Filmfare: Top 80 Iconic Performances (old article 2010)

80-Amitabh Bachchan in Black

Like Midas, everything Bachchan does turns to gold. So how do you better that? How do you pit your wits against a child actor without intimidating her? How do you convey the helplessness of a teacher who has to educate a child who not only is blind but deaf and dumb as well? To top it, how do you convey the helplessness of an Alzheimer´s patient? Bachchan takes on the responsibility full on and turns his most difficult role to date into his most memorable one. You see him going wild with frustration and ga ga as well at the slightest progress made by his pupil. His mood swings are so real you cringe, his joy so infectious you cry tears of happiness. Towards the end, you reach across to him in spirit in an effort to make him free from Alzheimer´s. You want him to be whole and not die wasted.”

79-Aamir Khan in Rangeela

This is chatpata paani puri, spicy vada paav and everything else that´s unabashedly mumbaiyya. Aamir Khan´s tapori act as the lovable brash Munna in Rangeela is memorable for its instinctive comic touch and spontaniety. “ Pankha chalana,´´ he tells an unsuspecting waiter. “ Sir pankha nahi woh AC hai,´´ says the waiter politely. “ To idhar ghumana,´´ pat comes the reply. This one exchange summarises his character and had the audience guffawing in the aisles not just for it´s humour but also for it´s unaplogetic naivety. Many have played the tapori in the past but Aamir´s Munna is significant simply because he chose to play it the way he did. This actor is astounding in Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar and Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin too.

78-Naseeruddin Shah in Sparsh

Naseeruddin Shah walks a tenuous line like an expert tightrope artiste when he plays a blind man with an over-active sense of right and wrong. We empathise with his reluctance to open up emotionally to another person, and when he does, Naseer´s consummate skills come to the forefront and we find ourselves understanding his fears of being loved out of pity rather than for being himself. He plays out the confusion in a way that it enters out head. Sai Paranjpe paired the incredibly talented Shabana Azmi with Naseeruddin Shah and their combined acting talent made this movie a national award winner. We shouldn’t forget his Paar and Albert Pinto Ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai.

77-Jennifer Kendal in 36 Chowringhee Lane

Any English teacher would nod their head at the way Jennifer Kendal passionately goes on teaching Shakespeare to disinterested students. That lifelike portrait itself puts her up there with other movie greats. She plays an Anglo-Indian spinster living alone in Kolkata. The way her eyes light up when a former student comes back into her life is something you see in the eyes of old people when long lost relatives come visiting. The actress transforms herself into a loving grandmother figure and bakes eggs for her surrogate children. The way she walks back with her bowed head after finally getting to know that the student used her for selfish reasons is the exact replica of the dejection old people suffer all around.

76-Sanjeev Kumar in Sholay

A chameleon responds to the surroundings and becomes one with it. Sanjeev Kumar adopted the creature´s traits and became the top dog in a film that brimmed over with Alphal males like Amjad Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. He didn´t have hands in half the film but that didn´t stop the Thakur´s ferociousness from showing through.

Sanjeev brings to his thakur the Dirty Harry tenaciousness of Clint Eastwod as seen in the first half of the film. But look how his eyes change when he talks about getting his daughter-in-law married again. Or when he reminisces about his family. There, he isn´t the tough cop or the vengeful thakur, you only see a loving patriarch.

75-Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

Sometimes the role becomes the performance and sometimes it´s the other way round. Why is Anjali one of the most loved characters in Indian film history? Why is it possibly Kajol´s best ever? Because the mark of a great act is the brand recall. We remember Anjali´s short hair, tomboyish clothes, scowl, tears, heartbreak and that heartbreaking farewell scene at the railway station because Kajol plays it like no one could ever imagine. And then chiffon saris, the familiar spunk in a slightly altered personality, the long hair in the second half yet the same love… Kuch kuch hota hai tum nahi samjhoge. But then if you´ve seen the movie you just might.

74-Kajol in Dushman

It has to be said at the outset that Dushman is an immensely forgettable film. What the film will be remembered for is the presence of an actress like Kajol. She plays both Sonia and Naina, twins who are as unalike sunshine and moonlight. When Sonia is raped and murdered Naina gets her revenge. Kajol is superlative as the tomboyish Sonia (in an awful wig) playing up her spunky personality to the hilt. Hence you get the contrast of the quieter yet possibly stronger Naina. Kajol´s eyes which are filled to the brim for most part of the film speak of her loss, her pain and anger. You want to reach out to her. And you almost believe you do. This is possibly Kajol´s underrated best. Well, now you know…

73-Anil Kapoor in Lamhe

Think Lamhe and you instantly conjure up the image of a moustache-less Anil Kapoor. That and the benign smile he sports in the first half followed by the dignified silence in the second. Anil Kapoor plays a man who falls in love with a woman who is betrothed to another and clearly has only platonic feelings for him. He later becomes the guardian to her orphan daughter. Daughter grows up, a spitting image of her mother and falls in love with her daddy-long-legs, naturally expecting him to reciprocate. This is possibly one of the best roles of the actor´s career. His perplexity towards his ward, his unwillingness to let go of his past love, his dilemma, his restraint, his reluctance is all brilliantly portrayed with a self assured knowledge of his talent.

72-Hrithik Roshan in Lakshya

Sometimes you can actually tell how an actor has come of age in a movie that deals with coming of age and growing up pangs. Hrithik Roshan´s evolution is marked by a certain self discovery that spreads through the film as it goes on. It´s cinematic translucence at its best. And the perfectionist in Hrithik makes sure that the change is marked not just through the plot but also through his hairstyle, his body language, the look in his eyes… So much so that you grow up along with him, feel his pain and become part of his story. Right to the end.

71-Padmini Kolhapure in Prem Rog

Raj Kapoor wanted to cast someone who looked like a waif but could carry the film on her shoulders. Padmini not only portrays the anguish of a rape victim but also the mute suffering of a widow to perfection. She looks like a different person altogether when she finally realises that she and she alone has the power to bring about a change. A haunted girl becomes a mature woman when understanding dawns. Power-packed act indeed!

70-Rani Mukerjee in Black

For a role that required her to be deaf, dumb and blind, Rani sure filled the silences with her stupendous presence and how. Rani has that quality of making each role her own stamping it with her instinct and force of talent. Pitted against a thespian actor like Amitabh Bachchan, Rani holds her own in her Helen Keller-esque portrayal of a young woman fighting not just her own private darkness but the one surrounding her world. Pitched with eloquence and a pathos that no one has matched in any role in coming years, Rani has left an indelible mark with this role that usually comes once in a lifetime for most.

69-Sanjeev Kumar in Aandhi

Sanjeev Kumar was in his `30s when he did the role of a middle-aged, laidback husband of a ruthlessly ambitious politician. His role goes through many ups and downs. He starts off as a conservative husband troubled by his wife´s sudden foray into politics. He almost makes the audience hate him when he menacingly says to his wife, “Mera shauhar banne ki koshish mat karo.´´ Later, after a ten-year gap, when aspersions are cast about his relationship with Suchitra Sen, the resonance in his voice when he says, “Tumse kya poochhte hain kee hamara kya rishta hai. Tumhe to khud nahin pata ke hamare beech koi rishta hai bhee ya nahin aur yadi hai to kya hai,´´ brings to mind the anger and the sense of regret in being caught in such a situation. Trishul, Sangharsh, Naya Din Nayee Raat are other worthy mentions.

68-Konkona Sen Sharma in Mr & Mrs Iyer

“Greenish `ello or `elloish green,´´ Oh, when Konkona Sen Sharma does that disarming Tam Bram accent in Mr & Mrs Iyer you actually want to go over and pull her cheeks. What´s special about her performances as Meenakshi Iyer is not the effort she put into it as much as the apparent lack of it. True she was sent to Chennai to perfect her accent and true, her mom and the director of the film, Aparna Sen held workshops prior to the film but Konkona´s madness fuels her method. Be it her squabbling with the urbane photographer Jehangir Chaudhary or her gently reprimanding him about how her name is pronounced (It´s Mee-naa-kshi not Minakshi) or even when she is screaming at her infant, you believe it´s Meenakshi you´ve met. And therein lies the key to her iconic performance. She is also stupendous in Page 3 and Amu.

67-Rajesh Khanna in Anand

Just one word is enough to demonstrate a good actor´s power of dialogue delivery. `Babumoshaai!´ Rajesh Khanna emotes, and that one word, which is repeated many times during the aforementioned speech in Anand, tells us whether he is laughing at the listener, with the listener, cautioning him, cajoling him or simply shocking him with the content that follows.

But the speech is not all. Rajesh Khanna as his name in the movie suggests, brings a whole lot of anand or joy in the lives of whoever crosses his path. But the greatest joy he saves for his doctor, Bhaskar Bannerjee played by Amitabh Bachchan. The doctor-patient relationship is interestingly written and both roles are performed with just that much of an edge. This film released in 1971 but Rajesh Khanna´s five handkerchief performance remains valid even today. Also check the actor out in Namak Haram and Amar Prem.

66-Kareena Kapoor in Jab We Met

She really talked us into this one. Like literally. She´s like a glob of sunshine and the warmth comes hurtling towards you at breakneck speed and before you know it you´ve fallen in love with her. Unexpectedly so because the last time around Kareena attempted chirpy-bubbly we wanted to run for cover (Remember Khushi?). Kareena as Geet infuses a certain infectiousness into her personality and the best thing is she knew when to stop. What is obviously apparent is the abandon but look closer and you´ll see clever restraint too. A true director´s delight, Kareena knows how to follow leads and make the role her own not to mention immensely memorable.

