Months after Sushant Singh Rajput's demise, it still feels like a personal loss because he achieved what every actor dreams of, but few manage - creating a connection with the audience through his characters.
A talented star, who had the inimitable ability to light up every screen he appeared in, here's a look at some of his finest on-screen moments that stayed with us long after the credits rolled:
1. Kai Po Che!
This moment establishes with perfect clarity, why Ishaan is the driving force behind their friendship and the story. The sheer happiness and passion with which he approaches life is something that everyone, friends and foes, love and covet in equal measure. For his first film, this was a flawless, heartfelt performance.
2. Shuddh Desi Romance
Throughout the film, Sushant expertly played the role of an adorable, boy-next-door, grappling with the fear of commitment common to most millennials. It's hard to pick a single scene from the film. But the video of the song Tere Mere Beech Mein is a pretty perfect summation of the charm Sushant doled out in the film, and that had everyone crushing on his character, despite knowing better.
3. M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story
Despite playing a living legend, Sushant's portrayal won over the audience. Because, Sushant understood Mahi as a person but never tried to mimic the cricketer. At this moment, it was Sushant's conviction that brought alive the pain and struggle of Mahi's journey.
It's one thing to read about Dhoni's struggles, but quite another to relate to them, and feel for them, as they play out in front of you on the silver screen.
The whole film focuses on Mansoor's devotion towards his work and his town. But, at this particular 'meet-cute', Mansoor's affection towards his favourite game takes a back seat, when he encounters a stranger as passionate about cricket as him. In the scene, he hardly has any dialogues. But his expressions speak volume, and his innocent smile instantly warms up your heart.
Watching him in Kedarnath reminded me of the charm with which he impressed in Shuddh Desi Romance, though Kedarnath's Mansoor was far more impassioned about his work.
In a film starring Manoj Bajpayee and Ranvir Shorey, Sushant still managed to capture the audience's attention, and this scene shows why. Acting as a lookout, in a span of seconds, without uttering a single dialogue, Sushant's body language changes from a confident rebel to someone ready to deal with the unexpected threat.
Though dialogues from the film have taken over social media, this scene remains a wonderful example of his acting prowess. From calling his old friends to recounting stories from his college days, Anirudh has left no stone unturned to save his son. But at this moment, he breaks down.
6. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!
Before Sushant took on the mantle of playing the nation's favourite cricketer, he played the nations' favourite detective. As anyone would tell you, appeasing an entire generation's nostalgic memories is no easy task. And yet, Sushant took to playing Byomkesh Bakshy, like a fish takes to water.
He brought a quiet intensity to his role, that should have been at odds with the unassuming arrogance Byomkesh as a character is famous for, but Sushant balanced it with perfection. There's no single frame or scene to pick, because his brilliance shone throughout the film.
Sushant was a gifted actor, whose natural performance always left people impressed. His death is truly an irrevocable loss for the film industry.