2019 has come to an end and with this, we can finally sit back and review the best performances of actors in the films. There were quite a few remarkable performances in films that were not only critically acclaimed but minted money at the box office as well. The leading men of Bollywood lead from the front shouldering films with great content and socially-relevant message as well.
Here’s a look at some of the exceptional and best performances onscreen by our leading male actors which need to be bookmarked in film journals!
Vicky Kaushal - URI: The Surgical Strike
Vicky Kaushal managed to rouse not only his fellow actors but his countrymen as well with his rousing war cry, “How’s the josh?” in URI: The Surgical Strike, so much so that the catchphrase became a part of popular culture and found credence in the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the budget. Vicky’s performance of stone-faced, grief-ridden Major Vihaan Sheirgill earned him not only brownie points in the audience’s eyes but also got him the National Award for Best Actor at the 66th National Awards. The film became one of the top grossers of the year and impressed everyone who saw it.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui -Thackeray
First they targeted him and then they roped him to play their party supremo. Nawazuddin Siddiqui had the last laugh when he was roped in to play late Shiv Sena supremo Bala Saheb Thackeray in his biopic Thackeray. Nawazuddin was perfectly cast in the mould of the party chief. His performance was exemplary and he nailed the enigmatic leader’s nuances to the tee. Playing Balasaheb Thackeray will remain one of Nawazuddin’s best performances.
Ranveer Singh - Gully Boy
Ranveer Singh shone through in Zoya Akhtar’s directorial Gully Boy. He owned the film right from the first time he appears on the screen. His Murad Sheikh is relatable, lovable and ambitious. Ranveer’s credible performance makes you yearn for his dreams to come true and make'em root for the boy from the slums of Mumbai who wants to break the shackles and emerge a success. Ranveer’s impeccable acting is a sure-shot contender for awards this year. No prizes for guessing it’s Ranveer’s show. His time has come!
Kartik Aaryan - Luka Chhupi
Kartik Aaryan returned to his small-town roots and gave a fabulous performance in Laxman Utekar’s Luka Chhupi. The actor played the role of Guddu who takes the plunge into a live-in relationship at the behest of his girlfriend (Kriti Sanon) and finds himself in a mess that he didn’t create. Kartik steals the show with his endearing portrayal and thankfully he did not have a misogynistic monologue in the film that definitely helped his cause.
Amitabh Bachchan - Badla
Amitabh Bachchan came back in a stupendous role of lawyer-investigator prepping his client Taapsee Pannu for a murder trial after the debacle of Thugs of Hindostan. The actor had commendable support from ace actresses Amrita Singh and Taapsee. However, he excelled in his role and helped keep the suspense alive in Sujoy Ghosh’s directorial.
Akshay Kumar - Kesari
The Battle of Saragarhi is one of the most valiant battles ever fought in history but alas it was forgotten by Indians, but this year-round we got a feature film based on the epic standoff that was headlined by none-other-than Akshay Kumar. The real battle was fought between 21 Sikh soldiers of the British Army’s Sikh regiment and an army of 10,000 Afghan invaders. Akshay played the role of Havildar Ishar Singh who fearlessly leads a ragtag unit of Sikh soldiers in the blood-and-guts battle to the death, and he did it with aplomb.
Salman Khan - Bharat
Director Ali Abbas Zafar’s Eid offering Bharat saw Salman Khan wear grey in his hair and beard for the first time. He played several avatars as his character Bharat’s journey spans over seven decades. The film rests heavily on Salman’s shoulders and he delivered an impeccable performance in it. He's the soul of the film. Salman got to show off his emotional chops and received thumbs up for making a 'family' film, despite few critics lashing at the absurdity of showing the enigmatic actor aged 70! However, the film broke a lot of box office records and the actor and the director laughed happily to the bank.
Shahid Kapoor - Kabir Singh
Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Hindi remake of his Telugu hit Arjun Reddy starring Vijay Deverakonda and Shalini was remade in Hindi as Kabir Singh that featured Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani in the lead. The film might have received several criticisms for glorifying misogyny, sexism, and violence against women but everyone agreed unanimously that Shahid has done a swell job of an alcoholic jilted lover. The film became a huge hit at the box office and Shahid’s portrayal was much appreciated as he did not let Kabir Singh become larger-than-life but kept the character in check. Shahid’s Kabir was a regular, privileged, arrogant and angry man with no reins.
Hrithik Roshan - Super 30
Hrithik Roshan proved yet again why his name is often taken in the same breath as those of the three Khans, Kumar, and Devgn. He played the role of mathematician Anand Kumar in his biopic Super 30. The film may have been mired in several controversies with regards to its director Vikas Bahl’s sexual harassment charges or Kumar’s own controversies but Hrithik came out with a stellar performance that shut everyone up. The film was a super hit and was announced tax-free in several states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. Hrithik was stupendous and he managed to portray a role much different than his usual upper-class characterizations.
Akshaye Khanna - Section 375
Akshaye Khanna is a remarkable actor, period. He proved it once again with his courtroom drama Section 375. Playing the role of a defense lawyer, Akshaye managed to keep the film’s pace intact and gives a stellar performance. Playing the role of criminal lawyer Tarun Saluja, Akshaye’s portrayal is crisp, taut and strong, delivering long monologues with envious ease.
Ayushmann Khurrana - Bala
Well-known for picking up out-of-the-box scripts and believable everyday characters, Ayushmann Khurrana once again brought to life the deep-seated societal stereotype and the anguish of a premature balding man in Bala. His portrayal of Bala is convincing and natural. With A1 acting skills and commendable expressions, the actor left us ‘clean-bald’. He has made it his life’s mission to make the audience laugh until they cannot take it anymore and he did not disappoint with Bala either.