We have talked about our fave Hindi films out of the limited choices in the first half of 2020. We have talked about our fave performances by an actor or an actress in the same period, which we felt were stupendous. Now we will talk about 13 performers who may not be the lead in those films, but they completely stole the show from the leads, with their amazing performances. Half Yearly Roundup: From Amitabh Bachchan in Gulabo Sitabo to Manoj Bajpayee in Bhonsle, 10 Best Performances by a Bollywood Actor in First Half of 2020.
The pandemic and the subsequent bringing of lockdown to control it may have brought theatres to standstill, but the OTT players used this as a moment to shine. And with that, indie movies and genuine talent also got their moments to shine. Sushant Singh Rajput's demise brought audience attention back to the topic of nepotism and conversation on how good actors, not having a filmy lineage, need to have the spotlight brighten on them more often. Half Yearly Roundup: From Kangana Ranaut’s Panga to Taapsee Pannu’s Thappad, 10 Best Films From Bollywood in the First Half of 2020!
With that in mind, let's look at the 13 actors who completely stole the show in Hindi movies that came out in the first half of 2020.
Gulshan Devaiah in Ghost Stories
He didn't have a single dialogue in the film, or rather his segment in the film (Ghost Stories is a four-segment horror anthology). Why, many didn't even recognise him in the film! That's because Gulshan Devaiah (with amazing makeup) turned to be a very convincing, very terrifying werewolf, who has lost all shreds of humanity. Just his eyes were enough to spell out evil in the most scary way!
Sharad Kelkar in Tanhaji
Playing a historical figure so convincingly isn't easy, especially someone as revered as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Kudos to supremely underrated actor Sharad Kelkar, who dominated the screen with his fantastic depiction of the Maratha ruler, both in terms of body language and performance. It was really difficult to take our eyes off the screen, whenever he was present, and I can easily rank him in one of the best depictions of the king, if only his screentime was bigger.
Yagya Bhasin in Panga
Sometimes, the best surprises come in small packages. In a film filled with some amazing actors like Kangana Ranaut, Neena Gupta, Richa Chadha and Jassie Gill, little Yagya Bhasin proved to be an effective scene-stealer, as the mischievous but smarter-beyond-his-age son of the protagonist. His innocuous brings the most smiles in what is already a heartwarming film.
Nora Fatehi in Street Dancer 3D
Fatehi may not be a great actress, but she has THE moves. And that's what you need in a film about Dance. From her very introductory scene, Nora Fatehi sets the screen ablaze with her scorching dance moves that it is difficult to just take eyes off her when she is in any scene. So much that it was a complete disservice to her that the finale couldn't find a place to display more of her dance moves.
Randeep Hooda in Love Aaj Kal
Randeep Hooda's role in this flawed Imtiaz Ali's film was kept under the covers till the very day of release. And unsurprisingly, he turned out to be the surprise package of the film. Playing a character with a dark past, Randeep put a great show, even having better chemistry with Sara Ali Khan than the actual lead, Kartik Aaryan. And yup, his voice is also excellent for narration.
Ratna Pathak Shah in Thappad
Anubhav Sinha's possibly best film to date has some good moments, a fine cast and great performances, led by a strong Taapsee Pannu. But our favourite performance in the film belongs to Ratna Pathak Shah. Her maternal character's concerns on her daughter's broken marriage may come across as faulty, but when she points out the adjustments she made in her life, to the shock of her (supposedly liberal) husband, we can't help but feel bad for her. Shah is simply fantastic in the scene, her role being the true true-reversal of what she is did in her most known work, Sarabhai vs Sarabhai.
Neena Gupta in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan
Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan is a bold film for its theme, but it is not the best film we have seen Ayushmann Khurrana in. But the cast is too good, but we have to single out the amazing Neena Gupta, who is having the form of her life (also check her out in Panga). As the always befuddled mother of Jitendra Kumar's character, Neena Gupta wryly captures the confusion of unexpectedly discovering her son's sexuality and dealing with the discovery. She also completely owned the climax, bringing a balance to the two arguments that runs parallel in the film - conservatism and acceptance.
Deepak Dobriyal in Kaamyaab/Angrezi Medium
So how good was Deepak Dobriyal this year? In both Angrezi Medium and Kaamyaab, he was just too hilarious, but the humour didn't come for humour's sake. In Angrezi Medium, he was Sehwag to Irrfan Khan's Sachin, and any scene of them together was pure comical treat. In Kaamyaab, he was truly good as the shrewd but good-hearted casting agent. Well, has Dobriyal ever been bad?
Rohan Joshi in Axone
Axone was a sweet little indie surprise, that comes with its issues, but has some really good moments and performances. While Sayani Gupta's brilliant act owns the show, it is Mission Mangal fame Rohan Joshi who was a total scene-stealer as the party-crasher Shiv, whose over-friendly nature makes him blind to his own casual racism. He is particularly funny in the two awkward encounters with his possessive girlfriend.
Farrukh Jaffar in Gulabo Sitabo
Gulabo Sitabo, a black comedy, is about a chaotic situation driven by its men, but it is the two female characters (and performances) that turn out to be the trump cards of the film. We have already mentioned how good Srishti Shrivastava is as the feisty Guddo in our fave actress list. Now let's take a moment to shower our praise for the film's actual scene-stealer, the veteran Farrukh Jaffar, who not only had some of the best scenes (the bandaged fingers scene was hilarious), but her character also walked away with the film and its inherent victory.
Alam Khan in Chaman Bahaar
Chaman Bahaar is a slice-of-life comedy that found direct release on Netflix. Nearly all the performances from the young actors are too good and natural. But Alam Khan (Laakhon Mein Ek, Kota Factory) deserves a special mention for how truly funny he is as the haughty son of a local politician. He is particularly hilarious in the scene where he goes to impress his town's common crush in her classroom, only to expose the trifle attitude the people there have towards education.
Paoli Dam in Bulbbul
The supernatural period drama showcased the talents of the young Tripti Dimri as the titular character. But let's not forget that that there was another terrific performance in the film too. Bengali star Paoli Dam's character, on the face of it, comes across as a vamp. But there is one scene where she narrates to a brutalised Bulbbul about how her own family convinced her to marry a mentally challenged man, into a family life of unfulfillment. It makes her a very tragic, albeit flawed, character, and was one of the best scenes in the film. Paoli hits it out of the park with her performance, which also goes for her act in the rest of the show.
Santosh Juvekar in Bhonsle
Bhonsle is a gritty slow-burn reimagination of Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, with a fantabulous performance from its leading man, Manoj Bajpayee. Giving him some real tough competition is Marathi actor Santosh Juvekar, who put up a convincingly despicable show as the self-heralded leader of the 'locals' in the chawl where he stays. It isn't a usual negative role, for Juvekar's Vilas is made to look like a barking dog, who wouldn't bite. Till he does, and that makes for a horrifying turn.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 14, 2020 08:37 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).