By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Harman Baweja has all the right reasons to be elated. After garnering mixed response for his performance in his debut film Love Story 2050, he has proven to be victorious at least in one department, that too the most crucial one, in his second release Victory i.e. 'acting'! Though the film may have taken a slow start at the box office, audience, industry folks as well critics have given a Thumbs Up to his portrayal of Vijay Singh Shekhawat, a simpleton who rises to be a superstar cricketer, only to see a fall and then rise from 'ashes to glory'.
Those present at the premiere of the film were unanimous in acknowledging Harman's superb act in the film with some going to the extent of calling it 'flawless'. Says a source who gave a first hand account of the appreciation coming Harman's way, "The most touching of them all was Ashutosh's (Gowarikar) spontaneous reaction to Harman's performance. The moment the film ended, he walked up to Harman and gave him a hug. He was emotional and gave Harman an elder brotherly treatment. He was glad that his What's Your Rashee actor had come of age in his very second film."
Apparently, Sushmita Sen commented that Harman Baweja was flawless in the film and could sense clear honesty and sincerity in his performance. Bigwigs like Ramesh Sippy and Tauranis too were convinced that Harman was there to stay and Love Story 2050 wasn't the last that one saw of the young actor. As per Sridevi, Harman managed to carry the entire film on his shoulders and was fabulous in his performance from the first till the last frame.
Says a friend close to Harman, "He is just cherishing all the positive response coming his way. He was disheartened when his debut film was panned by one and all. He was clueless about why he and his film were targeted. He was low for a while but then gave his all to his role in Victory. There is a limit to what an actor can do in his early days in the industry but Harman only exceeded his own efforts. He is happy that this time around audience has given him a Thumbs-Up. Now it has to be seen how the word of mouth carries the film ahead."
This time, the media has been much kinder though on the film. The majority of it may not have given the film best star rating but good words have been reserved for Harman across the globe, whether India or overseas. One of the critics has in fact questioned that 'Whether Harman Baweja should be considered as a first class cricketer or a first class actor?' Tell Harman about this and he says in an exhilarated tone, "That's true. It was a double role I had to play since I had to 'look' and not 'act' like a cricketer. The entire film would have fallen down had it ever appeared on screen that I was acting. It was hard work to be a cricketer as well as an actor and I am glad that effort has been noticed."
He is cued in to good reactions from the audience. "Yup, I am aware about the way the film has opened. Expectedly it is doing much better on the single screens and I am led to believe that it is only growing with every passing show. I am extremely excited and happy with the film and it is encouraging to hear positive reviews about your work."
Talking from Colombo where he was stationed for the premier of the film (with the Indian and Sri Lankan cricket teams), Harman adds, "I won't deny that last 7-8 months were especially tough. I had to gather myself and do something good that would help me win my audience. Along with the physical strain that I had to take for the role of a cricketer, there was a lot of mental stress as well. Thankfully, I had people close to me standing besides me throughout to help me keep focused on my job. The result is Victory!"