Irrfan, Rishi Kapoor, and thoughts on the perceived worth of a performance

Posted on May 6, 2020


Spontaneous light acting that brings us joy is no lesser than the carefully calibrated heavy-duty dramatic performance that makes us search our souls.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a lot of performers, performances and performance styles. It’s always been an interest, but the passing of Irrfan and Rishi Kapoor on consecutive days, last week, has made me think about this complaint often levelled against the Academy Awards: that the serious kind of acting is (almost) always considered the better kind of acting. Let’s take two actors generally considered gods of their craft. Marlon Brando won an Oscar for On the Waterfront. His superb comedic performance in The Freshman wasn’t even nominated. Meryl Streep won an Oscar for The Iron Lady. The air and sunlight she infused into the screwball shenanigans of It’s Complicated wasn’t even considered. (The Devil Wears Prada, at least, fetched her a nomination.)

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