65-Nargis in Raat Aur Din

Multiple personality disorder isn´t something that you see often in films. Nargis´ chilling portrayal brought out all the horror of a person suffering from such a malady. Her face changes when from the docile wife Varuna she turns into the cabaret dancer Peggy. Her housewife avatar suffers from an unease which communicates itself to the audience and notice the sadness in her life during her night romp scenes as well. You get the feeling that all her living-life-to-the hilt act is but enforced mirth. The best thing is that her madness isn´t your routine filmi melodrama but a slow descent towards the mouth of hell. She´s a must watch in Awaara and Andaz as well.

64-Shah Rukh Khan in Chak De! India

It´s hard for an actor who is on the top of the heap to let go and reconstruct himself. It´s like asking a style icon to wear drab everyday clothes.

Shah Rukh Khan does all that and more and reiterates the fact that beneath the nation´s sweetheart avatar lies a brilliant actor. His heartbreak at missing the goal at the film´s beginning is heartfelt, his frustration at not making his team work together is something any coach will identify with and his jubilation when he waves the Indian flag makes us proud to be Indians.

At the end, he doesn´t walk away with a leading lady in his arms. The scene where he goes back home and is accepted by his neighbors once again – the satisfaction in his eyes, the half-hesitant smile – the relief of acceptance is mixed with the bitter-sweet realisation that in the end, nothing succeeds like success. SRK´s other memorable roles include Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.

63-Shreyas Talpade in Iqbal

From an unknown, Shreyas Talpade became the talk of the town by his superb performance in Iqbal. The actor´s dedication can be seen in the scenes where he is made to run barefeet on the village roads. He plays a mute cricketer but still manages to convey all the emotions connected with the sport. The last time someone tugged at your heartstrings by playing deaf and mute characters were Jaya Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar in Koshish. Shreyas had to keep those power-packed performances in perspective and not make his turn look like a repeat act. That he was able to do so speaks volumes for his talent.

62-Rekha in Umrao Jaan

`Dil cheez kya hai aap meri jaan lijiye!´ Umrao Jaan sings. And somewhere under the glittering jewellery, ruby red lipstick and the elaborate costumes, is the little girl Amiran who is living the tragedy of being sold to a brothel, having her love Nawab Sultan taken away from her and then the man she marries gunned down by the police. She is also a girl looking to going back home to her parents. Rekha´s performance as a courtesan is so flawless it is a benchmark in gestures and seduction. What is award-worthy is the suffering of her soul which you can clearly see in her eyes and the gradually exhausted body.

61-Sanjeev Kumar in Mausam

An older man drives back to a once familiar place and idly enquires about a girl who was his summer love. Instead of being able to salve his conscience by apologising to her, he hears that the girl he loved died a tragic death and has left behind her daughter, his daughter. When he first encounters his daughter, she is throwing a customer away from her ratty brothel. He is filled with remorse and has to take up the task of reforming the wild and social misfit that his daughter has become. Sanjeev Kumar´s helplessness and humiliation when he attempts to `humanise´ the girl and then ask for forgiveness for having abandoned her mother years ago is simply brilliant. You feel his embarrassment, and hope that his daughter will forgive him. It is the uncertainty his sad face expresses so well that makes this performances one of his best ever.

60-Aamir Khan in Sarfarosh

At first sight, Aamir looks totally miscast in the film. But as the film progresses, you realise that John Matthew Matthan is spot on with his casting. He wanted a common man to turn into this uniformed vigilante. Because he could sense that the common man was sick of the corruption in the system and would identify with ACP Ajay Singh Rathore’s anger. Like Bachchan in Zanjeer, it’s not his muscles but his eyes which convey all. His manic laughter when catching hold of a terrorist while suffering from a fractured leg eloquently expresses the do-or-die attitude of his character. You don’t see his lean frame – what you see is a hero, a warrior, fighting with all his might to right wrongs. And you applaud, because in both reel and real life, you need such heroes.

59-Sharmila Tagore in Mausam

She makes an entrance with a curse on her lips. She´s pushing a cheap ten-rupee customer down the stairs. She has a flower over her left ear and her lips are painted as red as her blouse is. She wears a long skirt and for good measure smokes a beedi by holding it between her thumb and forefinger. Sharmila Tagore is every inch the prostitue Kajri, and very convincing at that. Her language is foul, and her body language is fluid. But that´s not all, in the movie, Sharmila is also the mum, Chanda, who falls in love with a visiting doctor. Chanda is carefree and in the first flush of love. She also goes through abandonment and is shamed into marrying an old man, only to lose her touch with sanity, waiting for her doctor to come and save her.

58-Anil Kapoor in Virasat

Anil Kapoor goes from being a happy-go-lucky me-generation yuppie to this overlord of villagers. The transition is bumpy but Anil suavely maneuvers the right of passage. His juvenile belief that he may get away from rural politics, his regret in finding himself to be part of it, his acceptance of the situation and the final violent end, where he finds himself a murderer—the moments stick to your memory because Anil makes them so real.

The scene where he first accepts Tabu as his wife is worth a mention. He doesn´t even look at her properly till that moment but after that, everything changes. From a harsh householder, Anil transforms himself to be a loving husband in the batting of an eye. The role was done by Kamal Haasan in the original. It´s hard to fill Kamal´s shoes but Anil manages the feat superbly.

57-Mammooty in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar

Director Jabbar Patel traveled the world in order to find the perfect actor for the title role. He says the film could not have been done without Mammooty. He essays the whole sensibility and inner turmoil of the man just right. By shaving his moustache and altering his hairline Mammooty was able to get into the physical part of the role. Of course for a consummate actor such as he, the emotions – smiling like Ambedkar and even getting angry as he did – was a cakewalk. But the challenge lay in coming across as intelligent without saying too many things. Mammooty´s character, had an inward journey. Although he had not too many speeches to make in the film, it is the silences where he is at his expressive best.

56-Tabu in Astitva

Some performances just are. No frills, no flounces and no extra trappings. They take the essence of the role, and transform it into a flesh and blood experience. Tabu´s turn in Astitva is exceptional for its insight. She plays a woman married to a doubting male chauvinist and when his suspicions regarding her infidelity is confirmed as the truth, she must take a stand. At 27, Tabu played a 47-year-old woman and a mother to a 20-year-old as well as a young girl in her flashback and she brings a distinct composure to both.

55-Pankaj Kapur in Maqbool

His lover plots to kill him, an orphan who has grown up in his household betrays him, several gang leaders hate the power that he yields, the police hate him as well. Such is the character of Abbaji played by Pankaj Kapur in Vishal Bhardwaj´s Maqbool. And he plays it with quiet elegance. He´s an ageing head of a crime family, and although he is not a towering figure of crime and power, he is certainly replete with dignity. He is lusty too, summoning his lover to be with him with a wave of his hand, dismissing talks of peace his enemies have brought to the table with a similar wave of his arm. His speech is measured, but the violence it creates is immense. His suggests laughingly, `Miyan gilori khaya karo, zubaan kaboo mein rehtee hai´ but the menace in his hooded eyes send shivers down the spine. Such is the Indian Duncan in Vishal Bhardwaj´s adaptation of Shakespeare´s Macbeth. Please go watch him in Ek Doctor Ki Maut and Ek Ruka Hua Faisla as well.

54-Dilip Kumar in Gunga Jumna

Dilip Kumar, a Peshawari Pathan, plays a UP wallah to perfection. His dialect, mannerisms, knee-jerk reactions to everything – all smack of a salt-of-the-earth UP villager. He is loud, yes, but the loudness is part of the character. And his confrontation scenes with his police inspector brother (played by real life brother Nasir Khan) are a study in reacting.

And all those who know Dilip Kumar only as the tragedy king should see him dance in the song Nain lad jai hain from this film.

53-Ashok Kumar in Aashirwad

Ashok Kumar has given many memorable performances but it is in this film at the twilight of his career that perhaps he showed his true mettle. After a long gap, he sung for the movie as well. Railgaadi… can be said to be India´s first rap song and the infectious joy that he has on his face while entertaining children singing this song.

Aashirwad shows his journey from being a wealthy householder to a street performer to a convict, not to mention a loving father and the veteran breathes life to every hue and shade of his character. The scene where he comes to know that his daughter hates convicts comes to mind. Despite deep love for her, he doesn´t reveal himself to her. His anguish is heartbreakingly real and so is his satisfaction on finally meeting his daughter and offering his blessings on her wedding day. See him in Kismat and Kanoon as well.

52-Aamir Khan in Lagaan

Aamir Khan has never played a villager. He had never been in a period film. To play a villager in a period film was going beyond his image as a suave urban lover but to his credit, the actor pulls the coup off.

Lagaan is an improbable film in any case – Indian villagers at the fag end of the 19th century defeating the English at their own game? Who was ever going to believe that. But Aamir Khan makes us swallow the improbability with the intensity of his performance. His Bhuvan isn´t one-dimensional but multi-faceted. The Bhuvan who gawks at the British during the initial scenes isn´t the same as the leader of men who believes he can change his own destiny.

51-Paresh Rawal in Sardar

Known for his over the top performance of a landlord in the comedy Hera Pheri, Paresh Rawal has outshone himself in the lesser known gem called Sardar, a film made by Ketan Mehta. He plays Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in a cast-iron role about the changing national political scene in this film. Paresh transforms himself from a young man who prefers to play cards and laugh at Gandhiji´s efforts at independence into a savvy mover and shaker of the political scene and even becomes a candidate for Prime Ministership of a new India. His performance is so seamless that we barely notice how the man´s shoulders slowly hunch, wrinkles appear with every new experience and his voice gets huskier with the years that are shown in the movie. Fabulous stuff, we think!

50-Dharmendra in Satyakam

Satyapriya´s role in Satyakam is said to be Dharmendra´s best performance. One can relate to his dilemma when full of disillusionment, he says “Main cynic ho gaya hoon, ya duniya badal gayi hai (either I have become a cynic or the world has changed).”

