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Bollywood's scene stealers, 2018

December 24, 2018 12:11 IST

These actors tasted the thunder!

One does not need to be at the centre to attract attention.

Some roles may be secondary or supporting in nature, but the lasting impression they leave is confirmation enough of the actor's mettle. 

Without further ado then, Sukanya Verma picks Bollywood's scene-stealers of 2018.

 

Pankaj Tripathi, Stree

Trust Pankaj Tripathi to bring the house down every single time he opens his mouth.

It sure is the case in the spooky, witty, Stree. His superb comic skills stamp his quirky, encyclopaedic knowledge on all things supernatural and finding a permanent solution to the town's annual chudail problem.

 

Vicky Kaushal, Sanju

'Ror' and 'Sax' pronouncing Kamalesh Kanhaiyalal Kapasi is the sort of bumbling, broad strokes figure who can look downright jarring in wrong hands.

The versatile Vicky Kaushal not only puts his finger on Kamli's artlessness and ethics but also paints a touching picture of genuine, deep-rooted dosti.

 

Manoj Pahwa, Mulk

Alternating between disbelief, embarrassment, fear and hurt, an everyday man is thrown off by circumstances completely out of his depth in Mulk's hard-hitting courtroom drama. 

The chaos is effectively captured in Pahwa's crushing realisation of being a terrorist's father.

 

Gitanjali Rao, October

Somewhere between life at a standstill and one going on uninterrupted, a mother is forced to keep her wits, find a balance and create a semblance of normalcy for the sake of her kids.

Gitanjali Rao's seriousness and strength in conveying those protective instincts never lets us know it's a performance.

 

Jaideep Ahlawat, Raazi

The hard taskmaster who'll stop at nothing until the underdog novice learns the ropes is stereotype territory.

Except the sort of inscrutable rigidity and wryness displayed in Jaideep Ahlawat's compelling portrayal of a R&AW officer renders it truly special.

 

Raghuvir Yadav, Sui Dhaaga

Raghuvir Yadav walking on the ramp alone is worth the price of admission.

In Sui Dhaaga, his caustic comments and perennial dissatisfaction humorously reflect the long festered bitterness of a failed old timer. And because it's Yadav at the helm, the upshot is nothing short of brilliant.

 

Yamini Das, Sui Dhaaga

As Raghuvir Yadav's zinger ready better half, Yamini Das offers an intimate insight into Sui Dhaaga's modest slice-of-life where domesticity and dreams regularly collide.

Her hilarious pragmatism and effortless warmth only makes their triumph more real and worth rooting for.

 

Rajesh Tailang, Mukkabaaz

Another brand of disgruntled small-town daddy finds fabulous expression in Rajesh Tailang's understated portrayal.

Note how he says the crudest lines in the most benign manner. That one scene where he tells his boxing-obsessed son to spit on his face says a lot about his deft touch. 

 

Anil Dhawan, Andhadhun

One glimpse of the actor in the trailer itself sealed his spot on this list.

Andhadhun's delightful ode to his yesteryear-ness works on account of Anil Dhawan's wholehearted nostalgia and playful narcissism that's a pleasure to watch and enigma to unfold.

Masterstroke casting, this!

 

Kumud Mishra, Mulk

All through the movie, Kumud Mishra's arm's length view of the ongoing courtroom debate over communal matters refuses to let his judge's true feelings slip.

Ultimately it's a sensible, straightforward and not some sympathetic verdict that underscores Mulk's significance and Mishra's priceless artistry in announcing it.

 

Swara Bhaskar, Veere Di Wedding

Veere Di Wedding's cosmetic ideas of empowerment do not always impress, but Swara Bhaskar's lack of inhibition livewire is all kinds of whistle worthy.

In a movie that's so conscious of its defiance, Bhaskar's cheerful, care-a-damn vigour -- whether she's single-handedly squashing patriarchy or self-pleasuring – is a welcome relief.

 

Surekha Sikri, Badhaai Ho

Her grumpy daadi manners may have abundant echoes of Balika Vadhu's Kalyani, but Badhaai Ho's Surekha Sikri has far more heart, humour and humanity.

The drollness with which she lets go (literally), fires from her arsenal of funny gibes or shows unexpected compassion is one more reason to adore the feel-good movie of 2018.

 

Priyanshu Painyuli, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero

As the titular inspiration of Vikramaditya Motwane's risky justice seeking, Priyanshu Painyuli's masked vigilantism serves frequent moments of impassioned speeches and understandable embitterment.

The raw, raging sentiment he delivers them with is what drives both -- this terribly under-rated movie and its transparent purpose.

 

Katrina Kaif, Zero

Zero may have divided the audience but even its worst critics agree Katrina is a revelation as the broken-hearted movie star consumed by alcoholism and the idea of self-destruction.

Her constantly crying eyes, poker-faced cynicism and wholehearted submission to demeaning impulses underscore the fragility under the furore.

Sukanya Verma
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