Though Emraan debuted in Footpath, he came to the limelight with Anurag Basu’s Murder where he played a role that was oozed with confidence when it came to the steamy scenes. Emraan as a womanizer on screen shocked the nation by showing no qualms in doing sex scenes in Murder. The 13 kisses in the film were a record that time, and also started the trend of bold movies in Bollywood. Making out on a terrace in that black silky blanket was like an unofficial advertisement of what Emraan’s further movies would be
Murder was followed with Tumsa Nahin Dekha where he teamed up again with Anurag Basu. The first trailer of this film had Emraan bowled by Diya Mirza at a busstop and immediately giving a lip-lock. And that gained him the title ‘Serial Kisser’. The movie however bombed at the box office.
Zeher was Emraan’s fourth movie and the birth of a genius director from the Bhatt camp, Mohit Suri. Emraan played a cop and was paired with Shamita Shetty and Udita Goswami. The illicit affair aspect was present in Zeher too where Emraan is in a secret relationship with Udita. The songs of Zeher especially ‘Woh Lamhe’, and ‘Agar Tum Mil Jaao’ are extremely popular chart busters. A new beginning of unstoppable hit music numbers of Emraan took off. The next movie of our serial kisser was Aashiq Banaaye Aapne, where the raunchiness climbed up the ramp even more. The title song became the hottest number of the year visually, and musically too which made Himesh Reshamiyya the topmost composer for few years that followed. Performance-wise Emraan had nothing new to offer since the Murder days.
His other release in the same year was Chocolate which went unnoticed and his routine performance seemed weaker as he was acting alongside talents like Irrfan Khan and Anil Kapoor. The next film was Kalyug, where he played a supporting role of a punk with a heart of gold. Kalyug was Emraan’s second film with Mohit Suri. With an interesting role and relatively better performance, he climbed another step in becoming a good actor.
Just after he made his presence felt in Kalyug, Emraan came with up with two forgettable movies which again put him in the womanizer zone and offered nothing more than a bunch of smooches. Jawaani Deewani and Aksar damaged whatever the little amount of hope he created from Kalyug.
In 2006, Gangster came as a blessing to him where he portrays a cop in disguise. He utilized the opportunity well to show the sleek switch from the lover to the scheming cop towards the climax. The next significant movie where we could see a groomed actor in him was in Awarapan, again directed by Mohit Suri. The problem however was he intermittently did some terrible movies like Good Boy Bad Boy and Killer which focused only on banking upon his serial killer image, which obviously failed at the box-office. Not surprisingly, the ones which had substantial characterization like in Jannat worked well.
A milestone in his career which put a stop to the inconsistency of how his movies fared at box office was Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. It was a very important event of his career, as he passed the acid test. The acid test was performing in par with Ajay Devgan, and he came out in flying colors. His performance as Shoaib was loved and triggered some wonderful roles in the subsequent years. Though his ease and expertise in enacting bold bedroom scenes was continued to be used, it was given a lower priority than the characterization. His role as Abraham in Dirty Picture was well-written and performed flawlessly. He created a space for himself in the movie when the movie comprised gems like Vidya Balan and Naseeruddin Shah. In Murder 2 also, he was impressive as the suspended cop trying to unveil the mystery murders.
In the 2012 and 2013 releases, he delivered some amazing performances in three completely contrasting roles. In Ek Thi Daayan which came from the Vishal Bhardwaj camp, he played a magician Bobo, who is suspicious of women with a long plait as Daayans. In the caper comedy Ghanchakkar, he worked with the very talented Raj Kumar Gupta. His displayed some commendable histrionics as Sanjay, who loses his memory after a bank robbery. In Dibakar Banerjee’s Shanghai, Emraan gave his career-best performance as Joginder in a completely deglamourized but a wonderful role.
The story of Emraan’s rise is a great illustration of persistence and hard-work. Emraan has come a long way from an almost B-grade hero to a bankable actor of Bollywood! The other factors which contributed to his success are: Music and Mohit Suri. Emraan is the only actor who could get numerous best-of-the-best music tracks in the last ten years. There is at least one number from each of his movies that top the charts whenever they release. Mohit Suri has been phenomenal in giving Emraan roles that would bring out a better actor out of him. From Zeher to Kalyug to Awarapan to Raaz2 to Crook to Murder 2, he has been the fuel. Their 7th venture together is Hamaari Adhuri Kahaani which also stars great talents like Vidya Balan and Raj Kumar Rao.
His other movies to look forward in 2014 are Ungli in Karan Johar’s production and Kunal Deshmukh’s Shaatir.