The best example of his searing performance is perhaps his moment of frailty when he lets Sharmila falls in the evil hands of the Prince.

Satyapriya´s adherence to truth at all costs and gradual degradation because of that—both moral and material—is something so achingly real that you feel unashamed using your handkerchief.

His performances in Jeevan Mrityu and Sholay too are a must watch.

49-Nutan in Bandini

Bandini is perhaps Nutan´s best role ever. Love is a prison as they say and Nutan plays a woman betrayed by love to make a prison all around her. Nutan goes through all the phases of a girl struck by love – the first flush when colour comes to her cheeks upon the mere mention of Bikash´s name, the happiness she feels while playing his pretend-wife gives way to sorrow as Bikash jilts her. The shock and the acceptance of the fact that she has been tending to the wife of her lover gives way to mad jealousy which leads to murder – Nutan looks maddened with grief and hatred when she does the acts most foul. Her inner struggle as she reflects between choosing her first love and old is perhaps one the best scenes ever filmed.

48-Sanjeev Kumar in Angoor

Sanjeev Kumar is never so good as when he does comedy. Any other actor would have gone overboard while playing twins – that too which derives its roots from such a celebrated play as A Comedy Of Errors. The genius of Sanjeev Kumar lay in the fact that despite underplaying both the characters, he still made them out as individuals. We know who the two Ashoks are every time – and that adds to the fun rather than killing the excitement.

Remember the scene when it´s first realised the diamond necklace is lost. The perplexity of one Ashok is mirrored by the astonishment of the other upon discovering it. The climax, where the duo finally confront each other, is a classic example of what to do while essaying twin roles.

47-Meena Kumari in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam

Your heart goes out to her when she decks herself for her husband as she sings Piya aiso jiya mein samai gayo re. You get a whiff of marital discord but along with her willingly suspend disbelief and pretend everything is all right with the world. Meena Kumari, given the context of the period film, clandestinely hints at suppressed sexual desires but you understand.

You feel as helpless as her when she sheds her morals and become an alcoholic in the hope of winning her husband´s attentions. Her choti bahu isn´t a woman who suffers silently but is someone who is quite aware of her moral degradation. Her tears are not the tears of frustration alone but tears shed for the corruption of the soul as well.

Perhaps, the performance rocks because it mirrors Meena´s own estranged relations with husband Kamal Amrohi and her own alcohol-related issues, not to mention a desire to be liked and understood. Please watch her in Mere Apne, Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai and Aarti as well.

46-Hema Malini in Seeta Aur Geeta

If Dilip Kumar ave us a stupendous performance as twin brothers in Ram Aur Shyam, Hema Malini gives us the bubbly Geeta who could ransack a police station, climb onto a ceiling fan and taunt her aunt, `Oopar aaja moti!´, learn to skate with the dashing Sanjeev Kumar and enter our hearts with her laughter that sounds truly like a babbling brook. On the other hand, she plays the scared, tortured Seeta who is forced to run away from a home where she works like a servant. Hema Malini brings a uniqueness to her performance which makes this film eminently watchable no matter how many years have passed.

45-Nutan in Sujata

Sujata was a blow against the caste system by the socialist filmmaker Bimal Roy. And he cast his favourite heroine in the lead role. Nutan´s character had ample scope for high melodrama and thanks to her sensitive performance we escape that.

A low-caste girl brought up in an upper-class household, Sujata is played as a shy, introvert character by Nutan. When her lover Sunil Dutt first touches her, Nutan´s reaction is just like the touch-me-not flower, she withdraws within herself. Her facial expressions switch on and off between pleasure and confusion, between happiness and grief. It´s a fleeting shot but reveals all about the girl´s state of mind.

The scene where she is finally accepted by her foster mother too bears mention. After a lifetime of being ignored, Sujata gets so much joy in the acceptance that the albatross of grief hanging around her shoulders just melts away. You can actually feel she has become much lighter, more comely.

44-Amol Palekar in Gol Maal

The challenge for Amol Palekar was to portray twins who were not. He did it so well that the Fourth Wall, which knew all, too were beguiled by the act. His performance also exemplified the fact that you don´t have to go overboard to be funny. That comedy doesn´t always have to be of the slapstick variety. We identified with Ram Prasad because Amol made him the everyman who has a love-hate relationship with his boss. We adore Laxman because though average looking (like most) he nevertheless has a cool attitude. Like Amol, we too bring our inner Laxman out.

Amol Palekar had to contend with another superb actor, Utpal Dutt, in the film. Their scenes together are a riot because one is the Ali to other´s Frazier. They both move like a butterfly and sting like a bee, till you are bruised by laughter and can take it no more. Remember the scene where Amol´s fake moustache falls off as Utpal Dutt says, “Main tujhe maaf nahee saaf kar doonga!´´ Paisa vasool performance which makes you smile even today. Mindblowing in Bhumika and Chitchor as well.

43-Balraj Sahni in Do Bigha Zamin

Movie lore has it that to prepare for his role, Balraj Sahni actually plied a rickshaw on the streets of Kolkata for some time. That may be stretching the limits of dedication a wee bit but maybe Sahni knew he was doing the role of a lifetime—it was the first film ever to win the Award and the film was one of the first mainstream Hindi films to be honoured at Cannes as well.

The film portrays Sahni as a small farmer fighting for his land. For people who know him to be this fuddy duddy character actor, one must watch his scenes where he cajoles wife Nirupa Roy to get drenched in the rain with him. Sahni, with few subtle gestures, brings home both the poetry and poignancy of love.

Then, the scene where he races his rickshaw with another in order to win more money is breathtaking. You want him to win and your heart shares his agony as a wheel comes off and he’s injured. Also see him fuse life to his role in films like Haqeeqat and Kabuliwala as well.

42-Dimple Kapadia in Rudaali

Set in the beautiful desert background of Rajasthan, Rudaali is a tale of Shanichari, played beautifully by Dimple Kapadia, known mainly for her fluff role as the sex symbol in Bobby. Here, however, she wears the ghagra of the village belle and drapes the sorrow over herself like a heavy dupatta. Dimple offers such subtle nuances to the audience as Shanichari that we begin to empathise with the character as soon as we see how much she must be suffering. Dimple saves the histrionics for the latter half of the film when Raakhee shows up as Bhikni, who is a professional mourner (a rudaali). Dimple´s portrayal of a mourner shows us how ridiculous and yet how socially acceptable the practice of hiring mourners really is. Dimple´s phenomenal talent comes shining forth when you see years of supressed hurt, anger and a sense of life´s injustice simply flow from Shanichari´s eyes.

41-Hema Malini in Sholay

She immortalised the role of a village belle: feisty and fun, beautiful and wilful. Hema Malini performs so flawlessly! She seems flighty but her heart is in the right place. This role is also important because she is shown to hold a job normally reserved for men. So here we are, a movie from the year 1975, with the heroine driving a horse-drawn tonga. Correction, even the tonga is driven by a mare, whose name is Dhanno!

What makes this performance so incredible is the ease with which Hema Malini becomes Basanti. Fearless in her love, she dances until her feet bleed. She fights with the dacoits but she´s all woman. She is shy in love, but is happy to flirt with Veeru… This is a performance that sets Hema Malini apart as an actress. Her performance stands the test of time. Every actress who has tried to emulate Hema´s Basanti act, has ended up as a pale imitation. We also love her in Ek Chadar Maili Si, Kinara and Khushboo.

40-Madhuri Dixit in Mrityudand

1997 was the year Dil To Pagal Hai was released. Madhuri played a young danseuse who feels the first rush of love. But that Madhuri is different from the Madhuri of Mrityudand (released in the same year as Dil To Pagal Hai), who confronts her abusive husband with the words, “Tum mere pati ho, parmeshwar banne ki koshish mat karo.´´

The dhak dhak girl becomes a rural feminist in the film. She battles male supremacy with gusto. Her character goes through the phases of disillusionment, acceptance of her reality and ultimately finds a cure for her condition by inspiring the entire women folk of the village (reminiscent of Mirch Masala) to stand up against oppression. Though we like her in films like Beta, Devdas and Lajja, not to mention Tezaab, it’s ultimately the Madhuri of Mrityudand that tells us what a class act she is.

39-Rekha in Khubsoorat

Much before didi tera devar deewana, Rekha enacted the `I love my sister´s brother-in-law act with panache. Her tears when being scolded by the stern Dina Pathak are the tears of any high-spirited child. When she subtly schemes to bring the entire household to her fold, her eyes remind you of your own similar escapades.

Khubsoorat is one film perhaps where the real Rekha emerges. She isn´t playing the hero´s plaything, the eternal courtesan or the repressed middle-class woman – which is her wont. For once, she has a chance to play a blithe spirit and she lets herself go with abandon, reveling in every mood and hue of her character, knowing perhaps that neither reel nor real life will give her such a chance ever again.

38-Mithun in Mrigayaa

We remember the disco dancer Mithun and forget that the man got a National Award for acting in his first film, Mrigayaa. Mithun´s tanned, taut body made him look like an adivasi but credit must be given to him that he learned the mannerisms of tribals and reproduced them perfectly.

He apparently did his own stunts. The scenes where he hunts in the jungle and later when he himself is being hunted and is on the run would have given credit to any Hollywood film. His romance with Mamta Shankar too is fresh and real, not the fake screen romance seen in most films. Despite being a fresher or perhaps because of it, Mithun plays the role without any inhibitions. He showed his brilliance yet again in films like Swami Vivekananda, Tahedar Katha and Guru but sadly this great actor surrendered his art to commerce.

