Ranganathan Madhavan doesn’t need to try too hard. One smile and it can make women go weak in their knees. We can vouch there isn’t anyone as charming as him right now. But did you know Madhavan was rejected by Mani Ratnam for one of his films, citing that his “eyes looked too young for a senior role”. Indeed, his eyes still have that innocence even after a two-decade long career. After making a mark on television with shows like Banegi Apni Baat, Ghar Jamai, Saaya and Sea Hawks, Madhavan made a smooth transition into films, starting off with Tamil and Telugu cinema. Ironically, he won a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut – South, for Mani Ratnam’s 2000 film Alaipayuthey.
Let’s take a quick glance at his memorable films and roles, and why each one stood out from the other.
1. The madly in love Maddy of Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein
“Jab kisi ladki se pyar ho jata hai na… to dil ke channel pe bas ek hi program chalta hai… Just Mohabbat”
That killer smile and piercing eyes were enough to give sleepless nights to any girl. His sizzling chemistry opposite Dia Mirza in his Hindi debut is still considered a benchmark for romance in Bollywood. Did you know Madhavan had insisted that director Gautham Menon narrated the story to his mentor Mani Ratnam to be sure if the film was a positive career move for him. Fortunately, it was. It’s songs still top our playlist. Isn’t it?
2. The best husband of Dil Vil Pyar Vyar
“Pyar do logon ko ek karta hai, alag nahi”
Madhavan played a house-husband who managed the accounts of his successful wife Namrata Shirodkar. We loved the way he recreated the RD Burman tracks including O Hansini. Madhavan was earlier paired opposite Mahima Chaudhry, but Shirodkar came on board later. Their unspoken chemistry was too sweet to miss. Ofcourse, Madhavan knows how to speak through his eyes.
3. The super baawarchi of Ramji Londonwale
“Aisa lag raha hai hamara koi hissa daldal mein phansa hua hai”
A lesser-known film, but a must-watch nonetheless! He had such a finesse inside the kitchen that we forgot whether he was acting or actually cooking. And if ever his food lacked any flavour, all he did was give a charming smile and the tadka was complete!
4. The handsome Air Force pilot of Rang De Basanti
“Koi bhi desh perfect nahin hota hai. Usse perfect banana padta hai”
Even though he had a small role, but it was a highly impactful one. After all, the entire story revolved around him. Remember? “Ladkiyan to uniform waalon par marti hain.” He left many girls yearning for more and even jealous of not having a uniform-clad boyfriend! The way he asked out his co-star Soha Ali Khan became a dream proposal for every girl. And we loved his aviator glasses and leather jackets too.
5. The marriage-material guy of Guru
It’s not about how he loved a crippled Vidya Balan, but it is more about the way he did that. From being an invisible support to giving her a lease for life, Madhavan justified every ounce of his part so well. He is a Mani Ratnam favourite, and there isn’t any points for guessing that. Can we forget the way he confessed his love to Vidya, at the sea-side, under the rains? Already getting goosebumps? Blame it on him!
6. The perfect friend of 3 Idiots
“Dost fail ho jaaye toh dukh hota hai. Lekin dost first aa jaaye toh zyada dukh hota hai”
He can stop an entire plane from taking off, just for his friend. He can abduct a bride from her wedding, just for his friend. He can get rusticated from his college, just to save his friend. He can even confront his parents, just to fulfill the desire of his friend. This iconic film not just unfolded from the point of view of “Farhan-nitrate”, it even raised the bar for all friendship based films in Bollywood.
7. The dutiful husband of Tanu Weds Manu
“Theoretically toh mujhe darna chahiye par practically mujhe dar lag nahi raha”
He can be the kind, lovable and caring husband too, and we realised that in this blockbuster film. He kissed a drunk Kangana, he even stalked her in the film’s sequel, but we only raved about him. There is something about Madhavan that steals our hearts everytime he plays a romantic role. And those rimless glasses…
8. The fierce coach of Saala Khadoos
“Kaun kehta hai Hindustaniyon mein dum nahi. Sports mein se politics hata ke dekho, gali gali mein champions milenge”
He was snobbish, angry and non-forgiving. Yet we loved him in that fiery role of a boxing coach. It’s okay if he smiled any less, his beard and long tresses did make us happy. Actually, anything about him can make us happy!
Madhavan had some time back shared a picture from his modelling days. And trust us when we say, he always had that something special about him, right from his young age.
Madhavan has a bigger and memorable body of work down South. But the handful of Hindi films he has done, are enough to make his Bollywood fans happy. We wish he continues to give us regular doses of his charm even if it means him being choosy about signing Bollywood movies. We can wait to see that smile on the big screen. Isn’t it?