PeepingMoon 2020: Pankaj Tripathi, Sharad Kelkar to Rahul Bose - Supporting actors who were the soul of Bollywood films
2020 marked the beginning of a new decade and it has been a fruitful start for Bollywood. While theatres remained shut for most of the year, it didn’t stop filmmakers from entertaining their audience who were seated at home, fighting the Coronavirus pandemic in their own way. 2020 also flagged off the digital age of cinema as OTT became the primary source of entertainment. A win-win year on the casting front, we got to watch actors spell magic with their performance in supporting roles.
Bidding adieu to the year, PeepingMoon walked down memory lane to look back at some of the finest performances that came across as a major surprise from supporting actors.
Sharad Kelkar: Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior & Laxmii
It won’t be wrong to say 2020 was Sharad Kelkar’s year. Bollywood is finally making use of this powerhouse’s talent. Promising to provide a wholesome platter of entertainment, Sharad started the year on a historic note with Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior in which he played Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Not just the acting, Sharad aced the look and went unrecognisable as the Chhatrapati whom entire Maharashtra worships. The actor mastered the role by getting the body language right.
To play Chhatrapati on screen is no mean feat but Sharad got the right mix of expressions and subtly to bring the character alive in a visually spectacular film.
Later, he featured in another challenging role of a transgender in Laxmii. Let’s frankly put this that he stole the show in just 15 minutes of screentime. It was a pure delight to see his craft unfold. Besides acting, his look, body language, dialogue presentation were bang on. The impact of his performance still lingers on.
Gajraj Rao: Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan & Lootcase
Gajraj Rao has shown potential as an actor over the past few years but Badhaai Ho’s success made him a favourite. Though not in the lead role, Gajraj has been winning hearts as the supporting actor who adds gravitas to a film. This year, we saw him in 2 films, one on OTT and the other was a theatrical release.
Gajraj, in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan, reunited with his Badhaai Ho's wife Neena Gupta and son Ayushmann Khurrana. Excelling in every frame, he played Jitendra Kumar’s father who has to make peace with her son’s sexuality. He was terrific as always.
Later, he starred in Lootcase in which he was the ‘villain’ of the tale. Painting shades of grey on a canvas, Gajraj played a top-notch politician, Minister Patil. As an MLA, he transferred a fat amount and a pen drive to another politician. However, the bag full of money landed with Kunal Kemmu’s character. The journey ahead showed what a phenomenal actor Gajraj is.
Rahul Bose: Bulbbul
Mean, menacing and ruthless, that’s how one can describe Rahul Bose’s dual characters in Bulbbul. Rahul played the roles of Mahendra and Indranil. Mahendra was differently-abled and Indranil, the lord of the haveli, was cunning as a fox. Highlighting the ills of patriarchy, Rahul blew away everyone’s mind with his dark side. Showing the arrogance of a Bengali thakur living in Bengal Presidency in 1881, Rahul was convincing and was restrained while playing the other twin brother.
Rahul, in his brief role, made every scene count as Bulbbul’s older partner who can never ‘have’ her.
Jisshu Sengupta & Amit Sadh: Shakuntala Devi
Though Shakuntala Devi was out-and-out a Vidya Balan show, Jisshu Sengupta and Amit Sadh lent support to the story allowing the actress to take forward the narrative. Jisshu played the role of Shakuntala’s husband Paritosh Bannerji. His charming presence and freshness won hearts. Be it his sexuality or romance with Vidya, he stole the show.
Amit portrayed the role of Vidya’s son-in-law. In a brief role, the actor shone brightly and did justice to the role with sheer ease. He was a natural performer in the film.
Ranvir Shorey: Lootcase
Ranvir Shorey appeared in the supporting role in Lootcase. In the role of a tough cop, who wouldn’t even bat his eyelash while shooting down a criminal, Ranvir was a funny chap. He was an absolute hoot with Gajraj Rao and Vijay Raaz. He lent an additional spark to the film.
Pankaj Tripathi & Angad Bedi: Gunjan Saxena
Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl would have been incomplete with Pankaj Tripathi and Angad Bedi. The former played Janhvi Kapoor’s father who was her biggest support system. Pankaj, the actor, needs no introduction as he has time and again proven his worth with meaty roles in the past. This one was different though. He was required to add a certain degree of maturity as a father who doesn’t wish to see his daughter weak and defeated. Making her thick-skinned to face obstacles, he was undoubtedly the spine of Gunjan Saxena, the character as well as the film.
Angad played Gunjan’s brother Anshuman, a soldier in the Indian Army. He was a perfect fit as the elder sibling who discouraged his sister from joining the Air Force. He depicted his character graph with sheer honesty and ease.
Vikrant Massey: Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare
Vikrant Massey was popularly called Netflix’s new favourite this year since 3 of his films released on the platform. One of them was Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare. He played the role of Pradeep, who was introduced to Bhumi Pednekar’s Kitty through a 'romance chat' company.
Dependable as always, Vikrant was near-perfect as the sushil but a clever lover of Bhumi’s Kitty. He was charming in possibly the best written and important supporting roles.
Deepak Dobriyal: Angrezi Medium
Deepak Dobriyal played the role of Irrfan’s brother in Angrezi Medium. As the other Ghasitaram brother, Deepak’s constant bickering with Irrfan was a delight to watch. Adding dollops of humour with poker-faced punches, Deepak was magnificent. He was indeed walking shoulder to shoulder with Irrfan in the delightful film.