It’s already half a year and Bollywood once again has managed to take us by surprise with out of the box stories and beautiful narratives. Not just blockbuster films but the industry has managed to shell out some wonderful male actors in the form of strong character sketched paired with their effortless portrayal. This year, debutantes and well as veterans made us take notice of them onscreen and sprinkled glitters of their magic by lending inevitable support to the lead cast, acting as the backbone to the story.
Be it the debutantes Mohit Raina and Siddhant Chaturvedi or well-established actors like Pankaj Tripathi and Rajkummar Rao here are listing some fine actors in supporting roles.
Mohit Raina: Uri: The Surgical Strike
Although Uri: The Surgical Strike was his debut film, Mohit pulled off a well-sketched role. Seen as Army Major Karan Kashyap, it would be fair enough to say without Mohit’s character, the film wouldn’t have proceeded further. Though Mohit’s screen time in Uri didn’t match up to Vicky Kaushal’s, his acting surely did. Agree or not, we all shed tears in the theatre when Mohit’s onscreen daughter offers tribute to him with Vicky and his men reciting the military cry- ‘Balidan Param Dharma’ in the background and this was because of the impact Mohit created on his audience despite enjoying a lesser screen presence.
Mohit Raina in Uri: The Surgical Strike
Siddhant Chaturvedi: Gully Boy
Yet another debutante with such a power packed performance. Siddhant Chaturvedi fits the bit of a supporting actor brilliantly and why not. MC Sher was truly the Knight in shining armour for Ranveer Singh’s Murad. Whenever Murad lost hopes, MC Sher stood with him like a rock and supported him throughout. The scene during the rap battle towards the end of the film when Murad qualifies to the finale round and Sher doesn’t, honestly, we all thought he would turn bitter towards the former but thankfully we were wrong. The expression that Siddhant gave was surely a scene stealer. Debutante Siddhant, unlike many seasoned actors, managed to strike the right chord with the audience of all age groups and made way into their hearts rightfully. It won’t be wrong to say Siddhant poured in his heart and soul to form MC Sher. The actor not just earned the status of nation’s crush but became an instant favourite for filmmakers.
Siddhant Chaturvedi in Gully Boy
Rajkummar Rao: Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Though he may not be the central character of Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga considering the subject of the film, Rajkummar Rao managed to win the hearts of the audience with his charming screen presence. Choosing a film like this at the stage when he is being offered to play a leading role, Rajkummar took a brave decision by picking up a great script by staying content as a supporting cast. The film is out and out Sonam Kapoor and Anil Kapoor fest, Rajkummar stole hearts with his endearing role as the love-stricken Sahil Mirza, a playwright who falls for Sonam’s Sweety Chaudhary. Rajkummar’s scenes with Anil are hands down the highlight of the film that otherwise touches upon a rather serious and demanding topic. Amidst the emotional narrative, Sahil’s innocent affection towards Sweety is a breath of fresh air. With Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, Rajkummar proves to be a master of expressions when Sweety makes a revelation about her actual love interest, a girl named Kuhu and opens up about her sexuality before him.
Rajkummar Rao in Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Aparshakti Khurana and Pankaj Tripathi: Luka Chuppi
Aparshakti Khurana and Pankaj Tripathi are the latest credible finds of Bollywood in the last few years. Although, in supporting roles, the actors know how to grab the attention of the audience with their perfect coming timing and natural ease that they emit onscreen.
Speaking of Aparshakti, he makes the film a laugh riot with his presence as the ‘hero ka dost’ Abbas. The film gets a sudden lift with Aparshakti joining hands with the leads Kartik Aaryan and Kriti Sanon to become the perfect third wheel. His comic timing deserves special appreciation and the way he carries it with ease on the face is just unbelievable. The chemistry he shares with Kartik and Kriti is effortless.
