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Still love Sunny Deol? Tell us!

By The Rediff News Bureau
Last updated on: January 20, 2016 17:51 IST
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Which 1980s hero is still rocking it? VOTE!

When they began their career in the 1980s, Amitabh Bachchan's singular stardom ruled the roost.

But these young men, their raw and refreshing presence provided Bollywood a much-needed sense of excitement and variety.

Whether riding the 'angry young man' wave the Big B had famously spawned or going against the tide to reveal a brand new facet to the Hindi film hero, the 1980s batch imprinted the decade and the ones to follow with an energetic mix of fanciful and furious.

From raring-to-go 20-somethings to middle-aged stars left with nothing to prove, we look at the 80s Bollywood hero now and then.

Do you think they're still rocking it? Take this poll and let us know.

Sunny Deol

Sunny Deol in Ghayal Once Again

Image: Sunny Deol in Ghayal Once Again

His macho, horse-riding farm boy in Betaab was a robust enough indication of what's in store.

Dubbed Bollywood's answer to Sly Stallone, Dharmendra's eldest son lived up to that image quite dedicatedly through his action-packed histrionics and muscle power in Arjun, Tridev, Dacait, Yateem, Ghayal, Ghatak, Damini, Border, Jeet, Ziddi, Darr, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Apne and Yamla Pagla Deewana.

There's been a lull and low aplenty but the shy Deol somehow always bounces back.

Although he hasn't had a hit in ages, let's hope his upcoming offering, Ghayal Once Again, also directed by the man, can achieve what the original did for his career.


Anil Kapoor

Anil Kapoor in Dil Dhadakne Do

Image: Anil Kapoor in Dil Dhadakne Do

His fetching flamboyance and swaggering antics in frothy treats (Chameli Ki Shaadi, Ram Lakhan, Kishen Kanhaiya), dedicated intensity in dramas (Woh Saat, Din, Tezaab, Parinda, Virasat) as well as remarkable commitment in roles considered taboo for a mainstream hero (Lamhe, Eeshwar) gave Anil Kapoor an edge his colleagues could only dream of.

Just a year short of turning senior citizen, the super dad of star Sonam Kapoor and aspirant Harshvardhan, looks nothing like his age.

If anything his fit and fabulous appeal has only helped his international ventures like Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, Brad Bird's Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and American TV series, 24.

Only recently Kapoor regaled us with his comic range for humour as diverse as chalk and cheese in Dil Dhadakne Do and Welcome Back.

Sanjay Dutt

Sanjay Dutt in PK

Image: Sanjay Dutt in PK

His life is stuff biopics are made of. No wonder there's one in the offing.

Sunil Dutt's pampered son got a dream launch in home production, Rocky. But Sanjay Dutt's feeble screen presence and drug addiction didn't result in a promising start.

The breakthrough came in the form of Mahesh Bhatt's Naam and Dutt proved he could act. A series of smash hits in the form of Saajan, Sadak, Khal Nayak and Aatish ensured his emergence as a bonafide star.

Only the TADA nightmare took its toll on his career and it wasn't until Mahesh Manjrekar's Vaastav that things got upbeat. Dutt's latest innings were marked by visible maturity, heft and depth. His snarky charm stood out in the Kaante crowd, as did the nonchalance he exhibited in playing Hrithik Roshan's father in Mission Kashmir or ruthless enemy in Agneepath.

Of course, nothing comes close to his turn as the loveable, gyaan-rich tapori in Rajkumar Hirani's Munnabhai movies. It's easily the most definitive character on his resume. Close to finishing his term in jail, it would be interesting to see what new surprises the world-weary star has in store.

Jackie Shroff

Jackie Shroff in Brothers

Image: Jackie Shroff in Brothers

Bollywood's beloved Jaggu dada won the nation with his earthy charisma and style in Subhash Ghai's Hero.

Thereon, one saw him blossom under the able eye of directors like Ghai (Ram Lakhan, Khal Nayak), Vidhu Vinod Chopra (Parinda, 1942: A Love Story, Mission Kashmir), Mahesh Bhatt (Kaash) and Priyadarshan (Gardish, Kabhi Na Kabhi).

Except Jackie's career choices are frustrating to say the least. For every sensational act, there's an onslaught of a dozen B-flicks highlighting his laziness or lack of interest.

Amazingly enough, that's never put a dent on his enduring appeal whether he's playing the scowling antagonist in Happy New Year, weepie alcoholic in Brothers or composed, influential politician in Jazbaa.


