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10 Peripheral Performances That Shaped Bollywood’s Destiny In 2018

Subhash K . Jha

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1.     Gajaraj Rao In Badhaai Ho: As Ayushmann Khurrana’s shy selfmade railway booking-clerk father  in Badhaai Howho willy-nilly impregnates  his wife at an  unthinkable age, Gajaraj 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  performance  Rao  stood tall . Later bloomer. But what a  bloom!
2.     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 manfriday-loverboy blew the screen apart with his whiny sadism. It was  the  first time that mainstream  Hindi cinema dared  to show true carnal passion that  a man felt for another man.In that sense this was a  pathbreaking performance.
3.     Arunodoy Singh In  Blackmail: As Divya Dutta’s absurdly  henpecked husband Arunodoy  displayed a new side to his personality. He was  like a petrified oversized tomcat afraid to  face his nemesis after  repeatedly devouring on forbidden bowls of  fullcream  milk. Here was  a performance that wasn’t afraid to let it all hang out even if it made him look extravagantly  idiotic.

4.     Ashutosh Rana  In  Mulk:  The ensemble cast  in this dark tale of Islamic isolation shone brightly. None  brighter than the irrepressible Rana who  bit and chew  into his role  of the fundamentalist Hindu lawyer who spat venom at the Muslim community  , branding their children  terrorists, etc,  with such casual  straightforwardness. Rana made the  absurd sound chillingly authentic. That rhetorical  tone of voice and the smirk…I couldn’t sleep  for days.

5.     Aparshakti Khurrana In  Stree:  Of course Rajkummar Rao as the  naïve tailor  stole the show. But  Aparshakti as  his incredulous best friend was  a howl and 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 is much more thanRajendranath  to Rajendra Kumar.

6.     Girish  Kulkarni in Fanney Khan: Some will  remember  him as  the  mean wrestling coach in Dangal. More recently he was brilliant  in a  cameo in Sacred Games. This chameleon like Marathi actor was superlative asAishwarya Rai Bachchan’s slimy music manager in Fanney Khan.Not missing a single  heartbeat  in  the character’s opportunism ,  Kulkarni  once again showed  us that good actors in Bollywood are like potatoes  in  a fancy  vegetable  dish. We take them for granted.

7.     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 a highly acclaimed  film where Alia Bhatt simply  took over.

8.Neena  Gupta in Badhaai Ho:  Wasn’t it just  the  other day when  this  underrated  actress cribbed  about being left out in  the cold?  Now here she is playing  a distressed  50-plus  housewife who  finds herself….errr…pregnant. Neena nailed the woman’s dignified  responses  to  a situation that makes her the brunt of memes,in a  manner  of speaking.

9. Manisha  Koirala  in  Sanju:  Ina  film brimming  over with over-the-top  performances  this ever-incandescent  actress brought  a vivid  vibrancy  to her role  as  the legendary  actressNargis,  laughing and whistling , loving her  errant  son to death, literally.Someone  should  make a Nargis bio-pic with Manisha.

10.  Saurabh Shukla  in  Raid: The uncouth boorish  arrogant  North  Indian politician…sounds familiar? But see how Shukla pumped up the  predictable part with passion and  punch.Bhaiyya  issko  kehte hain scene stealer.

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