Readers Choice: The Greatest Movie Characters
Last week, we asked you, dear reader, to come up with the most memorable movie characters in Bollywood history. The characters that have made you laugh, cry, and empathise with them, and characters that you love to quote and imitate.
You came up with a striking list, and here then are the top 10 characters of all-time, as chosen by you:
Dev Anand's Raju 'Guide' from Vijay Anand's masterpiece of the same name has aged terrifically well. The film is over 45 years old, but Raju a clever forger who falls in love and then redeems himself spectacularly well, is clearly a character for the ages.
Image: Dev Anand in Guide
9. Bhiku Mhatre
'Mumbai ka king kaun?' Manoj Bajpai had memorably challenged us in Ram Gopal Varma's Satya, and all we could do was name his character, awestruck.
Bhiku Mhatre's undeniable charisma and vicious personality meant that while he was always good for a laugh, he was also always in control. What a man!
Image: Manoj Bajpai in Satya
In Hrishikesh Mukherjee's eponymous classic, Rajesh Khanna's Anand is a man with the ultimate love for life.
While diagnosed with a fatal disease, Anand remains spectacularly upbeat, spreading joy and good humour to people who are all destined to outlive him by quite a distance. A magical character.
Image: Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna in Anand
This one was a bit of a surprise since Jai we at Rediff thought stole Veeru's thunder but then in Ramesh Sippy's Sholay, as magnum as opuses can get, Dharmendra did play the leading man with flair.
And it takes some serious coolness to pull off the water-tower scene.
Image: Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay
6. Crime Master GoGo
Picking one of the most memorable characters in Rajkumar Santoshi's Andaz Apna Apna is a tough task indeed, the loony film populated with many an iconic idiot, but you did the job wonderfully well, dear reader.
Shakti Kapoor's Gogo dresses like a supervillain but settles for pretty much stealing anything, despite calling himself Mogambo's nephew.
Image: Shakti Kapoor in Andaz Apna Apna
Shekhar Kapur's Mr India remains perhaps the greatest masala movie ever made in our cinema, and the film gave us one of the most memorable supervillains of all-time.
Amrish Puri's vile global terrorist Mogambo had it all: bald head, booming baritone, an outrageous lair and convenient pools of acid under the floor to keep the workforce in order. Oh, and that simple but devastating catchphrase.
Image: Amrish Puri in Mr India
4. Vijay Dinanath Chauhan
It's the voice, really. Amitabh Bachchan played many a great Vijay through his long and marvellous career, but for Mukul Anand's Agneepath 20 years ago, he dropped the trademark silk-smooth voice and turned it into a raspy hiss.
The result? A National Award and each of his dialogues attaining legendary status.
Image: Rohini Hatangari and Amitabh Bachchan in Agneepath
3. Chulbul Pandey
The character isn't even a year old, but already Dabangg's supercop Chulbul Pandey has grown to mythic proportions. And there's nothing really about the character except Salman Khan, megastar, playing himself on screen, disguised ever so vainly behind a thin moustache.
The film is nothing, but Khan is in top form and he turns Chulbul into quite a rockstar.
Image: Salman Khan in Dabangg
In the role of his career, Sanjay Dutt flourished in Raj Kumar Hirani's fantastic Munna Bhai movies, playing the bhai with a heart of gold.
Sure, he talks tough and walks rough, but Munna melts pretty easily, especially when he sees the right girl. And he makes bearhugs magical.
Image: Sanjay Dutt in Munnabhai MBBS
1. Gabbar Singh
Who else but Gabbar? With his first major movie role, Amjad Khan revolutionised the persona and, indeed, the very scale, of the Hindi film villain.
Gabbar was a dacoit so fearful, so ruthlessly menacing that even the leading men seemed scared of him not to mention babies having trouble sleeping.
Everything about Gabbar was iconic, from the way he chewed tobacco to the sinister games he'd play with a revolver, and iconic the character shall forever remain.
Image: Amjad Khan in Sholay