37-Shabana Azmi in Mandi

Shabana plays Rukminibai, who owns and runs a house of ill-repute in the middle of town, to the hilt. She´s clearly enjoying herself in this one. Political pressure nudge her colourful existence into a house. Her protege is threatening to leave her and start a kotha on her own. A young girl who has been sold to her turns out to be a handful. And the men of power think that her daughter is an easy prey. No wonder she hates the world. And she cribs and complains about it all to her loyal errandboy Thungrus. Watch Shabana manoeuver these plot points with a certain tragi-comic flair. She is dramatic, she is quirky and she´s bang on. A natural, her carefully restrained performance makes you smile at her lament about professionalism and loyalty. Although she is supported by a sterling cast, this is a satire which is all hers. See her spirited performances in Morning Raga, Masoom and Ankur as well.

36-Nargis in Mother India

Many years before a son in Deewaar loudly claimed, `Mere paas maa hai,´ Mother India had already established the close bond between a mother and her two sons. One strong and wilful and the other meek and obedient. Nargis essays the role of a bucolic woman so wonderfully that we can almost smell the toil of her hard day, we empathise with her never-ending battle with poverty and nature itself. She is brave in her battle with a lustful Sukhilala and her helpless anger is so visible we wish she would just take her sickle and kill him. We admire her as she manages to retain her sanity and her virtue and bring up two strapping sons. Nargis´ moment of acting triumph comes when she turns away her wild son, and then as the ultimate sacrifice kills him because she needs to save another woman´s virtue.

35-Saif Ali Khan in Omkara

For years, Saif Ali Khan struggled to make his presence felt, to carve out his niche. People accepted him in secondary leads but not in the main leads. He was relegated to being just a comic actor but Omkara changed all that. The film has come and gone but people still remember Langda Tyagi. He has our sympathies because Saif makes us feel that we too are more sinned against than sinned.

Chhote Nawab makes Shakespeare´s famous Iago (Othello) come alive. His frustations, his angst and above all the too human jealousy which raises its ugly head and ultimately bites the very hand that feeds him — Saif perhaps used his own anger to fuel a power–packed performance. He makes us overlook the evil and concentrate on the man – we forgive him his failings while remembering our own. Other honourable mentions include Saif in Dil Chahta Hai and Being Cyrus.

34-Jaya Bhaduri in Abhimaan

She´s a reluctant star, elegant and naive, who unknowingly topples the chart busting rockstar that is her husband. In this tale of a marital tightrope walk, Jaya Bhaduri´s eloquent eyes say it all.

She is propelled into stardom unwillingly and when she discovers her husband´s changing attitude, she retreats into a quietness that needed a fantastic actor. Jaya gives her all to this role. Her anguish, the bewilderment and betrayal are matchless in their portrayal.

This is not your average in-the-face role and the subtle nuances are seen in the climax of the film where she sings with her husband and yet there are tears in her eyes. She even won the Filmfare Award for her sensitive performance.

33-Hrithik Roshan in Koi… Mil Gaya

How does a six-foot something hunk with Greek God looks pass off for an autistic child with a mind of a ten-year-old? Ask Hrithik Roshan. It´s incredible how the actor manages to diminish his size, unstylise his look, wear bug-eyed glasses and talk funny. But that´s the physical bit. Watch the film and you’ll notice how flesh and blood Hrithik´s act is. Simply because he believes he is the part. Watch him laugh, cry or bond with his remote controlled alien friend and note his nuanced turn. He won both the Filmfare popular and Critics Award that year, a near impossible feat thus setting impossibly new standards for himself and for others.

32-Waheeda Rehman in Guide

Waheeda is Rosie, the young, beautiful, talented wife of an aging archeologist, raring to spread her wings and live. `Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai!´ she sings. Waheeda who was luminescent as Gulabo in Pyaasa is incandescent in Guide. Her dance is the exuberance of life itself. When she laughs on screen you laugh with her, when she sheds a tear of agony, you feel it in the pit of your stomach. Such is her performance. Vijay Anand´s masterpiece was a tough film at that time because the role required Waheeda to be a modern woman, the one who leaves her husband for Raju, the guide, to fly out of her zone of respectability and discover her soul that comes alive with dance… it is considered to be one her finest performances ever.

31-Abhishek Bachchan in Guru

Abhishek plays one of the historical figures of modern India. The challenge was to make his performance real and yet not make it a study in the mannerisms of Dhirubhai Ambani. Further, he had to convey the ethos of a ruthless businessman and yet make him likeable. Remember the scene where he cajoles Mithun into helping him, or the way his anger dissipates when he realises that Madhavan is married to Vidya, who is someone he cherishes. His long speech where he pacifies irate shareholders or the court room scenes, where he again wins the day through the force of his personality – all these and more make you forget you are watching an actor. You come out thinking you watched something real. For once, he doesn´t look like a Bachchan clone. For once, you don´t argue that his father could have done it better. We remember his spirited performance in Yuva too.

30-Kareena Kapoor in Omkara

Kareena is an apt Desdemona to Ajay Devgan´s Othello. As young Dolly who elopes with a man she´s madly in love with and ultimately becomes a victim of his violent jealousy, Kareena is brilliant. Her vulnerability is palpable, her expression of love endearing. It ties little knots in your stomach as you are aware of her impending fate. Kareena internalises her character with stupefying intelligence and throws up a performance that leaves you overwhelmed. And she makes it look so effortless.

29-Guru Dutt in Pyaasa

Guru Dutt plays Vijay, a misunderstood, unappreciated poet who is also unlucky in love. Pyaasa is not just Guru Dutt´s toughest film as a director, but an ambitious experiment as a performer as well. The sheer range of emotion that Guru Dutt conveys is stupendous. The alcoholic haze, the disappointments, the heartbreaks, the disbelief and loss of faith – it´s all there for us to experience.

There is poetry in his pathos. In the climax when he stands silhouetted against a door Christ-like in his anguish, you know, it´s a matchless experience not just for him but also for us. Guru Dutt´s performance in Kagaz Ke Phool too highlights his virtuosity.

28-Naseeruddin Shah in Masoom

Naseeruddin Shah portrays the helplessness of such a man so beautifully and with such control that we find ourselves empathising with him instead of being angry at his infidelity. His agony and frustration is palpable when he asks his wife `Kya karta main?´ Naseeruddin Shah´s pain is so compelling and he expresses the helplessness of the situation he finds himself in so stupendously that this becomes one of the best performances on the silver screen.

27-Shabana Azmi in Arth

A wife shattered when she realises that her husband is having an affair is a tough role to play, but director Mahesh Bhatt puts Shabana through the entire octave of emotions. She is made to break down and cry, create a public scene, have a private showdown with the husband´s mistress, have a physical throw-things-at-each-other type of scene with the husband, leave the comfort of her own home, learn to stand on her own two feet, learn to live alone, learn to be admired and finally learn to become her own person. Her talent shines forth when her husband asks her to sign the divorce papers and she asks him what date it is. The husband has forgotten that it is her birthday, and it is one of the most moving moments of cinema. This film firmly established Shabana Azmi´s place in cinema history.

26-Balraj Sahni in Garam Hawa

With the Partition of India as the backdrop, Balraj Sahni gives one of his finest performances as Salim Mirza, the elderly shoemaker who is faced with the dilemma of moving to Pakistan with the rest of the Muslim community. Life slowly but inevitably becomes tougher for him and Balraj Sahni´s portrayal of a man crumbling because the world around him has changed is nothing short of brilliant. The dilemma of choices is palpable and although the events are real, the thought processes are in Salim´s head. There are no over-the-top dramatic scenes to make a point about patriotism, about a sense of belonging to a place, about love, but Balraj Sahni´s sensitive performance brings a lump to your throat even today.

25-Darsheel Safary in Taare Zameen Par

No kidding, this role is truly child´s play. As the autistic brat who transforms while on exile to a boarding school under the aegis of a nurturing art teacher, Darsheel nails it bang on. The child actor infuses a certain maturity, which in itself is endearing. He juxtaposes his character´s precocious self absorption with anguished silences laden with innumerable subtext. Ultimately he canvasses the trauma of a child befriended by only his own imagination, a child who no one understands and a child who vanquishes his demons in a way we would all like to.

24-Smita Patil in Bhumika

Perhaps, Smita Patil plays herself in Bhumika. Watching 22-year-old Smita, you sometimes feel the distinction between her character Usha and the actress Smita has disappeared. Usha´s sense of never being understood, never being accepted and always being used by the men in her life mirrored Smita´s own condition in real life. The film was based on Marathi actress Hansa Wadkar´s autobiography, whose controversial lifestyle shocked everyone in her time.

Smita´s role is memorable not only because of her keen understanding of an actor and a woman´s mindset but also because she flawlessly became Hansa during the film-within-the-film portions and gave us a glimpse of the acting style of the bygone era.

23-Amitabh Bachchan in Shakti

Amitabh Bachchan plays an errant son to Dilip Kumar´s married-to-my-job top cop. It´s hard to pull your weight under the shadow of such a screen father but Bachchan pulls it off. You get goosebumps when he explains his angst to Smita Patil, ` `Roma mere baap ne do shaadiyan ki. Mere baap ki pehli shaadi ka beta main hoon. Mere baap ki doosri biwi ka beta hai – kanoon!´´

Sparks fly whenever the two demigods share screen space. Bachchan´s eyes speak of his loathing as well as love. Even his silences are eloquent. There is a word in Hindi therav and as you watch him you know exactly what it means.

In Shakti, he ironically dies in Dilip Kumar´s arms. He finds reconciliation and peace in his last moments, finally confessing to his father how much he has missed him. It´s a scene made more difficult by the fact that Amitabh has made a career out of death scenes, but he pulls up something extra from his bag of tricks to make it stick in our memories. Bachchan is good in all his other films as well but Saudagar, Trishul, Kala Patthar and Chupke Chupke worth special mention.

