For a country obsessed with its film industry that produces over a thousand films every year, the competition drives for budget and fame are havoc creating. Earlier we had seen the audiences long for commercial bollywood cinema alone, but 2017 has shown a drastic increase in the acceptance of content-rich films. This improvement in content has given a scope for better scripts involving better characters. There’s a general perception that actors need to dress up well, need to look good, remember the lines and then collect a whopping amount of cash. That is it! But acting involves so much more– Remarkable acting involves everything from living the character for real to the emotional and social perils of performance itself. It is an art and this form of art gives the artist an inherent sense of self-critique.
Here is our list of 10 remarkable performances of those actors whose dedication deserves an honorary tip of the hat!
Adil Hussain: We observe Adil Hussain in ‘Mukti Bhawan’ and we can, with much certainty, state that this is one of the most impressive roles in his long list of good performances. Hussain plays a perceptive and patient son who is torn between responsibilities and morals. He portrays a non-idealistic moral character who comes to terms with the understanding of fatherhood – it’s a true stand-out role in a rightfully applauded movie. Hussain has worked in international films like ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ and ‘Life of Pi’ and he received the Special Jury Award at the 2017 National Film Awards.
Hrithik Roshan: Hrithik Roshan delivers a solid punch in Sanjay Gupta’s directed Kaabil. His character as a blind man revives the cliches of rape and revenge storylines and he offers us a great performance. This man can definitely act, and act really well. His performance in ‘Mohenjo Daro’ is not only well dusted off and resurrected it, but he brought back a mirror through which we could access the film. He did not shy away from what he does best either- dancing. He is one of the highest-paid actors in India and has won six Filmfare Awards, four for Best Actor and one each for Best Debut and Best Actor (Critics).
Pankaj Tripathi: Pankaj Tripathi may not have been the protagonist in ‘Newton’ but the movie would have missed all its well-driven essences without him. He has beautifully played his role but there’s still more to him than his sarcastic delivery and his persistence of duty. Since his debut performance in ‘Run’ 2004, Tripathi has come a long way with more than 40 films and 60 television soap operas. It was the ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ film series that brought him into the limelight and has received a critical appraisal for many films such as ‘Masaan’, ‘Nil Battey Sannata’ an ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’.
Rajkummar Rao: Then comes the man who ruled the movies in 2017 and he is none other than Rajkummar Rao. If good performance is a game, then Rajkummar has certainly won it and made it his own. Among them, he received acclaim for his roles in ‘Trapped’ and the black comedy ‘Newton’, his romantic comedy ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ was also a box office hit. He is also regarded as one of the most talented actors of his generation. He is a recipient of a National Film Award, a Filmfare Award, and an Asia Pacific Screen Award. He is previously known for his roles in ‘Gangs of Wasseypur- Part 2’, ‘Kai Po Che!’, ‘Shahid’, ‘Queen’ and ‘CityLights’.
Ratna Pathak Shah: Ratna Pathak Shah’s pinnacle performance that even managed to sway haters and draw unanimous plaudits from critics was with ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. Ratna speaks volumes through her awkward body language and she makes us think about our parents and grandparents who address their own sexuality with nervousness. She was well renowned for her hit TV serial, Idhar Udhar in the 1980s. We’ve previously seen her in roles like romantic drama ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’, action comedy ‘Golmaal 3’, ‘Kapoor and Sons’ and for the critically acclaimed TV serial ‘Sarabhai vs Sarabhai’.
Seema Pahwa: Twice in 2017, Seema blew our minds with her stellar performances in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ as Sushila Mishra and as Sughanda’s Mother in ‘Shubh Mangal Savdhan’. The talented actress never fails to remind us of our own mom, though in both the films, her role was not stereotypical in the way Bollywood has always presented its mothers. We’ve also known her for films like ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’, ‘Ankhon Dekhi’, Seema Pahwa rose to fame after India’s first family drama soap ‘Hum Log’. The show was a rage and her character was so popular that Seema had to hire bodyguards because she would get mobbed on the roads.
Sushma Deshpande: If there is someone who is quiet and yet could be heard, then it is Sushma Deshpande’s role as a vengeful grandmother in ‘Ajji’. Her disturbance over the rape of her granddaughter is displayed and the agitation is further widened as the investigating police officer is in league with the attacker, and her parents don’t seem to care either – which convinces her to delve into the other side of the spectrum. Some of her best-known works on stage include ‘My Mother’, ‘Mee Savitribai’, ‘His Wife and Vhay’ and ‘Her Maalak’.
Swara Bhaskar: We can’t help but notice Swara Bhaskar in ‘Anaarkali Of Aarah‘. Directed by Avinash Das, Swara’s energy and grace couldn’t be missed throughout the film as she plays the role of an item girl from Bihar without overdoing it even by a bit. Her role is that of a fire-breathing, embattled woman in a man’s world. The actress has already received two Filmfare Awards and we previously know her for films like ‘Guzaarish’, ‘Tanu Weds Manu’, ‘Raanjhanaa’, and ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’. Her television show ‘Samvidhaan’ in Rajya Sabha TV is also quite popular.
Vidya Balan: Vidya Balan routes her lovely voice and full-bellied laughter to invest real warmth to ‘Tumhari Sullu’. She lives a character who is much more than a mere wife, so much more than a sister and so much more than a daughter – she desires for a space free of the restrictions that she has lived with and yearns to spread her wings. It was Vidya who broke the stereotypes of female characters in Bollywood and transcended it into strong female protagonists who boldly play the ‘hero’ of the movie. She is a recipient of several awards, including a National Film Award, five Filmfare Awards, and six Screen Awards. She was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2014.
Vikrant Massey: Ever since Vikrant’s entry in Bollywood with ‘Lootera’, it’s been a while discovering the gem in him. ‘A Death In The Gunj’ is probably his career’s best but in a movie that had a remarkable ensemble cast, it is his character that we take along after the movie ends. Massey is also a trained ballet dancer and was previously seen in movies like ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’, ‘Half Girlfriend’ and ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. This actor has certainly been impressing us with a series of strong performances that elevated his leading man status to a whole new playing field.
Akshaye Khanna for Ittefaq and Mom
Anushka Shetty for Baahubali 2
Ayushmann Khurrana for Shubh Mangal Savdhan and Meri Pyaari Bindu
Kalki Koechlin for Ribbon
Irrfan Khan for Hindi Medium
Naseeruddin Shah for The Hungry
Nawazuddin Siddiqui for Haaramkhor
Prabhas for Baahubali 2
Ranbir Kapoor for Jaaga Jasoos
Zaira Wasim for Secret Superstar