Farooque Sheikh's most memorable performances
A complete natural in front of the camera, Farooque Sheikh stood apart with his genteel, relatable personification of life.
Though he maintained a conscious low profile and never went on a signing spree to parade his calibre, his 39-year long career boasts of sparkling classics, splendid consistency and a scrupulous reputation.
Even in below average flicks, his talent could be relied upon to rise above the disappointment.
The proof of his versatility is evident in his resounding success in all three mediums -- cinema, theatre and television.
Ever so charismatic, his classy demeanour, crusty sense of humour and heartening modesty made him a favourite of colleagues, critics and viewers.
On December 28, Farooque Sheikh passed away leaving everybody in a state of disbelief and despair.
Even though his sudden loss is irreparable, his memories are immortal. We, at rediff.com, salute this fine actor and fabulous human being through some of his best works.
Though Balraj Sahni is the central figure of the M S Sathyu-directed Garam Hawa, Farooque Sheikh’s unemployed Muslim boy drew attention for his deftly portrayed angst and infuriation in the aftermath of India’s partition.
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Image: Farooque Sheikh (third from left) in Garam Hawa
Shatranj Ke Khiladi
Farooque Sheikh makes quite an impression as Saaed Jaffrey’s caddish, excuse-ready nephew engaged in a clandestine affair with his neglected wife (Farida Jalal) in Satyajit Ray’s exquisite adaptation of Munshi Premchand’s story.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in Shatranj Ke Khiladi
That famously genial face becomes a portrait of despondency as a migrant cabbie aspiring for a better life in the city of dreams (and disappointments) for Muzaffar Ali’s still relevant Gaman.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in Gaman
From a broke taxi driver to an affluent, sophisticated Nawab who succumbs to social pressures and gives up on his ladylove (Rekha), Farooque Sheikh shifts gears with effortless conviction, complexity and charm in Muzaffar Ali’s most celebrated creation, Umrao Jaan.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in Umrao Jaan
As the nerdy bachelor sharing a flat with two carefree good-for-nothings (Ravi Baswani, Rakesh Bedi) who falls for the lovely Ms Chamko (Deepti Naval) over a date of tutti-fruttis, Farooque Sheikh portrays the sweet, sensitive type with heart-warming perfection.
Image: Farooque Sheikh with Ravi Baswani and Rakesh Bedi in Chashme Buddoor
In Sagar Sarhadi’s Bazaar, which comments on the appalling practice of young girls being married off to elderly, rich men in exchange of money, Farooque Sheikh sports a delightful Hyderabadi accent to court a doe-eyed Supriya Pathak.
It’s to the credit of their collective intensity, which renders the tragic fate of their innocent romance all the more hard-hitting.
Image: Farooque Sheikh and Supriya Pathak in Bazaar
Farooque Sheikh transforms from a poetic idealist to a seeker of materialistic pursuits in face of hardships to provide a better life for his missus without realising its dire consequences on his marriage in Raman Kumar’s relationship drama, Saath Saath.
Image: Farooque Sheikh with Deepti Naval in Saath Saath
Farooque Sheikh slips into mainstream hero mould to woo a fresh-faced Poonam Dhillion but lends it his own brand of boyishness and vulnerability in Yash Chopra’s hill station romance directed by veteran character actor, Manmohan Krishna.
Image: Farooque Sheikh and Poonam Dhillon in Noorie
Breaking his nice guy image to embody the sly, scheming Hare trying to one-up Naseeruddin Shah’s dawdling tortoise in Sai Paranjpe’s enjoyable retelling of the children’s fable, Farooque Sheikh proves he can play a lovable rogue to entertaining effect.
Image: Farooque Sheikh and Naseeruddin Shah in Katha
Kissi Se Na Kehna
In Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s winsome Kissi Se Na Kehna, Utpal Dutt’s reliable antics and unyielding prejudices are up against Farooque Sheikh’s frothy verve and Deepti Naval’s girl-next-door goodness as they fabricate a series of funny lies to come together.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in Kissi Se Na Kehna
Lahore is a well-meaning if not well-made film about a good-will match of kickboxing between India and Pakistan, which casts Farooque Sheikh as a dry humoured coach.
Though it’s not a lengthy part, its significant since it earned him his first and only National Award’s trophy.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in Lahore
Farooque Sheikh scores yet again as the astonishingly corrupt and smooth-talking political official in Dibakar Banerjee’s critically-acclaimed reworking of Vassilis Vassilikos’s novel, Z.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in Shanghai
In the small movie with a big heart, Farooque Sheikh reunites with his co-star of several films -- Deepti Naval to portray an easy-going, knowledgeable photographer struggling with growing Alzheimer’s and his companion’s resentful daughter with profound wisdom and grace.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in a scene from Listen Amaya
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Only an actor of unmatched competence and poise can leave a mark even in a role spanning couple of scenes without trying too hard.
And Farooque Sheikh does just that as Ranbir Kapoor’s unconditionally patient and loving father in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.
Truly, a class apart.
Image: Farooque Sheikh in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani