B’Day Boy Emraan Hashmi - Beyond the ‘Serial Kisser’ Tag

There’s more to Emraan Hashmi, as an actor than his on-screen lip-locks.

4 min read
 Emraan Hashmi gets social. 

Emraan Hashmi started his cinematic journey with Mahesh Bhatt’s crime thriller Footpath. Little did he know that his choice of films like Murder, Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Aksar and The Train would lead him to earn the enduring tag of ‘Serial Kisser’. Though he’s best known for his passionate and steamy lip-locks on screen, there’s a worthy actor hidden beneath that epithet. Even Salman Khan once said that Emraan Hashmi is an underrated actor after he delivered a string of hits like Raaz 2, Jannat 2, and The Dirty Picture.

“I have not held onto the tag of serial kisser, media did. My contribution to the tag was only 2 years and for the rest of 12 years, media stretched it. It’s very amusing for me. I think people need to be slightly more innovative, you don’t have to be an actor with a tag...that’s the way I see my career after this.”
Emraan Hashmi told DNA last year

Let’s have a look at his excursions which prove that there’s more to Emraan Hashmi, as an actor than his on-screen smooching skills. He started choosing unconventional roles that marked his departure from the kissathon when he played conman in the crime drama Jannat in 2008. Hashmi even made a wise choice and moved away from franchises.

Emraan Hashmi was also picked for an international film, Tigers, in 2014 since he enjoyed the adulation of the masses in India. Directed by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Danis Tanovic, Tigers travelled to many international film festivals and garnered critical acclaim.

His outings in Kalyug and Awaarapan also prove his mettle but the list that follows comprises his standout performances.

Shanghai (2012)

Emraan Hashmi in a still from <i>Shanghai.</i>
Emraan Hashmi in a still from Shanghai.
(Image Courtesy: Facebook)

He earned a Filmfare nomination for his role in the film, where he essayed the character of a part-time pornographer Joginder Parmar. His performance got a nod from the critics as well. Anupama Chopra went on to say that his days of being dismissed as a ‘kissy boy’ are clearly over.

Emraan Hashmi, as the scruffy videographer out for a quick buck, delivers a knockout punch as he masters a complicated role. From his infuriatingly goofy laugh to poor attempts at making conversation, Hashmi proves himself the best of a very fine ensemble. He occasionally shoots porn -- this is off-camera, we see him ask his subjects to clear up and hear the hurried sounds of straps and zippers -- and later, when the film’s heroine is about to sit on his bed, he instinctively barks that she sit somewhere else, because the bed’s dirty. It’s a throwaway grunt but Hashmi nails it -- just like he nails highly energetic pelvic thrusts in a streetdance, one where he keeps biting his tongue, faux-scandalised by the words of the song.
Raja Sen wrote in his review on Rediff

Gangster (2016)

Emraan in a still from<i> Gangster</i>
Emraan in a still from Gangster
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Emraan is at his restrained best in this film opposite Kangana Ranaut. He does full justice to the sinister turn that the film takes, challenging expectations of the viewer.

“And then there’s Emraan. His character is an understated one, and Hashmi manages to keep it that way. There is no unnecessary bluster or melodrama, and he does a pretty believable job. There is something lazy about his acting, by which I mean he makes the job look easy. Obviously, it never is, and if this guy can continue to go without overacting and connect to the janta like he does -- the wolf-whistles are deafening whenever he’s on screen-- then he’s definitely here to stay.”
Raja Sen wrote in his review on Rediff

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai (2010)

Emraan Hashmi in a still from the above film
Emraan Hashmi in a still from the above film
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

He holds his own in this film starring stalwarts like Ajay Devgn and Rishi Kapoor. It’s in an outing like this one that his roguish charm shines. Hashmi’s performance garnered a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Both Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi breathe fire and brimstone in to their portrayal of the two disparate gangsters and come up with two of the most mesmeric acts of the year.
TOI review of the film

Dirty Picture (2011)

Emraan Hashmi in the <i>Dirty Picture.</i>
Emraan Hashmi in the Dirty Picture.
(Image Courtesy: Facebook)

Emraan Hashmi has been bold in his choice of filmic outings. His turn as a vengeful and artistic director in The Dirty Picture amply proves his appetite for roles that will break the mould. Despite the film being Vidya Balan’s show all the way, it does feature a legendary actor like Naseerudin Shah but Hashmi yet again lives up to his image as

Emraan Hashmi is most effective amongst the male leads and makes his presence felt in this female-dominated drama with his natural act.
TOI review 

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