Govinda in Happy Ending

Image: Govinda in Happy Ending

Govinda completes 30 years in Bollywood this year. Over a career spanning more than 140 titles, it's not so much the movies as the man we're likely to remember and relish.

As the underdog from nowhere, his infectious charm and effortless grasp of emotions even as he burned the dance floor, the sheer joy he exuded doing the same rendered his performances a 'our hero' allure.

Although the Virar ka chokra did go overboard signing random movies that range between obnoxious to obscure, he also left us rolling on the floor with his incredible comic skills in comedies like Dulhe Raja, and a hoard of David Dhawan movies -- Aankhen, Coolie No 1, Hero No 1, Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan, Saajan Chale Sasural, Deewana Mastana, Haseena Maan Jayegi, Jodi No 1 and Partner.  

Beats us why we aren't seeing more of this droll rockstar who's easily the best thing about his last two releases: Kill Dil and Happy Ending.

Chunky Pandey

Chunky Pandey in Housefull

Image: Chunky Pandey in Housefull

There was a time when Chunky Pandey fought with Sunny Deol for screen space and serenaded the likes of Madhuri Dixit.   

Even though films like Aag Hi Aag, Paap Ki Duniya, Ghar Ka Chiraag, Mitti Aur Sona, Vishwatma and Aankhen got him good buzz and his work as Anil Kapoor's reliable pal in Tezaab earned rave reviews, Chunky's career plunged. Instead of moping around, he directed his attention to the Bangladeshi movie market and made quite an impact.

In the last decade, he's moved on to playing the funny man in scatter-brained Bollywood comedies. Most specifically, his turn as 'Aakhri Pasta' in Sajid Khan's Housefull franchise has boosted his celebrity more than ever.

Aditya Pancholi

Aditya Pancholi in Hero

Image: Aditya Pancholi in Hero

Despite his conventional good looks, the light-eyed actor struggled to find acceptance as solo hero.

From working on Magna publications honcho, Nari Hira's video films to playing minor roles in major movies, it wasn't until Mukul Anand's Maha Sangram or Dev Anand's Awwal Number, the name Aditya Pancholi mean anything.

Always it was the slightly rough on the edges, sly or greyish parts that worked best on Pancholi -- be it Saathi, Aatish, Yes Boss, Musafir or Hero, which marked the debut of his son Sooraj last year.

We quite liked how Sanjay Leela Bhansali employed Pancholi's haughty personality to fashion a proud, scheming politician in Bajirao Mastani's Panth Pratinidhi.

Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan in PK

Image: Aamir Khan in PK

Holi, Raakh and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Aamir Khan's first few films pack in a striking range, even if a clearly unplanned one given his predilection to exploit his heartthrob image in a spate of careless scripts (Love, Love Love, Daulat Ki Jung, Tum Mere Ho).

Luckily, he learned his lesson early in his career and refused to do films he wasn't convinced about. One of the few mainstream heroes to constantly reinvent while staying true to his role as a mass entertainer, Aamir's success reflects his intelligence and far sight. 

Look at his body of work -- Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, 1947: Earth, Rangeela, Raja Hindustani, Sarfarosh, Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, Rang De Basanti, Ghajini, Taare Zameen Par, Dhobi Ghat, Dhoom 3, 3 Idiots, PK --  an Aamir Khan film, be it as actor, producer, director, always stands out, it commands respect.

And that's why we are so eager to see what he'll do in Dangal where he plays a real-life wrestler coaching his teenage daughters for international competitions.    

Salman Khan

Salman Khan in Sultan

Image: Salman Khan in Sultan

Like his fellow 50-year-old friend and colleague Aamir, Salman Khan also hit the big league at the end of 1980s with Sooraj Barjatya's Maine Pyaar Kiya. Before that, he had only appeared in a miniscule role of Rekha vehicle, Biwi Ho Toh Aisi.

Before he became the blockbuster machine he is today, Salman delivered a series of box-office turkeys but nobody could deny the lad was meant for big things.

The success of Saajan, Karan Arjun, Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Judwaa, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Biwi No 1 and Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya validated this sentiment at regular intervals.

But Wanted simply transformed Salman into a marvel, a super hero whose only super power is his presence. All the age-defying hunk does is mouth a catchphrase, beat the baddie in slo-mo pulp and flaunt his beefy shirtless chest to send fans in a tizzy. Ready, Bodyguard, Dabangg, Ek Tha Tiger, Kick, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo -- the hit list is endless.

Up next, Sultan. No prizes for guessing the outcome.

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