ACTORS WHO WON OUR HEARTS...
…. And they weren’t the heroes. Presenting the fringe players who were even better than the leads. 2018 wouldn’t have been the same without them
ARIF ZAKARIA IN RAAZI
As the Pakistani family’s loyal Man Friday who sees through the new bahu’s hidden agenda, Arif Zakaria brought a glorious gravitas and a snide wisdom to his role. Kudos to the unsung hero of an acclaimed film, where Alia Bhatt simply took over.
GAJRAJ RAO IN BADHAAI HO
As Ayushmann Khurrana’s shy self-made railway booking-clerk father in Badhaai Ho who willy-nilly impregnates his wife at an unthinkable age, Gajraj Rao brought so much empathy and warmth to his character, we never judge Rao’s character Kaushik. We are just happy he gets a chance to look lovingly at his wife at an age when he should not be thinking of the birds and the bees. In a film teeming with assured performances, Rao stood tall. Later bloomer. But what a bloom!
JIM SARBH IN PADMAAVAT
While the plot’s focus was almost entirely on Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, the unorthodox Jim Sarbh as Allauddin Khilji’s vicious ruthless transgender Man Friday blew the screen apart with his whiny sadism. It was the first time that mainstream Hindi cinema dared to show such a relationship. In that sense, this was a pathbreaking performance.
ASHUTOSH RANA IN MULK
The ensemble cast in this dark tale of Islamic isolation shone brightly. None brighter than Rana who bit and chew into his role of the fundamentalist Hindu lawyer who spat venom at the Muslim community, with such casual straightforwardness. Rana made the absurd sound chillingly authentic. What a guy!
ARUNODOY SINGH IN BLACKMAIL
As Divya Dutta’s henpecked husband, Arunodoy was a revelation. He was like a petrified tomcat, afraid to face his nemesis after devouring on bowls of milk. His was a performance that wasn’t afraid to let it all hang out even if it made him look extravagantly idiotic.
APARSHAKTI KHURRANA IN STREE
Of course Rajkummar Rao as the naïve tailor stole the show. But Aparshakti as his incredulous best friend was a hoot. In fact Hindi cinema has a history of brilliant actors stealing the show as the hero’s best friend. I only hope Aparshakti doesn’t get typecast as the sidekick. He deserves much more!