2018 has been a cinematic celebration of the evolution of Bollywood movies pertaining to content and characters. Gone are the days when only typical masala movies, unreal action sequences and traditional love stories were at the helm of Indian Cinema. It is heartening to see the audience accepting the revolution of content and realising its importance in stories.
Awe-inspiring, badass, serene, and ironical characters have been presented on the silver screen with utmost experimentation and pristine liveliness. Movies like Padmaavat had Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone play strong cultural characters taken from the rich history, a story that still shines bright and lives in the essence of Rajasthan. That is what people expect from actors nowadays, to take up challenging roles and do justice to them, to not be confined within a certain parameter of delivering excellence in roles.
From Alia Bhatt’s “Mujhe ghar jaana hai” dialogue in Raazi to Nawazuddin’s “Kabhi kabhi lagta hai apun hi bhagwan hai” in Sacred Games, there have been some sensational characters that have left their imprint in our minds. A Voice from Far Away takes a look on more such characters that we have cherished throughout the year.
Alia Bhatt as Sehmat (Raazi)
In a journey from enormous kindness to subtle brutality, Alia delivered one of her finest performances in Junglee Pictures and Dharma Productions’ Raazi. In the direction of Meghna Gulzar, she played an Indian Spy in Pakistan and won hearts of the audience with her acting prowess. Sehmat had a compassionate heart and spoke as if her mouth is shedding flowers. However, due to quandary circumstances that life brings, she turns into a trained spy fighting for her country. The film was based on an unconventional storyline inspired by true events and Alia stole the show with her magnificent performance.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Ganesh Gaitonde (Sacred Games)
The notorious gangster, the badass, the always right, Ganesh comes from a small village to Mumbai in the pursuit of making it big and commits some crimes. There has never been a doubt on Nawazuddin’s acting abilities, but his character in Sacred Games takes his dominance to another level. Flamboyant in his dialogue delivery, swagger in his walk and honesty toward his people, these are the traits absolutely loved by the audience.
Public ko ab Ganesh Gaitonde hi maangta tha.
Gajraj Rao as Jeetender Kaushik (Badhaai Ho)
One of the best movies in 2018, Badhaai Ho was a celebration of middle-aged romance and was widely appreciated by the audience and critics for wonderful performances and unconventional storyline. Jeetender worked in the railways and lived with his typical housewife Priyamvada, two sons and his mother. He was a pure entertainer in the movie and effortlessly performed the role of an old husband madly in love with his wife. Usually, the romance between older couples is shown in a slapstick way, but Gajraj played the role gracefully and received immense appreciation from the audience.
“Doctor keh raha tha ghar me mehman aane wala hai”- Mehman sabko pasand aaya, Badhaai Ho.
Rajkumar Rao as Vicky (Stree)
Rajkumar Rao is a true superstar and a phenomenal actor. Stree was praised for film's entertainment aspect, dialogues, frightening moments, and performances. Vicky was a ladies’ tailor who falls in love with a mysterious ghost and from thereon, starts a carnival of horror comedy. Vicky brought laugh-aloud moments in the movie with his peculiar humor and commendable energy.
Vicky please, batao itni achi acting kaise karte ho?
Ayushmann Khurrana as Akash (Andhadun)
The top-rated Bollywood movie of 2018 on IMDB, Andhadun is an Indian black comedy crime thriller film co-written and directed by Sriram Raghavan. Akash is a blind pianist who unwillingly gets embroiled in the murder of a former film actor. The character is played with mastery by Ayushmann, who appears to be so realistic that people in the theatres were astonished. Akash is cleverly innocent and cunningly appealing, making the audience think and rethink about his real identity, and that is how you know a character is successful.
Pankaj Tripathi as Akhandanand Tripathi (Mirzapur)
The mafia don ruling the city of Mirzapur, fearless and carefree in his independent mind. Kaleen knows how to get his work done and fools his compatriots with his intelligence. He reacts only in desperate situations and remains calm and collective otherwise. Kaleen never loses his cool in a moment of anger and executes his illegal work perfectly. Pankaj is one hell of an actor who plays all his roles naturally and always becomes the red hot topic with the local flair in his dialogues. His capability to connect with the audience is what sets him apart.
Rishi Kapoor as Murad Ali Mohammed (Mulk)
Based on a real-life story, Mulk revolves around the struggles of a Muslim joint family from a Hindu majority town in India, who fight to reclaim their honor after a member of their family takes to terrorism. Rishi Kapoor as Murad has given a tremendous performance. His struggles throughout the movie and how his reputation gets spoiled evoke emotions in the hearts of the audience. Fighting against the tag of a terrorist and the shame thrown upon the walls of his home, Murad doesn’t give up and tries to justify the reality within his family. A fantastic portrayal of diligence and vulnerability defines Murad’s character and the audience has celebrated Rishi Kapoor’s efforts.
Taapsee Pannu as Rumi Bagga (Manmarziyaan)
Rumi is a flamboyant, high-spirited young woman and connects well with the audience. Her traits, the way she handles situations and the love triangle events happening in her life seem to be relatable. Taapsee’s acting is honest and true to her character and that is why she was recognised for her performance in the movie.
Saif Ali Khan as Rileen (Kaalakaandi)
Rileen receives news of his growing stomach cancer, which is at the last stage. He is left heartbroken, but remains quiet in front of everyone. He decides to live life to the fullest, by smoking and taking LSD from a friend, but yet remains unhappy. Rileen’s character is incredibly presented by Saif Ali Khan. Rileen finds ways to elicit black comedy out of his painful and tragic situation, leaving some uncanny laughs for the audience. It is one of the best roles that Saif has taken up in recent times and he completely nailed it with his skillful delivery.
Vicky Kaushal as Kamlesh Kanhaiyalal Kapsi (Sanju)
It is the generation of the New Age actors and Vicky Kaushal has certainly proved his immense talent by justifying the role of Kamli. Vicky as soon as he was introduced in the dazzling B-Town, enforced the audience and the co-actors to hold a high regard of him with his performances. In Sanju, he narrates the later part of Dutt’s life effortlessly. He remains true to his character and his acting as Dutt’s closest friend, the struggles that he shares with him, the separation and its painful consequences, the vibe of honesty, and being the most beautiful lifeboat left the audience emotional and in awe of his work. The character seemed real and relatable, and it was made possible by Vicky’s fluent skills as an actor.