Abhishek Bachchan has never really got his due. His praiseworthy performances have either been neglected or ignored. Here are the performances that have stood out in the Junior Bachchan’s career.
- Refugee(2000): Under the tutelage and guidance of the mighty J P Dutta, Abhishek immersed into the character of the Indian guide who navigates illegal immigrants across the border. Though Kareena Kapoor grabbed all the attention, Abhishek was an understated volcano of seething anger, quite like his dad in Saat Hindustani. Says Abhishek, “I still haven’t forgotten a single moment of my debut film. I owe my career to J P Dutt Saab.”
- Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai (2001) : Playing a smalltown boy from Uttar Pradesh who gets in wrong company in Mumbai, Abhishek exuded a vulnerability and innocence that came naturally to him. This was the first of his several successful collaborations with Rani Mukherjee. Says Abhishek, “This was directed by my dear friend Goldie Behl. We were both new and trying to find our bearings. This was my second intense experience in a row at the start of my career.I enjoyed working with Mr Jackie Shroff who played my mentor.”
- Naach(2004): One of Ram Gopal Varma’s most underrated films, Naach was an intense romantic drama about the dancer and the muse with a tightly-wound intensely felt performance by Junior Bachchan.If only RGV had not gotten carried away with his obsession with the film’s leading lady Antara Mali!(Wonder what happened to her). Says Abhishek, “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Ramu in the two Sarkar films. Funny , you pick Naach which no one even remembers today. Yeah, that was a very passionate film with some very unusual choreography.”
- Yuva(2003): Many consider this to be Abhishek’s finest performance to date. Playing the Bihari goon on hire Lallan Singh, Abhishek mastered the body and spoken language of the Bihari hoodlum. This was another outstanding collaboration with Rani. Says Abhishek, “My wife had already worked with Mani Ratnam. But for me Yuva was the first time. Mani entrusted me with a role most directors would have thought I was too raw to play. I think this is one of my best performances.”
- Bunty Aur Babli(2004): Or, Hum Aapke Hain…Con! Playing the con-man to Rani Mukherjee’s con-woman, this was the ultimate con caper and the only time director Shaad Ali got it right, apart from Saathiya. Says Abhishek, “I remember you had dropped in on the sets on my birthday with a cake when we were shooting the sing Kajra re with my father and future wife(Aishwarya). Who was to know that Kajra re would turn out to be such a chartbuster, the most successful song of my career, and Ash’s. This film was special because I teamed up with Pa(dad Amitabh Bachchan) and we did not play father and son.”
- Guru(2006): Based on the life and aspirations of the legendary entrepreneur Dhirubhai Ambani , Abhishek played the tycoon with a rags-to-riches fervor. He went through the various phase in Dhirubhai’s life mastering the real character’s aging process with admirable precision. Recalls Abhishek, “This is another character very close to my heart. I poured my heart and soul into it. It was a responsibility that I had to fulfil.”
- Paa(2009): Playing his own father’s father! Abhishek says the audacity of the idea drove him into pushing the boundaries of his abilities. “I realized my father had the toughest role in Paa. For me to have him playing my son was an idea that just didn’t enter my comfort zone.I give all the credit for carrying off the reversed role to our director Balki.”
- Bob Biswas(2022): With that affable angelic semi-smile and eyes that never tell lies, BobBiswas,as played by Abhishek Bachchan in one of his finest performances, looks like anything but an assassin.Abhishek Bachchan with his bewildered expression and bemused responses to the world around him, is the pitch-perfect BobBiswas. Murderously innocent , hopelessly lost in a Kolkata he abandoned many years ago. Now he reclaims a city , a life and a family that have moved on.With tragic consequences.