22-Shah Rukh Khan in Swades

Mohan Bhargava is an NRI who comes back to India to pick up his nanny, discovers his childhood playmate all grown up and is forced to find meaning in his own life. Shah Rukh Khan, hugely popular as an exuberant romantic hero, took a real challenge when he signed Ashutosh Gowariker´s Swades. The thoughtful role suits King Khan and he surprises the audience with his sensitive performance. And it´s not the way he drums up the team spirit among the villagers when they have to haul the rocks uphill, it is not just his reaction when he goes into the village to collect rent from the weaver turned farmer, it is the gentle Shah Rukh who confesses to Gayatri that he needs help with the dhoti. The usual superstar offers such an elegant performance that he makes you believe that a change of heart is possible and a reverse brain drain can actually happen in the country.

One of the most restrained performances that Shah Rukh has ever given, he steals your heart when he sits in the boat brooding about what he sees as an empty future for the weaver and his family, for the villagers in general. This is where we see a hard, selfish NRI (who just wanted to fill up a void in his life with his nanny) turn into a caring, empathetic human being.

21-Jaya Bhaduri in Guddi

Looking back, you tend to forget that Guddi was Jaya Bhaduri‘s first Hindi film. Jaya had acted in Ray´s Mahanagar earlier so her acting abilities weren´t in doubt. Hrishikesh Mukherjee was so impressed that he actually went to meet her at FTII Pune (where she was studying) and offered her the role.

She captures the giggle-eyed filmstar crazy teenybopper to perfection. Half the battle is won by her girl-next-door looks. According to film lore, she looked so much the schoolgirl that Dharmendra couldn´t believe she was actually the heroine. Like any other kid, Guddi too has a wonderland image of movies in her mind and her disillusionment as she watches an actual shooting is something that mirrors our own.

Her gradual acceptance that film stars are human too and not demigods is something we can all identify with. Her eyes literally change as her illusions disappear and understanding dawns. She appears to be a new person. Such is the power of the performance that we believe in the metamorphoses. She gives us goosebumps in films like Kora Kagaz, Koshish and Abhimaan too.

20-Manoj Bajpai in Satya

Manoj Bajpai (Bhiku Mhatre) wasn´t spot on in his Marathi diction or mannerisms but was bang on in rage. Such was his performance that the actual hero of the film, Chakravarthy (Satya), was reduced to being an unnecessary appendage.

It´s an all-consuming inner fire that propels Bhiku to take on the world. He wants to be the king of Mumbai because nothing less will do. He believes the city is his for the taking. Manoj goes straight into the mindscape of our megalomaniac gangsters and treats us to their human side as well. He almost makes us believe that gangsters are people too. The only parallel that comes to mind is Amitabh Bachchan´s performance in Deewaar. He is that good. Bajpai touched new heights in Pinjar and Aks too.

19-Manisha Koirala in Khamoshi

In what is arguably the best performance of her career (she won the Filmfare Best Actress (Critics´ Award), Manisha Koirala as Annie brings out a well thought out sensitivity to her character. Born to dumb and deaf parents, Annie, who is perfectly capable of speech and hearing, desires a career in singing. This and her love interest Raj (played by Salman Khan) spark off a revelatory journey of self-discovery and angst both with herself and her parents. Special note for the scene where she screams at her father behind a closed door using sign language. Sometimes restraint on the part of the director can result in a restrained performance on the part of the actor and that´s probably the case here. Khamoshi remains Sanjay Leela Bhansali´s best thanks to its lack of unnecessary adornment and Manisha´s Annie is memorable for the same reason. One must not forget her acts of grace in Dil Se and Bombay as well.

18-Anupam Kher in Saaransh

It is unusual to say the least that an actor chooses to debut at 28 in a film where he plays an old man with such cussed aplomb that he is offered only roles of grandfathers and old, aged uncles after that. Anupam Kher plays a retired headmaster, BB Pradhan who wears out his chappals trying to retrieve the remains of his son who has been mugged to death abroad. But his stubbornness pays and although he and his wife (played by the very talented Rohini Hattangadi) are depressed enough to commit suicide, fate pushes them into offering shelter to a young woman who is single and pregnant. BB Pradhan gets a reason to live and decides to take that first step from misery towards living and then looking at hope even, because his wife believes their dead son will be born again. Anupam Kher is an incredible old man in the film! He is wonderful in Karma and Khosla Ka Ghosla too.

17-Utpal Dutt in Gol Maal

Utpal Dutt was one of Bengali stage and cinema´s greatest actors but sadly for Hindi film buffs, his foray into Hindi cinema was quite limited. But the work that he did do is on par with that of Hindi cinema greats.

Consider his performance as Bhavani Shankar in Gol Maal. The fanatic boss whose motto is `work is god´ but who nevertheless enjoys watching sports (albeit clandestinely) no less. Dutt supremly brings out the charming duplicity of character. We still remember his dialogue like `Eeesh. Aise straight aur great aadmi se milne ka soubhagya nahin mila´ with affection. A testimony to the fact that with a simple twitch of eyebrows he made us laugh our hearts out. His performances in Guddi and Shaukeen are noteworthy too.

16-Amjad Khan in Sholay

Amjad Khan creates arguably the most remembered and reviled icons of the Hindi film industry with his fire-in-the-belly portrayal of dacoit Gabbar Singh in Sholay.

Kitne aadmi the — is the most popular Hindi film dialogue. It is not just the characterisation that demanded menace, but the magnificence of the cold-blooded violence that Amjad Khan brings to the role which is peerless. His performance is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Before Sholay, bandits in movies were always sons who had to run from the law to avenge family honour, but the unkempt unshaven appearance, the gruff voice and the psychotic, heartless laughter made Amjad the ultimate bandit ever. We also fondly remember him in Inqaar and Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.

15-Dilip Kumar in Devdas

Itni khoobsoorti acchi nahin, Paro,´ says the lover, and hits her forehead with his fishing rod, thereby marring her for life and setting the theme for a doomed love story. Dilip Kumar was reportedly hesitant to do the shot as he didn´t agree with its ethos. That he went on to do it with such conviction is a reminder of his genius.

They say that those whom the gods want to destroy, they first make mad. Such strange reaction to his beloved´s beauty was perhaps the first sign of Devdas´ affliction and Dilip superbly displayed the downward descent of his character. One of the best scenes in the film is when Devdas hesitates to run away with Paro. He hardly speaks at all except with his eyes, which mirror his loathing of being unmanned this way.

Another great scene is where a chastened Devdas grasps that his love for Chandramukhi is no less than his love for Paro but ironically, understanding dawns too late. The actor understands the pathos of the scene and underplays the melodrama, thereby lending credibility to it. There would be versions galore but DK would forever be the only Devdas for the purists.

13-Sanjeev Kumar in Koshish

What can be a better test of an actor´s skill than to see him in a role where he has no dialogue? Koshish was a huge test and Sanjeev Kumar offers a singular performance. He was known to choose unusual roles, and the role of Haricharan Mathur, a deaf mute newspaper delivery person, is different to say the least. In this movie, Sanjeev Kumar is married to another deaf mute (Jaya Bhaduri in an amazing performance), and we realise how easy it is to follow their life which is mostly expressing themselves in sign language. Especially touching are the moments related to the children born to him. When he discovers that the first baby has normal hearing and is not speech impaired; when he loses the baby, and the hope and joy again with the birth of yet another normal child. Unforgettable is the lighthearted scene when he pretends to speak on the phone!

12-Tabu in Chandni Bar

Chandni Bar is a bleak film which offers no hope of redemption for its protagonists. Tabu progresses from being a gawky UP girl who is forced to become a bar dancer, to becoming a `famous´ bar dancer and the consort of a local goon. We further see her as a mother who tries to protect her children from the life of crime. She suffers further indignation when she has to turn to prostitution.

Tabu becomes a different person with each turn of the film. You feel as if different actors are essaying the role. The last scene where she bows down to fate is claustrophobic. You want to get out of the misery and breathe some fresh air. Actually, you want to take Tabu out of the hell hole and make things all right for her.

11-Madhubala in Mughal-e-Azam

Every cinema trivia buff knows that the chains that bound Anarkali were real metal chains that bruised Madhubala for weeks and the most incredibly shot sequence of the film was the Sheesh Mahal dance sequence where Anarkali sings Pyar kiya to darna kya. But the reason why Madhubala´s performance bewitches us more is the delicate sensitivity she brings to the scenes in which she runs away terrified from the footsteps of Emperor Akbar and straight into the arms of Prince Salim. Anarakali is a doomed figure but Madhubala´s Mohe panghat pe brings so much joy that we forget she is just a baandi, a servant of the queen. Everyone else pales in comparison to this Anarkali. Drool over her oomph factor in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and Mahal as well.

10-Seema Biswas in Bandit Queen

No one, but no one has been able to mouth the dialogue, `Main Phoolandevi hoon, bhenchod!´ with as much hatred and venom and sadness as Seema Biswas did in the Bandit Queen. It was a tough film to make and the result was one of the finest films about exploitation of the the lower caste by the thakurs, the lawlessness of the land and the tragedy of helplessness. Seema Biswas portrays a sexually exploited woman who runs away from one harsh reality to another. That Seema Biswas is a formidable actor is seen in the change of demeanour, an acquired cruelty and the merciless revenge we see in the story. But in the grit and gore of the Chambal Valley, the director shows us fleeting moments of tenderness between the dacoit who protects her (Vikram Mallah, played by Nirmal Pandey) and Phoolan that make this performance stupendous.

9-Om Puri in Ardh Satya

No matter how many cop films came after this one, Ardh Satya remains the one that broke all the rules. It brought realism like never before and the credit goes to Om Puri for making the role of a police inspector come alive for us. In a fit of impotent rage, Velankar (Puri) kills a goon in custody. Om Puri brilliantly portrays the helplessness of an honest police officer. He is not punishing the goon but himself. Then, in another scene, where Smita Patil gives him the ardh satya poem to read, his reactions change from amused to sombre as understanding dawns (the poem is about Abhimanyu´s state of mind as he prepares to enter the chakravyuh). It is a one shot scene and Om Puri, the actor, shines bright. Just like his performances in Tamas, Aakrosh and Chachi 420.

