It has been a good year for Bollywood. Of the many hits and misses this year, there were a few performances that outshone all others. While the leading roles bagged all praise and acclaim as they rightly deserved, there were many others who impressed with their quiet brilliance, even in small supporting roles. As the year is about to end, we look at actors who did a brilliant job as supporting actors with relatively smaller roles.
1. Jim Sarbh As Terrorist Khalil In ‘Neerja’
© Fox Star studios
Neerja was a brilliantly made film. While Sonam Kapoor sure did a commendable job, another actor who shined with his performance was Jim Sarbh who played the terrorist Khalil in the movie. Giving his character the right amount of crazy and edgy, he pulled off a brilliant performance.
2. Rajkummar Rao As Journalist Deepu Sebastian In ‘Aligarh’
© Eros Entertainment
While Manoj Bajpayee was brilliant in ‘Aligarh’, Rajkummar Rao, essaying the role of the journalist out to find out the truth about the case, gave one of his finest performances till date. Going with the sensitive tone of the film, he lent a certain simplicity and subtlety to his character. There are little things an actor does that make all the difference to the role he is portraying and Rajkummar pays close attention to that – he puts in a lot of sensitivity and understanding to his character even when he is listening to Prof. Ramchandra Siras’ story, and it is exactly what makes a supporting role stand out.
3. Manav Kaul As Yazaad Qureshi In ‘Wazir’
© Vinod Chopra Films
The cold calculating politician in Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘Wazir’, played by the talented Manav Kaul, was a refreshing change from the typical Hindi movie villain. Sophisticated, sly and smooth, Yazaad Qureshi was a layered character and Manav Kaul brought in the required maturity to bring out the layers one by one.
4. Inaamulhaq As Major Khalaf bin Zayd In ‘Airlift’
Playing the menacing Iraqi Major Khalaf Bin Zayad in ‘Airlift’, Bollywood actor and screenwriter Inaamulhaq won a lot of critical appreciation for his role. The actor who was seen in ‘Filmistan’ as Aftaab, pulled off the role of the sadistic Major to perfection. Terrifying and fearsome, the character of the Major was one of the most well-etched and brilliantly played roles in the film.
5. Anupam Kher As Dhoni’s Father In ‘MS Dhoni – The Untold Story’
© Fox Star Studios
Anupam Kher is a veteran who can still give younger actors a run for their money when it comes to acting. Playing Pan Singh, Dhoni’s father, he lent an acute realism to the character of the average middle-class Indian man who is always anxious about what the future holds for his family and wants his children to excel in studies and secure their future as soon as possible. The fear and the insecurity were so palpable on the man’s face that you wanted Dhoni to succeed as fast as possible to bring some peace on his father’s face.
6. Kirti Kulhari As Falak In ‘Pink’
© Rashmi Sharma Telefilms Limited
While Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu remained much in focus in ‘Pink’, Falak Ali, played by the talented Kirit Kulhari, won critics with her quiet brilliance. Living the pain, humiliation and frustration of suffering patriarchy on an everyday basis, Falak breaks down in court and her outburst is so real, the actor deserves a special applause for that.
7. Diljit Dosanjh As Sartaj Singh In ‘Udta Punjab’
© Balaji Motion Pictures
Diljit Dosanjh took to the role of the soft-spoken police inspector like fish to water. He may be a popular singer but this time, it was his unpretentious acting skills that won over hearts. While Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt had meatier roles to explore in the film, Diljit nailed the role of the cop effortlessly.
8. Rishi Kapoor As ‘Dadaji’ In ‘Kapoor & Sons’
© Dharma Productions
Every Indian family could, at some point or the other, relate to what goes on in ‘Kapoor & Sons’. Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor reinvented himself with the character of the grandfather, the typical dramatic yet chilled out grandfather figure found in many Indian families.
9. Ratna Pathak Shah as Sunita Kapoor in ‘Kapoor & Sons’
© Dharma Productions
The very talented Ratna Pathak adds charisma to every role she plays. The versatile actor who immortalized the sophisticated Maya Sarabhai in the history of Indian television effortlessly blended into the character of the middle-class mom and wife perfectly. She adds much-needed realism to the conflict between the husband and wife and the aftermath that follows. The scene where she breaks down reminiscing her dead husband while laying on the bed is one of the finest scenes in the movie.
10. Yashaswini Dayama As Jackie In ‘Dear Zindagi’
© Dharma Productions
Almost all of us know someone like Jackie, the bubbly girl who plays Alia’s friend in ‘Dear Zindagi’. That’s how relatable she is as Jackie. Natural, no-nonsense and absolutely adorable – she is as real as someone can be. She is all of us when she has a tiff with Alia over a piece of news she didn’t share with her and it’s so easy to sympathize with her at that moment despite she being a supporting actor.
11. Jugal Hansraj As Mohit Dewan In ‘Kahaani 2’
© Boundscript Motion Pictures
One actor who really stood out in ‘Kahaani 2’ this time beside Vidya Balan was Jugal Hansraj. The actor who has so far played positive roles nails the character of the sly businessman, especially in the first half of the movie. Playing a sophisticated rich gentleman who turns out to be a paedophile raping his own niece, Jugal adds the subtle cunning needed in the character of the seemingly innocent citizen.
There are many other actors who wowed us with their brilliant performances this year. This was our list of the favourites. What’s yours?