The 10 Scariest Villains of Bollywood
Agneepath's Kancha Cheena and Rauf Lala remind one of the many sinister villians Hindi cinema has seen so far.
Often when heroes take on the mantle of villainy, the emphasis is on coolness instead of intimidation.
Not this time.
Just when you thought the age of larger-than-life, creepy-looking bad guys with a penchant for breaking into sinister muhahas and painful punishment is over, Agneepath comes along.
Unlike the cruel albeit cultured drug lord Kancha Cheena (played by Danny Denzongpa) of the 1990 revenge drama, Karan Johar's brand new reproduction has not one but two terrifying villains to make life hell for Hrithik Roshan's Vijay Dinanath Chauhan.
If Sanjay Dutt's bald and baleful avatar as the modern-day Kancha ensures he won't be receiving any 'jadoo ki jhappis' for a while, Rishi Kapoor tosses his 'sweetheart' reputation out of the window with a despicable turn as the kohl-lined mobster Rauf Lala. The duo, who previously worked on J P Dutta's Hathyar, are easily the most triumphant aspects of its money-spinning remake.
On that note, let's take a look at some of the scariest villains of Bollywood. And by that we mean of the hideous get-ups, odious make-up and bombastic variety.
Image: Sanjay Dutt in Agneepath
His powerful baritone and fierce eyes have sent a shiver down many a spine.
Though nothing can beat his horrifying appearance in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, Amrish Puri has slipped into many a nasty skin with get-ups, like Mogambo in Mr India, Dong in Tahelka or Bhairon Nath in Nagina to name a few, underscoring his eternal capacity to instill fear.
His towering menace worked well enough in regular attire so you can imagine the impact of his personality when he took the over-the-top route.
Image: Clockwise from top: Amrish Puri in Tahelka, Mr. India and Nagin
Kader Khan in Pataal Bhairavi
It's hard to take someone seriously if they're clad in so many layers of brocace, Kader Khan's Mantrik, however, makes for a glowering exception.
As the power-hungry sorcerer with a dreadful laugh and mysterious beard, Khan is a picture of unmistakable cunning.
Better known for his screwball humour, the actor is at his eerie best, smoothly shifting from amusing to alarming, in this tacky but entertaining Bollywood fantasy of the 1980s.
Image: Kader Khan in Pataal Bhairavi
Gulshan Grover in Ram Lakhan
He may have started out playing vile son roles to rich daddies but Gulshan Grover realised his true calling as an evil, unapologetic criminal through films like Subhash Ghai's Ram Lakhan.
His boorish turn as Kesariya Vilayati, one of the henchmen among the evil pack of Ram Lakhan, embellished his 'Bad Man' image to good effect.
It wasn't long before Chhapan Tiklis, Kaniyas and Tysons followed suit.
Image: Gulshan Grover in Ram Lakhan
Sadashiv Amrapurkar in Sadak
Mahesh Bhatt's Sadak took obvious inspiration from Hollywood's Taxi Driver but it scored most on account of its spine-chilling antagonist.
Sadashiv Amrapurkar's portrayal of Maharani, a sarcasm-spewing eunuch running a brothel and other criminal activities ranks among his most memorable roles. With good reason too.
Image: Sadashiv Amrapurkar in Sadak
Shashi Kapoor in Utsav
A far cry from the charming icon of the 1960s, Shashi Kapoor's home-production Utsav features the star as a loathsome, self-seeking and ruthless royal desperate for a pretty courtesan's affections.
This remains an underrated yet brave performance from the star of Jab Jab Phool Khile and Deewar.
Image: The Utsav poster
Shabana Azmi in Makdee
Vishal Bhardwaj's children's film about twin sisters earned a lot of acclaim.
Especially for Shabana Azmi. Her revolting appearance as a cackling witch required the actress to sport layers of prosthetics.
The hard work paid off since the final result was, as desired, most creepy.
Image: Shabana Azmi in Makdee
Pran in Ye Gulistan Hamara
Bollywood filmmakers have strange ideas about our neighbouring countries and their national costume.
All the more if the subject involves unabashed jingoism.
How else do you explain legendary villain Pran's bizarre get-up as Chinese tyrant Deng Do Rani in the Dev Anand-Sharmila Tagore starrer, Ye Gulistan Hamara?
Image: Pran in Ye Gulistan Hamara
Amjad Khan in Sholay
And there are some who don't need beads and eye-caps to evoke detest.
Amjad Khan's loutish Gabbar Singh has to do little more than address Sambha or Kaalia in his slow, seething tone or slap the rocks with his bullet-packed belt to know he's not to be messed with.
Image: Amajad Khan in Sholay
Mohan Agashe in Trimurti
There's something about exaggeration.
If it works, it works like a hoot.
And when it doesn't, it results in Mohan Agashe's fate as Khokha Singh in Trimurti.
False wigs, over-sized baubles, hideous amounts of kohl, notwithstanding. Guess his menacing appearance was so scary, it kept the audience at bay.
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Image: Mohan Agashe in Trimurti