The year might have seen a drought of money-spinners but it did witness a range of performances that left us stirred, not shaken! From Shah Rukh’s menacing gang-lord in Raees, to Sanjay Mishra’s searing old blind man in Kadvi Hawa, we will be re-watching these films solely for these brilliant performances, in no particular order…
From playing the uber-fertile sperm donor in Vicky Donor to a chap who’s plagued by erectile dysfunction, Ayushmann pulls off the role with the panache we have come to expect of him. His performance as the shy and sincere Mudit, who tries concealing his worries about his condition, is heartfelt and endearing all the way.
This most gifted actor is hearteningly also one of the country’s most bankable stars – a proud moment for Hindi cinema! After stunning performances in Shahid, and Bareilly Ki Barfi, Rajkummar Rao delivers a hat-trick with a knockout performance in Newton. It is difficult to imagine anyone but him in the role of the young government clerk sent on election duty to a Maoist-controlled town. The performance has already won him the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Actor - the first of many more, we predict.
As the ‘accha husband’, whose only wish is to get their only daughter Pia admitted to a prestigious English medium school, Irrfan, as expected, delivers a fine, well-judged cracker of a performance. All gentle casualness, never once garish, he lives the role with conviction and leaves viewers in splits at the absurdity of reality… like only he can.
As Keshav, the new husband whose mission in life is to bring a toilet and his wife home, Akshay delivers a rock-solid performance. It is a delight to watch him ace both the fun as well as the emotionally charged scenes. Coming on the heels of his Jolly LLB 2, wherein he rocked as a struggling lawyer with dreams of name and fame, this once-Khiladi had us hooked.
As Badrinath Bansal, who must tackle various personal and social issues to win his love, it’s difficult to take your eyes off Varun Dhawan. With a ‘chill’ attitude reminiscent of Salman Khan, comic timing that has the audience laughing along with him, and an endearing vulnerability, he is sensational. From expression to dialogue delivery, the spotlight shines on him in every situation.
The actor comes up with a restrained and convincing portrayal of the visually impaired Rohan in this revenge saga. He flirts, laughs his heart out, and demonstrates his anger and despair with eloquence. His performance as the avenging husband stands out as one of his best ever accomplishments so far, proving he is more than ‘kaabil’.
The star stepped out his comfort zone to slip into the character of Raees, the dreaded gang-lord with a human, lovable side. Flaunting menacing kohl-lined eyes with sadomasochistic traits and bravado during crisis situations, he sent fans into raptures with his vintage look and histrionics.
As the teenage detective in search of his father, Ranbir has given all of himself to his performance. He admirably evokes the frustration of Jagga when his words fail at the most crucial moments in his life and he has to take the help of songs to convey a message. Reminiscent of Barfi!, in which he delivered one of his career-defining performances, Ranbir’s undeniable talent and amazing spontaneity enliven the film with high energy and stability.
This drama based on climate change sees Sanjay Mishra play a blind old man called Hedu, who is worried that his son, an impoverished farmer, will commit suicide as he grapples with crop failure and an unrepaid loan. Mishra delivers a towering performance, fleshing out the character with gritty brilliance.
Second to no one is Pankaj Tripathi and has had five releases in 2017 include – Anaarkali of Aarah, Gurgaon, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Newton, Fukrey Returns, wowing us with every performance.