8-Smita Patil in Mirch Masala

Sonbai slaps a subedaar and takes shelter in a spice factory. What makes this simple plot come alive is the complex social, political statement that this little film made when it was made by Ketan Mehta in 1985. Smita Patil had already made a place for herself in the world of parallel cinema and had earned awards for her acting skills with fantastic performances in Manthan, Bhumika, Umbartha and even Chakra. But what she achieves in Mirch Masala is something else.

As the frightened Sonbai, the angry Sonbai, the confused Sonbai and finally the fiery woman who avenges her honour, Smita is mind-blowingly brilliant. When the men of the village are discussing her fate, the emotions that criss-cross her face are a sight you will not easily forget. She was mesmerising in Subah and Tarang as well.

7-Anil Kapoor in Woh 7 Din

How can you score with a name like Prem Pratap Patiyalewala? Anil Kapoor, despite the corny name, floors us with this stupendous performance in his first ever starring role itself. You warmed to his wannabe musical superstar act. The character´s earnestness, his can do attitude, (despite being not very good at what he does) and unworldly attitude are flawlessly captured by Kapoor. The scene where he tries to make a tune (Lakho mein hazaro mein hai mera mehboob) tells you what great comic timing the actor has. And in the confrontation scene with Naseeruddin Shah and Padmini Kolhapure, the actor´s dramatic abilities come to the fore. Anil Kapoor went on to give many good performances after this, like in Tezaab, Lamhe but like Sachin Tendulkar´s first century, Woh 7 Din will always be dearer to us.

6-Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay

Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra give us their best as Jai and Veeru, two crooks who are offered a chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of the law by saving a village from dacoits. Because this is a buddy film, one cannot look at one performance without mentioning the other. While Veeru is all talk and bluster, Jai is laidback and laconic. And Amitabh Bachchan makes laconic so brilliant that we are still saying, `Tera naam kya hai Basanti!´

His Jai is underplayed. There´s nothing over-the-top about it. In fact, his dialogue is delivered so softly and so subtly that you have to be sharp enough to catch the humour. He allows Veeru to play the brash hero while he follows his friend calmly smoking a cigarette. When Veeru romances Basanti, and happily exclaims, `Kitnee pyaari baatein kartee hai!´, it is Jai who offers us an opinion about Basanti: `Pyaari nahin bahut saari baatein kartee hai!´ Watch him go to mausi and offer the world´s most bizarre proposal in his now famous wry poker-faced manner. Of course, the dialogue is brilliantly written, but what matters is the delivery. And if you try imagining another in the role, nobody measures up. This role also made Amitabh´s best `dying´ scene. After this performance, Amitabh was required to die in many later films!

5-Meena Kumari in Pakeezah

Sahib Jaan is so beautiful, a stranger writes her a note on the train: Do not ever put your feet on the ground, they will get soiled. Now Sahib is a nautch girl, and the irony of the note and her doomed love for the stranger touches our hearts.

Meena Kumari was very unwell during the filming of the movie that took 12 years to make, but she fits into the tragic role so well, we come away with a sense of loss of something so pure, so beautiful. There is decadence in the film (men offer her carpets worth Rs 50,000), and the music and lyrics are hauntingly beautiful. But the central figure of Sahib Jaan does not seem to belong. She hankers after a life she knows she cannot have and herein lies Meena Kumari´s talent. She offers us glimpses into the very soul of a singing bird in a gilded cage.

4-Sridevi in Chaalbaaz

There are roles that you´ve got to work on and then there are roles which sort of grab you by the scruff of your neck, holding you in the vice-like grip of its sheer potential. Sridevi´s dual turn in Chaalbaaz is one such performance. Sure it´s an unabashed comedy-drama and it´s been done twice before once by Hema Malini in Seeta Aur Geeta and the male version by Dilip Kumar (Ram Aur Shyam) but Sridevi infuses a certain quirkiness that adds new sauce to the old as pasta formula. While she plays Manju with a certain offhand madness, she portrayed Anju with a kind of neurotic quivery personality thus totally separating the two. Sridevi´s penchant for giggles and her ability to look distinctly tearful when required polishes these performances to perfection. Hell, she made Sunny Deol and Rajnikant look like sidekicks in the film. Also memorable are her bravura acts in Lamhe and Sadma.

3-Nana Patekar in Parinda

When a role threatens to topple you over to the realm of over-the-top, sometimes you take the gamble and go with the flow. Which is why Nana Patekar´s frenzied act in Parinda connects with the audience. For one, he looks the part of a neurotic, deranged don to the hilt, his constant smacking of the head hysterically with his hands was a clever personality device and he spawned a new style of delivering dialogue with this one. He gave us the classic we-love-to-hate-this-guy feel, becoming one of the most negative characters ever in Hindi films. He embodies the film — dark edgy and unpredictable. And while we´re at it, one mustn´t forget his performance in Khamoshi, Prahar and Ankush as well.

2-Aamir Khan in Rang De Basanti

A boy becomes a man through a surreal juxtaposition of the past and the present. Life changing incidents take place. DJ as the lovable wastrel is called for short (his real name is Daljeet Singh) finds himself in a situation that´s stranger than fiction. Who else but Aamir to alternate between a modern young man without a care in the world and an intensely passionate freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad who lays down his life for his motherland. For a 40-something actor to convincingly pass off for a 20-year-old is an achievement in itself. Yes, we notice the crow´s feet around his eyes but then it‘s not just the physical transformation. It is how he tricks you mentally into believing he is a youngster with a song in his step. The slight inflections he brings into his voice, his body language and his personality. Watch him playfully flirt with the British documentary maker Sue, or bond with his friends as they take moonlight bike rides and then watch him spontaneously burst into tears even as the world around falls apart. Aamir Khan makes this performance his own, leaving the viewer with no choice but to imprint him as the only one who could have essayed this part. Rang De Basanti is embedded in cinematic history as one of the most powerful films ever made and Aamir´s overwhelmingly passionate turn makes it unforgettable as well.

1-Amitabh Bachchan in Zanjeer

The gentleman doctor of Anand is transformed into an angst-filled all-male cop. You forget he was lanky, you forget he lacks the necessary muscles to beat up 20 goons – all you remember are the smouldering eyes and the brooding anger that only take a break during the Yaari hai imaan mera song.

The film has one of the best opening scenes ever where Amitabh wakes up suddenly from troubled sleep. It‘s all so real, you are reminded of your own nightmares.

Bachchan, in the scene where he challenges Pran on his own turf, ear-marked the era of the angry young man. There is no softness in his body language there. He is like a caged tiger, waiting for someone to mess with him so he can unleash his fury. In the blink of an eye, 13 previous flops were forgotten and a phenomenon was born.

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49 Comments
  1. sputnik 7 years ago

    Don’t agree with many of the choices and definitely don’t agree with the rankings.

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      yes it seems the one who made this list has grown up in the 90s because some insignificant films from the era have been included .

      • sputnik 7 years ago

        I don’t know how many are from 90s.

        Where is Amitabh for Deewar – his best performance? And choosing Shakti where Dilip overshadowed him and even won the Filmfare Best Actor award? I did not like Amitabh or Rani in Black. I liked Amitabh in Sholay but he was definitely not more iconic than Amjad Khan as Gabbar Singh.

        I can take Kajol in DDLJ but KKHH? And Dushman where she hammed like anything.

        Rajesh Khanna for Anand at 67? WTF were they thinking?

        Aamir at No 2 for RDB? He was good in RDB but it was definitely not iconic and definitely not No 2. Rangeela/Lagaaan should have been higher. Reading some of the writeup for Aamir feel the writer is a Aamir fan 😉

        So Raj from DDLJ is not iconic and no SRK for Darr/Baazigar/KHKN either.

        Hrithik for KMG? Seriously?

        Anil was good in Woh Saat Din but it was not any iconic performance. I would prefer Anil in Saaheb to this one.

        Sridevi for Chalbaaz for basically hamming and what Hema did 20 years ago which itself was the female version of Ram Aur Shyam.

        And no Sanjay Dutt for Munnabhai and Vaastav?

        • Baba Ji 7 years ago

          kajol and srk from ddlj is iconic sputnik?

          • sputnik 7 years ago

            I said I will take Kajol from DDLJ over KKHH or Dushman. SRK as Raj from DDLJ is definitely iconic whether me or you like his performance.

            Even Salman as Chulbul Pandey is iconic. I don’t know if Dabangg had released when they made this list.

          • Baba Ji 7 years ago

            ddlj is bullcrap,dabang is bullshit.

  2. Reddemon 7 years ago

    Darsheel safary for TZP at 25 and RK for Anand at 67… Is this a WTF post??
    I think he has replaced Gabbar and AB’s position.. Even Dharam paaji was better than AB in sholay imo… They have not even named some of the good performances and hav included several performances of heroines so as to make the list balanced.

    • sputnik 7 years ago

      I liked Amitabh more than Dharmendra but Amitabh should have been there for Deewar not Sholay.

      Dharmendra should have been there for Chupke Chupke.

      If Hema is iconic for playing Basanti even A.K.Hangal should be there for playing Rahim Chacha 😉

      Madhuri is not there for Beta or HAHK.

      And they completely forgot poor Ajay Devgn. I have seen only 30 minutes of Bhagat Singh so will not comment on his performance. I finally remembered the reason why I did not complete watching Bhagat SIngh. They were trying to show that Bhagat Singh is great by showing Gandhi as a coward. But Gangajal or HDDCS may be?

      • Yakuza 7 years ago

        Legend Of Bhagat Singh was one best of last decade, rocked in two departments Screenplay and Performances. Not to be missed.