Aparshakti Khurana in Luka Chuppi
Coming to Pankaj, he forms the most surprising and exciting character of Luka Chuppi. He manages to stun us with a totally different avatar as the loud, ridiculous and tackily dressed Babulal, Kartik’s nosey brother-in-law. Pankaj lifts an underwritten character with his expertise and that is the only saving grace to his character.
Pankaj Tripathi in Luka Chuppi
Vijay Varma: Gully Boy
Whadawow and how! Gully Boy gave us yet another actor to look out for. Vijay Varma ain’t a new face in the showbiz industry but his role as Moeen Bhai in the film made people sit up and take notice of the finesse in his craft. Moeen Bhai’s character wasn’t surely the conventional lovable or appreciable one but the beauty of the role lied in this. Moeen Bhai, a brother figure to Murad, is a mechanic who moonlights as a carjacker by the night, enacted his limited scenes to perfection and proved that one is one of the gems that Bollywood has given in the last six months. Moeen Bhai, though in criminal by deeds, was all hearts for Murad. Despite suffering from a hand to mouth existence, Moeen assures Murad doesn’t fall short of anything. When Murad is jobless, instead of losing hopes, Moeen does his best to provide him with all the support he requires. Towards the end when Murad was all set for the rap contest and Moeen gets arrested. Murad, like a true friend volunteers to go behind the bars for Moeen but the latter makes sure he wins the competition and asks him to get him bail after winning the contest.
Vijay Varma in Gully Boy
Kunal Kemmu: Kalank
Kalank turned out to be a major surprise for the audience in all aspects. The much-anticipated film proved to be a drag fest with hardly any moments to take back home. But amongst the very few things that made us sit back and take notice of was Kunal Kemmu. Kunal, a rare vision onscreen took us by surprise with his gritty, sharp and cunning looks paired with some good acting. Kunal’s portrayal of Abdul, Varun Dhawan aka Zafar’s best friend, made us believe that his role was one of the best in terms of executed. Though evil, his character was clean, straightforward with just one motive and this set Abdul apart from other roles that suffered a shoddy sketch at the origin. The sharp turn that Abdul takes during the climax made for a certainly better sequence and a memorable one too in the 3-hour long snore drama.
Kunal Kemmu in Kalank
Soham Majumdar: Kabir Singh
Let us all agree that we seriously need a Shiva to a Kabir in reality. Soham Majumdar, a new entrant in Bollywood stole our attention with his perfect rapport with Shahid Kapoor in Kabir Singh. Be it pulling his leg over bringing Preeti to stay with him at the boy’s hostel to stay strong like a pillar during the period of substance abuse, Shiva was always there for Kabir. Whenever Shiva came onscreen, we were reminded of those friends who understood us and supported us during difficult times, all thanks to his natural acting. Shiva was a testament of unconditional love and this camaraderie with Kabir will be remembered for a long time. Although aware of his best friend being a brat, Shiva tried to bring stability in Kabir's life and acted as an antidote for Kabir during his tough times. Soham added a punch of comic relief to the otherwise serious and dark film which was surely a bonus point. When a violent Kabir would vent out his feelings and anger on him, instead of losing hope, he would literally listen from one ear and throw it out from another and Soham made these scenes memorable with his perfect comic timing paired with brilliant expressions and dialogue delivery.
Soham Majumdar in Kabir Singh
Sunil Grover: Bharat
Call him an ace comedian or a good actor, Sunil Grover will manage to tick off all checkboxes. Although Sunil has excelled in his roles in biggies like Gabbar Is Back, Ghajini, Baaghi and Pataakha, Bharat remains to be his career best role. Sunil as Vilayti Khan lent perfect support to the lead actors Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, proving supporting roles can be meatier too if done with diligently. If you keep aside the lead actors, Sunil stands next in the line in terms of acting. Given the other side actors facing a lack of screen time to display their craft, Sunil makes the most of this demerit to his merit. As Vilayti, Sunil played the role of Bharat’s best friend and added a new dimension to the character sketch of friends showcased in Bollywood previously. Sunil added a dash of comedy to an emotional film that focused primarily on Bharat’s journey and it is a well-known thing that nobody does comedy better than him.
