Sanjay Dutt's Top 10 Performances
Sanjay Dutt is back in fine form with his version of the menacing Kancha Cheena in Agneepath. Here's looking at the actor's best performances so far.
He's taking over the country's screens right now as the monstrous villain in the new Agneepath, but Sanjay Dutt's been around awhile.
Here, then, is my list of his 10 best performances:
Pot-bellied, out of shape and seemingly corrupt, Dutt's Inspector Pannalal Chohaar showed us a different side of the actor, one unafraid to give up the glamour and enter the character's skin.
Hats off to director Vidhu Vinod Chopra for making it happen.
Image: A scene from Eklavya
Mahesh Bhatt was a director who used Dutt well, always exploiting his lean, hungry look, his sleep-deprived eyes, his junkie swagger.
In Sadak, a strange but effective Taxi Driver rip-off, Dutt played Ravi, a cabbie who falls in love with a prostitute.
Image: A scene from Sadak
8. Haseena Maan Jaayegi
Dutt's action roots were always strong, but the actor showed genuine comic spontaneity in this David Dhawan caper, the first of several where he went toe-to-toe with funnyman Govinda and more than held his own.
Image: A scene from Haseena Maan Jaayegi
7. Mission Kashmir
In this Vinod Chopra film, Dutt played Inayat Khan, a tough cop dealing with terrorism and familial baggage, having lost a young son in a tragic accident.
A subtle performance with an appropriately stiff upper lip, Dutt did very well in the film, stealing leading man Hrithik Roshan's thunder.
Image: A scene from Mission Kashmir
This Lawrence D'Souza romance saw Dutt play a limping orphan, an introverted poet hiding behind the bluster of his friend, Salman Khan.
Khan had the role of the charmer but it was Dutt, uncharacteristically quiet and sober, who walked away with the girl (Madhuri Dixit) and the applause.
Image: A scene from Saajan
This Mahesh Bhatt hit saw Dutt frequently getting into trouble with the law, a youngster gone astray and eventually forced to work for a smuggler.
Dutt did very well to convey both boyish cocksureness and, later, helplessness as he descended into crime.
Image: A scene from Naam
Equal parts terrifying and amusing, Dutt showed mammoth screen presence in the film.
Image: A scene from Khalnayak
Apparently based on the early life of Chhota Rajan, this Mahesh Manjrekar film saw Dutt at his most intense.
In a role that took him from a smiling pav bhaji seller to one of Mumbai's most feared gangsters, Dutt displayed conviction and range in one of his best performances.
Image: A scene from Vaastav
2. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
How do gangsters fall in love?
Rajkumar Hirani's masterpiece saw Sanjay Dutt's Munna flounder for answers as he learnt about Gandhi, started speaking with the father of the nation, and tried to woo a radio jockey with all his heart.
It's a performance solid enough to keep us smiling, sometimes even with moistened eyes.
Image: A scene from Lage Raho Munna Bhai
1. Munnabhai MBBS
While Hirani's sequel might have been the better film per se, Dutt struck gold in the original.
A lovable gangster soaked in optimism who doles out magic hugs?
It's a preposterously tall order, but Dutt, at the height of his abilities, made it work -- and made it look effortless.
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Image: A scene from Munnabhai MBBS