Filmfare: 80 Iconic Performances - #80-71
80-Amitabh Bachchan in Black
Like Midas, everything Bachchan does turns to gold. So how do you better that? How do you pit your wits against a child actor without intimidating her? How do you convey the helplessness of a teacher who has to educate a child who not only is blind but deaf and dumb as well? To top it, how do you convey the helplessness of an Alzheimer´s patient? Bachchan takes on the responsibility full on and turns his most difficult role to date into his most memorable one. You see him going wild with frustration and ga ga as well at the slightest progress made by his pupil. His mood swings are so real you cringe, his joy so infectious you cry tears of happiness. Towards the end, you reach across to him in spirit in an effort to make him free from Alzheimer´s. You want him to be whole and not die wasted."79-Aamir Khan in Rangeela
This is chatpata paani puri, spicy vada paav and everything else that´s unabashedly mumbaiyya. Aamir Khan´s tapori act as the lovable brash Munna in Rangeela is memorable for its instinctive comic touch and spontaniety. `` Pankha chalana,´´ he tells an unsuspecting waiter. `` Sir pankha nahi woh AC hai,´´ says the waiter politely. `` To idhar ghumana,´´ pat comes the reply. This one exchange summarises his character and had the audience guffawing in the aisles not just for it´s humour but also for it´s unaplogetic naivety. Many have played the tapori in the past but Aamir´s Munna is significant simply because he chose to play it the way he did. This actor is astounding in Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin too. 78-Naseeruddin Shah in Sparsh
Naseeruddin Shah walks a tenuous line like an expert tightrope artiste when he plays a blind man with an over-active sense of right and wrong. We empathise with his reluctance to open up emotionally to another person, and when he does, Naseer´s consummate skills come to the forefront and we find ourselves understanding his fears of being loved out of pity rather than for being himself. He plays out the confusion in a way that it enters out head. Sai Paranjpe paired the incredibly talented Shabana Azmi with Naseeruddin Shah and their combined acting talent made this movie a national award winner. We shouldn't forget his Paar and Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai.77-Jennifer Kendal in 36 Chowringhee Lane
Any English teacher would nod their head at the way Jennifer Kendal passionately goes on teaching Shakespeare to disinterested students. That lifelike portrait itself puts her up there with other movie greats. She plays an Anglo-Indian spinster living alone in Kolkata. The way her eyes light up when a former student comes back into her life is something you see in the eyes of old people when long lost relatives come visiting. The actress transforms herself into a loving grandmother figure and bakes eggs for her surrogate children. The way she walks back with her bowed head after finally getting to know that the student used her for selfish reasons is the exact replica of the dejection old people suffer all around.76-Sanjeev Kumar in Sholay
A chameleon responds to the surroundings and becomes one with it. Sanjeev Kumar adopted the creature´s traits and became the top dog in a film that brimmed over with Alphal males like Amjad Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. He didn´t have hands in half the film but that didn´t stop the Thakur´s ferociousness from showing through.
Sanjeev brings to his thakur the Dirty Harry tenaciousness of Clint Eastwod as seen in the first half of the film. But look how his eyes change when he talks about getting his daughter-in-law married again. Or when he reminisces about his family. There, he isn´t the tough cop or the vengeful thakur, you only see a loving patriarch.75-Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Sometimes the role becomes the performance and sometimes it´s the other way round. Why is Anjali one of the most loved characters in Indian film history? Why is it possibly Kajol´s best ever? Because the mark of a great act is the brand recall. We remember Anjali´s short hair, tomboyish clothes, scowl, tears, heartbreak and that heartbreaking farewell scene at the railway station because Kajol plays it like no one could ever imagine. And then chiffon saris, the familiar spunk in a slightly altered personality, the long hair in the second half yet the same love… Kuch kuch hota hai tum nahi samjhoge. But then if you´ve seen the movie you just might.74-Kajol in Dushman
It has to be said at the outset that Dushman is an immensely forgettable film. What the film will be remembered for is the presence of an actress like Kajol. She plays both Sonia and Naina, twins who are as unalike sunshine and moonlight. When Sonia is raped and murdered Naina gets her revenge. Kajol is superlative as the tomboyish Sonia (in an awful wig) playing up her spunky personality to the hilt. Hence you get the contrast of the quieter yet possibly stronger Naina. Kajol´s eyes which are filled to the brim for most part of the film speak of her loss, her pain and anger. You want to reach out to her. And you almost believe you do. This is possibly Kajol´s underrated best. Well, now you know...73-Anil Kapoor in Lamhe
Think Lamhe and you instantly conjure up the image of a moustache-less Anil Kapoor. That and the benign smile he sports in the first half followed by the dignified silence in the second. Anil Kapoor plays a man who falls in love with a woman who is betrothed to another and clearly has only platonic feelings for him. He later becomes the guardian to her orphan daughter. Daughter grows up, a spitting image of her mother and falls in love with her daddy-long-legs, naturally expecting him to reciprocate. This is possibly one of the best roles of the actor´s career. His perplexity towards his ward, his unwillingness to let go of his past love, his dilemma, his restraint, his reluctance is all brilliantly portrayed with a self assured knowledge of his talent. 72-Hrithik Roshan in Lakshya
Sometimes you can actually tell how an actor has come of age in a movie that deals with coming of age and growing up pangs. Hrithik Roshan´s evolution is marked by a certain self discovery that spreads through the film as it goes on. It´s cinematic translucence at its best. And the perfectionist in Hrithik makes sure that the change is marked not just through the plot but also through his hairstyle, his body language, the look in his eyes… So much so that you grow up along with him, feel his pain and become part of his story. Right to the end.71-Padmini Kolhapure in Prem Rog
Raj Kapoor wanted to cast someone who looked like a waif but could carry the film on her shoulders. Padmini not only portrays the anguish of a rape victim but also the mute suffering of a widow to perfection. She looks like a different person altogether when she finally realises that she and she alone has the power to bring about a change. A haunted girl becomes a mature woman when understanding dawns. Power-packed act indeed!