New Delhi: When Sunny Deol ripped out a banyan tree, stopped speeding cars and punched his foes in 'Singh Saab The Great', he reaffirmed his position as Bollywood's original action hero. For years, this tough dude has entertained his fans by blowing stuff up and ruining a goon's day, which explains why he has truckload of compliments under his belt and continues to be the only reliable name in Bollywood who can rack up more respectable action roles. In a career, spanning over thirty years, a lot may have changed for Sunny and his supporters, but his star value remains intact. The reason? His death-defying stunts and motorcycle/car chases. The 57-year-old star has again proved that an action film like 'Singh Saab The Great' aren't young man's game making it possible for even a finely aged actor like him return to action prominence.
So is it time for Rajinikanth, who is remembered for some mind-blowing stunts - battling bullets with his mind, hurling bottles at rivals and running perpendicularly to the train - to step down? Going by what the cinegoers say, the megastar should make way for Sunny Deol, whose action sequences are equally incredible and comprehensible, as our very own superhero? Read on...
Since the fight scenes are a vital part of an action screenplay, it is imperative for the actors to be given artistic and believable stunts to perform. "Agreed, Rajinikanth's style is unique. And that his ability to double flip his glasses and light the cigarette mid air before it reaches him continue to be a hit with the masses even now, but do such futile stunts really mean anything? For how long will he depend on such stunts? Even though I revere him for his keenness on trying new things and respect for his profession, I think Sunny's on-screen person is far more believable. You can relate to what he does, even if it means stopping the jeep by the sheer strength of his hand," says law graduate Akash Krishna.
If 'Gori Tere Pyaar Mein' paled in comparison with 'Singh Saab The Great' that's because of the Sunny factor. "Those who have watched 'Singh Saab The Great' would concur that the action sequences personifies Sunny's rising cult status helping him to be placed on a mantle with Rajinikanth himself. Whether it is the way he slams through a brick wall and lunges forward and grabs his foes by their throat, everything he does inspires awe and adds to the memorable cinematic moments in the history of his career," says Eram Agha, a media professional.
For movie buff Raghav, Sunny looks convincing as he pulls out water pumps but if he ever gets to catch a bullet with his teeth, he doesn't know how he would react. "I've never seen Sunny doing a Rajini-like stunt. He can pull out a handpump and look convincing because of his sheer physical presence, but I am yet to see him catch a bullet with his teeth," he says.
Rajinikanth's Tamil films find several takers because he identifies with the underdog, but is that enough? Replies HR professional Rahul Kalsi, "If Rajinikanth's winning formula in Tamil films is his ability to identify with the underdog, Sunny's dialogues speak volumes of his craft. He combines sincerity, angst and believability to his dialogues to make his film memorable. I can't say the same for Rajinikanth. I can watch Sunny's film multiple times, but can I say the same for Rajinikanth? Don't know."
Medha Gupta, a die-hard fan of Sunny Deol too echoes the same sentiment. "Even though Rajinikanth helped the youth in the 80s learn the trick to perform the most normal actions with style, he would never be referred to as the iconic action hero. If people worship him that's because he is humble. But when it comes to Sunny Deol, his heated verbal tirade against his rivals earns him a thunderous applause from virtually everyone. And that's how you get an unending list of iconic dialogues of Sunny. You'll never find him using a knife to cuts a bullet into two pieces, to kills his foes," says DU student Medha Gupta.