Sunil Grover in Bharat
Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub: Article 15
Zeeshan is no more an unknown face in the list of exceptionally good supporting actors in Bollywood. The actor, best credited for his role as Dhanush’s friend in Raanjhanaa, might lose his association with that film soon as he will be remembered even better for his role as the mercurial Dalit revolutionary person named Nishad in Article 15. Though Article 15 is Ayushmann Khurrana’s show, Zeeshan, amongst the rest side actors, gets the best and impactful dialogues that hit so hard that it stays with us for the longest time. Zeeshan as Nishad exhibits love, anger, frustration towards casteism brilliantly, making us sigh about not getting to see in lead roles in commercial films. Statements made by Zeeshan when he vents out that belonging to the lower caste doesn’t allow him to maintain eye contact with his girlfriend for a while, depicts the horror of the state of division on the basis of caste prevailing in Uttar Pradesh. His character as the strong headed rebel who can’t afford to lose hope because he has become the face of a Dalit revolution is a well-sketched one.
Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub in Article 15
Ranvir Shorey: Sonchiriya
Ranvir Shorey is a rare sight on the big screen but whenever he arrives, it is with a bang. It is undeniable that Ranvir is an actor par excellence and his act in Sonchiriya is proof. Although he is surrounded by actors known best for their natural acting, Ranvir shines bright in the dacoit drama. He makes us believe that the best things take time to come but when they do, it all seems worth the wait. As Vakil Singh, Ranvir exhibits ease in the portrayal of a dacoit who is at the other receiving end and a rival of Sushant Singh Rajput in the film. He brings rage and anger to the screen with mere expressions and strong dialogue delivery skills. Ranvir who generally plays high class, urban roles in films, nails the role of a hot-headed rebel. Moments like when he goes to meet Lachchu (Jaspal Sharma) is a testament of a fine actor in him. It is an absolute shame that we don’t get to see him as much as he deserves to.
Ranvir Shorey in Sonchiriya
Gulshan Devaiah: Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota
Double role is equal to double the fun in case of Gulshan Devaiah in Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota. Gulshan adds a punch of his brilliance in an intentionally clichéd double role and sums up to be a great support to phenomenal lead actors-Abhimanyu Dassani and Radhika Madan. Gulshan gives an insight into his versatility by acing the role of a one-legged karate master Mani as well as Jimmy, a cliched psychotic villain. Gulshan’s both characters are etched out well with in-depth detailing of the minutest to minutest traits of a karate master and a comic book style villain. His manic energy is yet another highlight of his characters. Gulshan’s zany humour shall stay with you for a long time and will make one sigh that a fine actor in him doesn’t get many mainstream films.
Gulshan Devaiah in Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota
Sikandar Kher: RAW
Sikandar Kher’s sinister stare in Romeo Akbar Walter hasn’t managed to fade away from our memories. Sikandar as ISI officer Khudabaksh Khan with a Punjabi-Urdu accent made for a great support role in the film headlined by John Abraham. Sikandar is impeccable in the role given to him and aces it with ease. Sikander matches steps with John in the second half of the film that accounts for some amazing moments. As the brutal officer, Sikandar will make you hate his character and that’s what we loved about him.
Sikander Kher in RAW
Mithun Chakraborty: The Tashkent Files (Special Mention)
Mithun Chakraborty has time and again proven to be Bollywood’s best find till centuries. Not just a great dancer but Mithunda is a fine veteran actor who has given some memorable roles including the one in The Tashkent Files. Mithunda sunk his teeth deep into the character and shelled out a performance that will be remembered by every cine lover for ages. All of 67, the veteran actor has proven age is no bar and any role can be aced by him with a sense of effortlessness. It wouldn’t be wrong if we say he expresses himself more with his gestures than dialogues, which isn’t easy at all.
Mithun Chakraborty in The Tashkent Files