Mohar Basu (MID-DAY; August 5, 2017)

Sidharth Malhotra confesses that the debacle of Nitya Mehra’s ambitious project, Baar Baar Dekho (2016) compelled him to look at his career graph anew. Competing with his contemporaries, he says, isn’t an option anymore, as the actor intends to compare every performance with his previous stint. “Flops are like falling off from a bicycle,” Malhotra tells mid-day, adding, “After Baar Baar Dekho, I don’t fear falling. At this point in my career, I am in such a space where I don’t look at the work of any co-star with a competitive spirit. I have my career to build and wish to invest my energy into that.”

When the topic of competition is breached, Malhotra is inevitably pitted against his Student Of The Year (2012) costars, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt, given that the three made their debut with the Karan Johar-directed project. While Dhawan has built his image as a promising actor with outings like Badlapur (2015) and Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017), Bhatt has already established herself as one among the female actors leading her pack. Malhotra’s measured performance in this rat race, he says, has helped him analyse how he intends to focus on his acting commitments. “Competition, in this industry, has a different connotation. Here, there will always be people who have worked before you. You have to make peace with the fact that there will even be better performers coming in after you. In order to maintain your sanity, you can only compete with your last performance. That’s all that matters. Why would I care about Varun and Alia’s careers? I have too much on my plate to worry about anyway.”