When Kartik Aaryan really gets into his zone, he can move the viewers. Some would rightly argue, that's the foundation of acting. It's that easy, and that difficult.
Difficult because often, this quality is a gift, and to achieve it with practice is not impossible but takes relentless effort.
Anyway, whether it's a gift or a result of practice, it seems like Kartik has a hold on the basics, which makes us wonder why he does not experiment more.
He generally yields results, as he did in Dhamaka. With the overall writing flimsy and faltering, he still manages to deliver a decent performance.
He is good when he is cocky. He knows that. But even the moments of vulnerability, with their nicely-timed pauses, are not bad.
And above all, he pulls you to his side. Kartik is persuasive.
Then why does he keep going back to the bechara loverboy characters which do not serve his potential?
One explanation could be that he shot to fame because of his roles in Pyaar Ka Punchnama movies, and hence, decided to stick to them for some years.
But that was the case until 2020 when Love Aaj Kal 2 released, and that's a long time to be walking on one path.
Yes, it yields results in terms of numbers, but ultimately, you should branch out.
I don't put Love Aaj Kal 2 in the same category as his other movies because this one has more depth. He is a loverboy, and also bechara, but one with dilemmas bigger than how to not look bored when your girlfriend is shopping.
Also, playing two characters, across different timelines, could not have been a cakewalk. Even though I have my issues with the movie, I think it was Kartik's best performance so far.
The movie showcased his range, which was often ignored during the long monologues about how women manipulate men into submission as these guys, innocent as ever, try to do everything in their power to please them.
Anyone who has met more than 5 men in their life, will want to bang their head against the wall watching the said monologues, but that's a separate discussion.
Kartik could be more than this. With a troublemaker's smile and vulnerable charm, his camera presence is brilliant too, and all he needs to do now is dedicate his time to scripts that are not sexist and average.
Enough of Chintu Tyagis. We are done.