        • Baba Ji 7 years ago

          sputnik – you are right about Gandhi-bashing in TLOBS. There is no need to pull some national hero down to glorify another.Bhagat singh had enuff personal merits to stand on his own.The Gandhi-irwin pact had nothing to do with Bhagat Singhs execution.I think RKS erred in that aspect.
          But otherwise the movie is breathtaking,ajay devgun and other cast have acted well,the court scenes are very good.songs are excellent.

  3. Reddemon 7 years ago

    Yup thats what i said.. Some good performances r not mentioned. And they easily forgot CHATUR. He was the sole of 3idiots along with raju hirani and it was one of the best performance in recent times.. And i agree with u on madhuri and ajay

  4. hithere 7 years ago

    lol at ranking…

  5. fearlesssoul 7 years ago

    Where is Naseeruddin Shah’s 3 diwaarien? Tabu’s chaandni baar? Ajay’s zakhm / Gangajal? Crap list…

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      chandni baar is there in the list,looks like you didnt read it 😉 I dont think his zakhm performance was iconic,it is an overrated film. my fav ajay devgun films are TLOBS, jigar and gangajal.

      • sputnik 7 years ago

        I liked Zakhm basically because of the story – the secret of Pooja Bhatt. Kunal Khemu and Pooja Bhatt were very good but there was nothing great about Ajay’s role or performance. All he was doing was tilting his head to one side and mouthing dialogues. He definitely did not deserve a National Award for Zakhm.

        • cr7 7 years ago

          same here..i liked zakhm as a a film . but definitely if someone deserves national award for zakhm it was kunal khemu..among the three leads ajay was the weakest.

  6. Milind 7 years ago

    These illiterate authors need to be taught what is “iconic”.. Writing with a bottle of Wine and some aphrodisiac leads to such fruitless orgasms!

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      what is iconic by you milind?

      • fearlesssoul 7 years ago

        i see o yen i see

      • Milind 7 years ago

        That stands for a passing time, that holds forth the “idea” of an era,that reflects the “crux” of a period.that brings out the “core” of a socio-political issue that changed the future of a community,that transcended the 70mm to eclipse our daily routines with its constant mentions as metaphors..that was a remnant of a line of thought…that has explored cinemas pinnacles with sheer awesome artistry.

        I will quote a few example”

        I hate “West Side Story” now–used to like it before– but that won’t stop me from icluding it as iconic for the “rebellious” America that was transiting into a pop culture from a more refined one! A Clockwork Orange also stands for similar stuffs but is not iconic in a true sense.

        Jaws is iconic–see it does not stand for anything from an era but it stands synonymous with “Summer Blockbusters”. It is the genesis of that family.The root.

        Sholay is a great picture but not iconic in my opinion.Yes it’s characters are iconic but Deewar as a whole package classically captures the unrest that was prevailing around JP’s andolan against Indira Gandhi.

        Naya Daur is on fringes as it captures the war between man vs machines in an era when Jai Jawaan Jai Kisaan was on rise. It gives you an idea of how future will be but lectures on how to not forget the past.

        HAHK and DDLJ both are ATBB but DDLJ is iconic that stands for a post-liberalised India in the wake of Manmohan Singh’s statements in PARLIAMENT that paved the way for the NRI-swift and Imported goods in India. HAHK though is BIGGER hit than DDLJ,no doubt!!

        DCH is iconic–stands for a subtle change from the KKHH type friendship to a more fun-filled friendship and explores the future–a future that you see now in “Airtel’s advertisements”. It owes a lot to the coolness brought in by DCH. Lagaan is not iconic in any manner.Albeit it is a great film.But great and iconic are vastly diff terminologies. Lagaan does not stand for an idea that symbolises a passing thought of an era.

        So on and So forth..will do after the ETT hurricane is over. 😀

        • Baba Ji 7 years ago

          “DDLJ is iconic that stands for a post-liberalised India in the wake of Manmohan Singh’s statements in PARLIAMENT that paved the way for the NRI-swift and Imported goods in India. ”

          ROFL!

          ra.one is iconic in the wake of increase of FDI in India…. 😀

          • Milind 7 years ago

            there is nothing rofl in it! You can joke but not shy away from the facts!

          • sputnik 7 years ago

            DDLJ is definitely iconic but in my opinion not for any liberal or Manmohan Singh changes.

            DDLJ is iconic because it started the trend of NRI movies – lot of movies after that started being set abroad or being shot abroad which still continues til now. Every movie made after DDLJ which has even a part of it abroad owes it to DDLJ.

            Even a Dil Chahta Hai has the second half set in Sydney. Aamir goes to manage their company in Sydney. Remember Saajan – Sanjay goes to manage the company in Ooty – that is the impact of DDLJ.

            Sholay is also definitely iconic – iconic for the characters, the dialogues, the scenes. It used to run well in theaters till the 90s and I remember the first time it was telecast on TV the streets were deserted.

          • Baba Ji 7 years ago

            “DDLJ is iconic because it started the trend of NRI movies ”

            sputnik – your memory is short-lived. DDLJ was not the first time a filmmaker tried to appeal to NRI.There was chandini that was shot in switzerland so also many films before that .yash chopra’s fetish for shooting in foreign locales is old thing.

            ” Remember Saajan – Sanjay goes to manage the company in Ooty – that is the impact of DDLJ.”

            LOL! saajan came in 1991 and ddlj in almost 1996 (oct 95). are you ok?!

            ddlj is iconic only for srk fanantics only much like AAA is iconic for bachchan fans etc.

  7. Milind 7 years ago

    Sputnik: See what I have written dear:

    “DDLJ is iconic that stands for a post-liberalised India in the wake of Manmohan Singh’s statements in PARLIAMENT that paved the way for the NRI-swift and Imported goods in India”

    That NRI-Swift I mention coupled with the entry of “posh” was mostly because of MMS and Narsimha Rao liberalizing the system.Thus you had the Pepsi and Cokes and much more! I am talking in broader sense

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      the liberalization policy came way back in 1991 and many films including yrf had already shot in abroad long ago.

      • Milind 7 years ago

        Arey I am not talking about foreign locales in shooting..you do not need some liberalisation policy for that..I am talking about how the exposure of India to the “commodities” of the world allowed thr film-makers to shift the plot to a NRI-driven formula.

      • sputnik 7 years ago

        “It’s like Jaws but…”: 14 great films that inspired regrettable trends

        “It’s like Jaws but…”: 14 great films that inspired regrettable trends

  8. sputnik 7 years ago

    @Baba,

    Read the whole para. I am saying in Saajan, Sanjay Dutt went to Ooty to manage the company but in DCH Aamir went to Sydney to manage the company.

    Yes movies have been shot abroad by Yash Chopra (Chandni and Darr) and may be others too (Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka, Purab Aur Paschim) but they did not start a trend of movies being shot abroad. Now there are so many movies where the characters are set or live in US, UK, Australia and SA. Subhash Ghai who always made movies based in India made a Pardes. David Dhawan made a Hero No 1 and Dulhan Hum Le Jaayenge.

    If we go by the logic of it was already done before DCH is not iconic because its first half is similar to Chashme Buddoor and second half is similar to DDLJ. DDLJ second half is itself similar to HAHK and also MPK. Sholay is not iconic because it is similar to Mera Gaon Mera Desh which was written by Salim Javed themselves. Deewar is not iconic because it is similar to Ganga Jamuna and Ganga Jamuna is not iconic because it is similar to Mother India which is also not iconic because it is remake of the director’s own movie Aurat.

    I don’t like AAA or Mughal-E-Azam but I cannot deny that they were iconic movies. AAA has the iconic Amitabh miror scene and it is the movie which started the whole One man show movies of Amitabh.

  9. stewie griffin 7 years ago

    salman aamir and shakti kapoor in aaa is iconic..simply the best comic performances of all time..this is one movie india should be proud of…coz nothing hollywood can or will do has been or could be funnier than this gem of a movie..

    hahk is iconic fo rthe way it changed the boxoffice landsccape..and prem nisha is the most adorable on screen couple imo..so much playfulness

    • Milind 7 years ago

      Again mis-interpretation of cult vs iconic.

    • Tulmul 7 years ago

      Milind is absolutely right in saying DDLJ as Iconic movie, Iconic movies doesn’t necessarily has to be great cinema but it holds in itself the age( socio- political) of that era and DDLJ stands that test and is referred more because of its iconic nature … When one talks of modern romance, its only DDLJ that comes to mind and is referral point not HAHK…

      ps: Personally I didn’t find DDLJ great cinema but that doesn’t Envelope its Iconic nature in BW. One need not to be Blind, nay faithfully Blind 🙂

      • Baba Ji 7 years ago

        “Iconic movies doesn’t necessarily has to be great cinema but it holds in itself the age( socio- political) of that era ”

        i agree with first part of the sentence.Iconic movies need not be great.and why to limit the term “iconic” to only positive things? To me ,even clerk is iconic ,as crazy as it might sound! Simple because it is a symbolic filmmaking of a bygone era.

        I dont think iconic means only representing a socio-political arena,It can be anything that the audience identifies a kind of filmmaking with. Say i find akshay’s action in 90s (KKK) iconic.

        • sputnik 7 years ago

          hmm Looks like Baba’s second mission has started. To make this post cross 100 comments 😉

          • Baba Ji 7 years ago

            lol…no sputnik,some pradeep on sb is confused between the words iconic and classic.I told him to read this post and my comment. Though i think we didnt have good comments in this thread.

