“Aren’t you working?” I asked my team, trying to battle the Monday morning blues.
“Aren’t you watching the Oscars?” asked my bunch of young guns in retaliation, staring at me like an old fart. The reply I gave is directly inspired from the ‘Meryl Streep’ kind of rhetoric.
“Kiddo, you may have loved this Wolf only now, but he was the Jack Dawson of our times”. Sounds so old school, but rather proud of it.
Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio, the sensation of the 90’s in India. Shortly after the oldies like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were slowly calling it a day, DiCaprio came by starring in the James Cameron epic, Titanic. The young actor who portrayed the lead role of ‘Jack Dawson’ looked like a revelation. The lad made the then girls called us go weak on our knees, and we tried to investigate more about this new Romeo in the block. Feverish kisses, heart-warming promises to his lover, and a lot more. We also tried to know what his last name meant. Even his zodiac sign. Indian screen went scorching with the chemistry between Rose and Jack. Rose was beautiful, while Jack proved that he is going to be the next phenomenon in Hollywood.
The Jack Dawson of our times brought with him some superior stagecraft skills. Leonardo was not an action hero at that time, but he walked whole nine yards with a significant performance in whatever he played. Leo came to India with Titanic and remained in our hearts forever.
Most of us have been following Hollywood and stars till that time, but for the rest who managed without VCRs at homes, DiCaprio was a magnificent introduction to English films. Whether people like to admit this or not, he set the tone for regularized Hollywood film watching ever since.
Those of us who fell for Mr DiCaprio started stalking him with our own petty means. When is his next film coming? We wondered. There was no internet that time so our sole respite was checking out the regular Friday release listing in the newspaper. His next film that was released in India was The Beach, perhaps pushed in by the local distributors post the response for Titanic. Nah! He could do more. He could play a plenty of characters and was still limiting himself to romance.
Come early 2000’s and DiCaprio arrived one more time on the Indian silver screen, playing Frank Abagnate Jr in Catch me if You can. The film remains to be one of his bests till date. The highlight being the lost lover boy who sank in Titanic rising to act head to head with the likes of Tom Hanks. Leo proved that he was here to seriously kick some ass.
The roller coaster ride of Mr Leonardo DiCaprio began. Film after film, he began to deliver some high quality performances. India remained in awe as the country watched young Jack Dawson grow into a matured man, capable of dealing with any kind of role.
India was super worried as you know, what with the constant Academy jinx the actor had been fighting lately. Today, the entire country is celebrating in its own way on the social media, congratulating DiCaprio over finally making it. Leo wins an Oscar, pheww!! Long due.
So honey, he may be the wolf of your times, but he was one fine Jack Dawson to some of us.
Congratulations, Mr DiCaprio.