23 June, 2021

That's No Shooting Star

From flying kicks to nuances of expression? Ajay Devgan is tired of being the eternal stuntman.

That's No Shooting Star

EXPECT no movie-star flamboyance from Ajay Devgan. He's dynamite at the box-office all right, but, off-screen, he exudes none of the fizz and crackle that go with his stengun-toting, fire-spewing tough guy persona. Laid-back and soft-spoken, he doesn't smother you with a torrent of words. Nor with a flurry of I-know-best gestures. But ask him about his craft, the way he sizes up a role and interprets characters, or simply about the dynamics of showbiz in general, and he opens up like a lucidly written book. As you turn each page, you get a better insight into the mind of a performer aware of his art, one who invests his work with an equal measure of studied deliberation and natural flair.

That's precisely what he did recently in Mahesh Bhatt's Zakhm, a well-intentioned but over-dramatised tribute to the syncretic beliefs of the director's late mother. Devgan, who built his early acting career around the hackneyed image of a macho action hero, was by far the best thing about the film: thoroughly convincing and utterly believable. His heart...

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