        • sputnik 7 years ago

          Yes Baba Clerk is iconic of bad films 😉

  10. Suprabh 7 years ago

    This list is a fantastic collection of good to great performances if we ignore the rankings.. So without the rankings I like this collection..
    The ones that I disagree with are

    Saif in Omkara
    Hrithik in KMG
    Wahida Rehman in Guide

    I don’t know about iconic or not but I loved Anil Kapoor in Woh Saat Din…Not everyone can make their mark in a movie where Naseer does best what he does, but Anil was mind blowing there…Same with Virasat ..what a performance…In fact, I can say this with enough confidence that Anil Kapoor is one actor from 80s-90s which none of the stars (Khans, Kumars or Roshans) have been able to outclass as far as acting capability is concerned.

    Some performances which I consider superlative (may or may not be iconic)

    Amitabh in Deewar
    Kulbhushan Kharbanda in Shaan
    Kunal Khemu in Zakhm
    Ajay Devgn in HDDCS
    Madhuri in Lajja
    Nana patekar in Prahaar
    Manoj Bajpai in Shool
    Konkona in Omkara
    Anupam Kher and Boman Irani in Khosla ka Ghosla
    Boman Irani in Lets talk
    Sanjeev Kumar in Pati Patni aur Woh
    Kamal Haasan in Sadma and Pushpak

    I would also like to mention that such lists often tend to go towards the more serious kind of performances and comedic acts are often not given enough consideration
    Pankaj Kapur in JBDY and Chameli ki shaadi are superb performances.. Its amazing how he portrayed the character of a corrupt businessman in the former and a lower caste guy in the latter.. Similarly with Paresh Rawal in Hera Pheri.. btw if Paresh Rawal in Hera pheri is not iconic then nothing in the new millennium can be called iconic.

    • sputnik 7 years ago

      So you agree with Kajol in KKHH and Dushman?

      I think people remember Omkara more for Saif as Langda Tyagi than Ajay Devgn. So its a iconic performance in that sense. Its been a while since I saw Omkara but I remember thinking Konkona was decent/good but don’t remember thinking of it as great performance. I think she is overrated as an actress mainly because she does not have the looks. She has repeated the same role in Page 3, LBC, Life in a Metro and WUS.

      Anil is a very good actor and he can be very good or great sometimes. He was very good in Woh Saat Din and great in Virasat, He was great in Pukaar too especially after his court martial. But you are forgetting his HADMRH, HDAPH, Loafer and many more movies. He did a lot of southern remakes and most of the time he was just copying the South Indian actor right down to the mannerisms. He just could not pull off Loafer and Laadla roles.

      I liked Boman Irani in KKG more than in Lage Raho but I think those roles are similar and LRM came first.

      I loved Chameli Ki Shaadi too but I don’t think the movie is that popular among majority. Anil, Amjad, Amrita were also very good in it.

      Paresh Rawal in Hera Pheri is definitively iconic.

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      suparbh – those are iconic performances or your own personal list?

      • Suprabh 7 years ago

        my own personal list

  11. Suprabh 7 years ago

    Sputnik,

    Kajol was the best thing about the otherwise a third class movie – KKHH.. I liked her acting…I missed Dushman in this list and no I dont agree with Dushman being present in the list.

    Regarding Saif in omkara — I think , he is extremely overrated in Omkara…people just went gaga about the dialogs like ch***ya and Bhen**od and since saif (the otherwise clean cut Royal prince) was made to utter them hence people saw much more out of a very average performance..I can say this because I have been in those areas and grew up with those people around me and no Saif did not pull that off.

    Regarding Anil, I just mentioned regarding his acting capabilities rather than his repertoire… He may have done many forgetful movies but he is a gem of an actor and way ahead of khans and other latter stars as far as potential and capability is concerned.

    P.S. I dont think much of either Lage raho..munnabhai or the performances in it.

  12. sputnik 7 years ago

    NDTV brings you a massive opinion poll in a special show with Dr Prannoy Roy, every night at 9 pm from Monday, August 27 to Friday, August 31.

    NDTV commissioned Ipsos, a leading market research agency, to conduct fieldwork for this opinion poll from a sample size of almost 30,000, covering as many as 125 out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats in the 18 big states. (Complete coverage)

    Along with lots of questions on politics, we asked: Who are India’s five greatest actors of all time?

    Panelist Shekhar Gupta chose Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, MGR and Dev Anand. Commentator Swapan Dasgupta listed Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and Shah Rukh Khan.

    And you chose:

    At #5, Dilip Kumar, star of sweeping epics like Mughal-E-Azam and tragic romances like Devdas.

    At #4, Shah Rukh Khan, the modern day Devdas and generally considered the successor to Dilip Kumar’s legacy of stylized performances.

    At #3, Salman Khan, currently burning up the box office with Ek Tha Tiger, his fourth blockbuster in a row.

    At #2, Aamir Khan, arguably Bollywood’s most versatile actor, equally at ease playing an Idiot and a pre-Independence village hero.

    And, at the very top, Amitabh Bachchan. Once the Angry Young Man of Bollywood, Mr Bachchan is the only actor of his generation to still be appearing in lead roles today. His career spans four decades and over 180 films, and includes three National Awards. Two of Mr Bachchan’s most memorable films have been retold anew this year: Hrithik Roshan took over his famous role as Vijay Dinanath Chauhan in Agneepath, and Telugu star Ram Charan Teja has been cast as honest cop Vijay Khanna in Zanjeer.

    http://movies.ndtv.com/movie_story.aspx?ID=ENTEN20120213602&subcatg=MOVIESINDIA&keyword=bollywood&nid=260108

  13. Gaurav S. Shahane 7 years ago

    You know, I seriously feel that Abhishek Bachchan deserved to win the Filmfare Best Actor award for Guru in 2008. But it went to Shah Rukh Khan for Chak De India. I liked Shah Rukh’s performance in Chak De India but I don’t think that it was really that iconic that he deserved to win the Best Actor award for it. For me SRK’s iconic performances consist of Dil Se(1998), Devdas(2002), Swades(2004) and My Name is Khan(2010). He bagged the award only because he veered away from his usual style of acting in the film. It was a role someone like Aamir Khan would have managed to perform effortlessly. Whereas in Abhishek Bachchan’s case, Guru was a role that was suited only for him, in which we would find it impossible to imagine anybody else, just like in the case of Yuva(2004). And that is what makes the performance iconic. In my opinion, Abhishek deserved to win the Best Actor award a zillion times more than Shah Rukh did. Even Hrithik Roshan could never have been able to attempt something like Yuva or Guru. These roles belong wholly and solely to Abhishek Bachchan.

  14. Gaurav S. Shahane 7 years ago

    Moreover, I also think many of Amitabh Bachchan’s other iconic performances; apart from those already mentioned in the above list, have been neglected to be included. How can they leave out Deewar, Kabhi Kabhi, Don, Kaala Patthar, Saudagar, Aalaap, Abimaan, Bemisaal and Chupke Chupke. I am not implying that all these roles must be included in the list but I feel that Big B’s roles in films like Abhimaan, Saudagar, Aalaap and Bemisaal should have been given special mention in the list. However they have been deliberately ignored only because they were offbeat roles in offbeat films and were not as big a success as Bachchan’s other commercial blockbusters. What’s most shocking is that they forgot to include even Deewar which was a career-defining role of Amitabh Bachchan.

  15. Varnit Kumar Tyagi 6 years ago

    i should be named as worst performance ever
    dilip kumar for ganga jamuna is best performance ever
    2-nargis as mother india
    3-dilip kumar for ram aur shyam again
    4-amjad khan for sholey
    5-madhuri dixit for hahk
    6-madhubala in mughal-e-azam
    7-amitabh in deevar
    8-dilip kumar n devdas
    9-sanjeev kumar in koshish
    10-raaj kapoor in shree 420

  16. Varnit Kumar Tyagi 6 years ago

    and the list has been made in favor of amitabh bachchan

  17. ankur 6 years ago

    The 39-year-old actor also said that the book has a philosophy which he would love to pass on not only to his kids but also to the common man.

  18. sputnik 5 years ago

    Telugu filmmaker Bapu who directed movies like Woh 7 Din and Prem Pratigya is dead. Had liked a couple of his Telugu movies (Mr.Pellam and Pelli Pusthakam) a lot.

    Renowned Telugu filmmaker Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana aka Bapu died here at his residence Sunday, his family said. He was 80.

    “He passed away following a cardiac arrest. He was struggling with illness for the last few months,” Bapu’s brother Sattiraju Shankar Narayana told IANS.

    Born Dec 15, 1933, Bapu started his career as a cartoonist for Telugu newspaper Andhra Patrika.

    His filmmaking career started with 1960 Telugu film “Sakshi”, whose story and dialogues were by his best friend Mullapudi Venkata Ramana.

    Bapu and Ramana worked together in several memorable Telugu films such as “Mutyala Muggu”, “Mister Pellam”, “Pelli Pusthakam” and “Seetha Kalyanam”.

    An ardent devotee of Lord Ram, Bapu’s stories were mostly inspired from the Ramayana.

    Some of his best films on Lord Ram include “Sampoorna Ramayanam”, “Ramanjeneya Yuddham” and “Seetha Kalyanam”.

    Bapu’s last directorial was 2011 Telugu mythological drama “Sri Rama Rajyam”. Ramana passed away a few months after the film’s release.

    Since Ramana’s demise, Bapu was not in his pink of health.

    “The death of Ramana came as a shock to my brother. He was shaken from the inside because it was the end of over 60 years of friendship,” Bapu’s brother said.

    Bapu had also directed a few Hindi films such as “Hum Paanch”, “Seeta Swayamwar”, “Woh Saat Din” and “Mera Dharam”.

    In his over four-decade-long career, Bapu directed 51 films. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2013.

    He won the national awards twice and the Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards six times.

    Bapu is survived by two sons and a daughter.

    His last rites will be performed here Monday.

    Link

  19. samita 4 weeks ago

    This list is way off the mark. Kajol from Kuch Kuch ? I mean, really ?

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