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    Hot on the heels of the surprising success of the juvenile Phata Poster Nikla Hero, Shahid Kapoor is already thick into promoting his next release R…Rajkumar. Across the spectrum of cinema, Raj Kumar (best known for his roles in Gangs of Wasseypur and Kai Po Che) is promoting his next film called Shahid (releasing October 18). Now, this is indeed confusing unless you have seen Shahid, the film directed by Hansal Mehta. I have, and Raj Kumar’s performance is award-worthy. The young actor has stripped himself bare – literally and metaphorically – in this complex biopic about a young human rights activist and lawyer who was shot dead in his Mumbai office in 2010.

    The part of Shahid Azmi is a huge achievement for the Gurgaon boy and FTII, Pune graduate. Raj Kumar made his debut in the experimental Love Sex Aur Dhokha in 2010. Having started in the indie space and transitioned to the mainstream with Talaash and Kai Po Che, Raj Kumar says, “I don’t really agree with the distinction. The only difference is that the latter has more visibility and bigger budgets.” His upcoming films include a short film by Mira Nair, Vikas Bahl’s Queen and a human thriller by BA Pass director Ajay Bahl.

    – Udita Jhunjhunwala

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