Manoj Bajpayee, the finest actor of great calibre, continues to deliver incredible performances at 52. Bajpayee is one of the few actors whose epic performances have forever enthralled the Hindi film audience. His stellar performances seem very spontaneous and incredibly authentic. Recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri and three National Awards, Bajpayee’s minimalistic, method acting has a charm of its own and keeps the viewers glued to his screen presence. Undoubtedly, he is the king of versatility who has the potential to mould himself into any character. He stuns us with his terrific choices of unconventional roles, be it in Shool, Babu, Pinjar, Gangs of Wasseypur, Zubeidaa, Swami, Sonchiriya, and many more.
Let’s revisit some of the best performances of Bajpayee on his birthday:
1. Satya: Bajpayee’s iconic portrayal of Bhiku Mhatre in Ram Gopal Varma’s cult gangster movie Satya remains to be a classic character. The movie won 6 Filmfare Awards and fetched the actor his first National Award along with nationwide recognition for his exceptionally layered performance.
2. Aligarh: Directed by Hansal Mehta, this biopic has Bajpayee essay the role of Professor Siras and his struggles. He won Asia Pacific Screen Award and Filmfare Critics Award for his sensitive portrayal of the vulnerabilities of a dignified man.
3. Rajneeti: Directed by Prakash Jha, this political drama had Bajpayee deliver a stellar performance amidst the ensemble cast consisting of Nana Patekar, Naseeruddin Shah, Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. Drawing parallels from Mahabharata, Bajpayee’s character was inspired by Duryodhana. He brought out the dichotomy of the complex character effortlessly well and went on to win several awards that year including Filmfare Best Actor in supporting role and Apsara Award for Best Performance in a Negative Role.
4. Kaun: Once again, Bajpayee was phenomenal as a creepy and maniacal house guest in this experimental psychological thriller film directed by Varma. The movie assumed cult status over the years and the actor’s portrayal of the man with annoying stare and incessant pestering was highly applauded by critics.
5. Bhonsle: Bajpayee yet again received a lot of praises for his power-packed performance in this film directed by Devashish Makhija. It premiered in ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’ section of the 2018 Busan International Film Festival. He was bestowed with the National Award beside Asia Pacific Screen Award.