giants like Marathi and Malayalam cinema, in terms of quality storytelling.


And, Rajkummar isn’t the conventionally macho & fair and handsome prototype, he is the guy who gets trapped in his own apartment, he is the guy who finds a friend in a gay ageing professor, he is the Lawyer accused of terrorism and the terrorists who live by the radical law.

Bollywood had been selling us the dream for decades, a single-man army had been saving the day forever. It is all the stuff of dreams, it provides escapism, but what a human being inherently, also need is relatability and Raj scares tremendously high on that scale.


We want to fix the system, but can’t do that by angrily beating some mean, this is where Newton saves the day, the relatability is off the charts. We see him in ourselves our friends and our life so convincingly that it’s difficult not to like him.

DKODING | Rajkummar Rao | Recipient of National Film Award for Shahid

So, there is history, talent, timing and basic primal needs involved in the success of Rajkummar Rao. He has caused his own niche in Bollywood because he is not the “complete package” Bollywood carves, but indeed he is a star and here to stay. Happy Birthday Rajkumar Rao!


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DKODING as the name suggests is on a crusade to bring out the ‘OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY’ in a world drowning with fury and frenzy. It provides deeper insights and perspectives beyond NEWS.

Breaking burning issues through a narrative that is fresh, fearless and fiery.


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