‘Have you seen Manjhi?’, popped a message on my phone, from a movie-snob. No two guesses about it. On a serious note, ‘Bollywood’ has opened its doors to a number of potential actors, yet so many gifted actors suffer from identity-crisis, and have been over-shadowed by the Khans, Kapoors and the Bachchans! Here are my Top 10 underrated actors in Bollywood. Feel free to shoot your picks!
10. MOHAMMED ZEESHAN AYYUB KHAN
Starting his career as Monu (No one killed Jessica), he has come a long way. He has made a mark with films such as Raanjhanaa, Shahid… But his presence could be felt the most in Tanu weds Manu Returns, where he plays the go-getter lawyer and lover Arun ‘chintu’ Kumar Singh.
9. RAJKUMAR RAO
He has amazed us with every character he has played. Whether a desperate husband in search of his bride (Dolly ki Doli) or the typical snob (Queen). Undoubtedly, Shahid and Kai Po Che! are the watershed in his career so far.
8. BRIJENDRA KALA
Can anyone forget the apprehensive press reporter in Paan Singh Tomar? It is through his nervous body language and continuous stammer that, Tomar’s character gets a perfect build up. He further helps the audience, explore the other shades in Tomar’s character, effortlessly.
7. PANKAJ KAPOOR
He has undoubtedly won accolades, for his popular television appearances in Karamchand Jasoos, Office Office… but audience fail to sufficiently praise him in his silver screen acts. To name a few, The Blue Umbrella, Maqbool are some of his quality work.
6. KAY KAY MENON
One of the finest actors in the country, but unfortunately movie-goers fall through to pay him due respect. The suave and shrewd Khurram Meer in Haider had upped the tone of Haider’s struggle. In a way, he personifies the crisis that, has engulfed Kashmir!
5. NASEERUDDIN SHAH
The less said the better (in a good way!). We can comprehend his love for the art-form, when he found ‘the route to paradise, ’thanks to the monthly stipend at the National School of Drama, 3 decades ago. There has been no looking back since. Jane bhi do yaaron, Masum, Monsoon Wedding are some of his noteworthy films!
4. NEERAJ KABI
His performance utters excellence. Whether you take Maitreya (The Ship of Theseus) or Dr. Anukul Guha (Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!), he has only made the characters convincing and thought provoking. Eagerly waiting for Viceroy’s house and Gandhi of the Month!
3. MANOJ BAJPAYEE
a man, who has films like Gangs of Wasseypur, Chittagong, Shool, in his kitty, is a lucky lad. Gives his all, to the characters he chooses! Watch out for Aligarh, narrating the story of Dr. Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras, a professor at the Aligarh College, who was terminated for being “queer”.
2. VISHWANATH ‘NANA’ PATEKAR
“ek machchar admi ko hijra bana deta hai.” Thought that’s all he’s got to offer? Watch the gems like Salaam Bombay! , Parinda, Ab Tak Chappan… His humanitarian deeds, only add to the righteous characters he plays on-screen!
1. SANJAY MISHRA
AKHON DEKHI! ‘Nuff said! The movie depicts the age long conflict between empiricism and rationalism! Mr. Mishra thank you for the resplendent act, it is difficult to differentiate whether you chose the character or the character chose you!