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Friday, 1 April 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Male] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Best Actor [Male]

in a 

Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]

Apologies that the awards have segued into the new month, but some personal emergencies kept me away from the event. 

Well, now I'm here and we can move onwards to the four leading acting awards that just delight the fans, am I right?

This years male performances have been a doozy, I will admit; it was hard to fill the five slots this year with competent performances and in fact this thus becomes a highlight of the year itself, that hasn't really been at its best. 

Not to take away from the top five below, who have weaved together some great work allowing for five genuine candidates. This is also thanks to the latter half of the year that saw some great turns as well as the switch to Romantic in the genre acting category. 

Anyways onto those actors that just barely missed the cut, they were good performance just not on the level one expects from a top five nominee ballot;

R. Madhavan for Tanu Weds Manu Returns: When you're the sober lot of a crazy cast, it's completely easy to be overshadowed and go unnoticed. When it so happens that you're character is diluted to the point of no recognition, it's just hard to fight back. 

Ranveer Singh for Dil Dhadakne Do: Singh misses out cause of the new double nomination ruling, but his performance is great as mentioned here

Salman Khan for Bajrangi Bhaijaan: Putting aside the propoganda hints and all the backstage stuff, looking right at a performance; one can still say that Salman doesn't as much as "Act" as be himself, but here a slight genuine side to Pawan adds a nice and different touch. 

Omkar Kapoor for Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2: He doesn't reach the hilarious heights of Divyendu Sharma and Liquid, but Kapoor as the affable Chauka is the delight of a dull repeat film. Adding a zing to some great dialogues, proving that the messenger is as important as the message.

And well now onto the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Male] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic], and the nominees are...

Ranveer Singh as Bajirao I for Bajirao Mastani

It's been a hell of a year for the actor, capturing all awards this year with his riveting performance as the Maharashtra Peshwa. Whatever on can say of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, they cannot deny that he is a capable actor's director. 

Molding his actors to great performances on every occasion, he has found a willing and game muse in Ranveer Singh who consistently on the screen looks to top himself and put his best foot forward. Channeling the poet warrior, made eternal by Dilip Kumar in Mughal-E-Azam, Singh makes Bajirao his own with a pitch perfect accent and some great language. 

Profound moments in the film allow Singh to channel a range of expressions and motions, he carries his weight as a warrior and as a lover; making you feel the burden of the physical armor and the mental blocks against his pure love. 

His scenes with Deepika reflect a genuine chemistry that spread all round, he is as energetic as he is known to be but also as restrained as an actor is meant to be when in character. 

Bitto [Band Baaja Baraat] was the opening salvo, Varun [Lootera] was the next step forward and now Bajirao is the final evolution of one of this generations finest actors. 

Ranbir Kapoor as Ved Vardhan Sahni for Tamasha

Can this man do any wrong? [Well there's Besharam...and Roy, I refuse to count Bombay Velvet...he was terrific in that]

Anyways I digress, this year has been a big hit on the young Kapoor scion. I'd like to take this platform as a fan, to urge him to continue choosing the roles he likes and not to fall into the media/industry trap of doing the roles that a "Star" must adhere to do. 

Onto the performance. 

As Ved, Kapoor is a riot; playing a carefully calibrated balancing act between two personalities while trying not to hint at a deeper mental issue but a more psychological root to his problems. The wide eyed innocence he brings to his Storyteller persona reflects the child like flashbacks of the film. 

This is then wonderfully mixed into a heady cocktail called Don, allowing for much of the breezy humor that allows Kapoor to turn on his charm and relax the audience into a very conflicted film as such. 

The other half is the supposed "real" Ved, a suppressed robot for a lack of a better word. This one is marked by an altogether body language, Kapoor as any great actor doesn't rely on changed appearances but rather expertly internalizes the pains of a man looking to burst free without ever knowing it. 

He shares some sizzling chemistry with Deepika Padukone to top it off. Overall, this is just another character in a bevy of them, that Kapoor manages to conquer and immortalize with his skills.

Ayushmann Khurrana as Prem for Dum Laga Ke Haisha

A stirring comeback for the young actor, Khurrana makes Prem his own. Ayushmann Khurrana isn't known to be the most versatile actor, with the idea being that he can play nice characters naturally; so portraying Prem, a conflicted slight lovable loser but also a man child in every respect comes as a breath of fresh air. 

The best actors know when it is important to react and take a step out of the spotlight, Khurrana does that in spades for his debutant co-star; giving her the time to shine and playing off well from her own arc. 

There's always revolutions of thought playing into his head, in truth his marriage to the overweight and in comparison over educated Sandhya [Pednekar] isn't about that on the surface but something more. It's about Prem's own inability to rise beyond his own level and be a better person, stifled particularly by his domineering father.  

Khurrana takes that notion and displays that weight with an efficient subtlety that is hard to forget, he leaves an impression in the little moments and makes you partially realize why Sandhya fights as hard as she does for the relationship but also why underneath it all, Prem is a genuinely good person worth loving. 

Dhanush as Daanish for Shamitabh

What has been said about Ranbir Kapoor, applies to Dhanush but at tenfold.

He is unquestionably the finest actor you will find working today, with versatility of the charts. In a given year he can portray a conventional hero [Maari], a mature role befitting his age [Thangmagan], multiple roles with different flavors in one film [Anegan] and something completely out of the box; Shamitabh.

Hindi cinema is his experimentation film and his next role is widely different from his debut. In Shamitabh, Dhanush portrays an aspiring actor but a mute man. Without a voice, no one is a star. 

In a Meta feature, that explores the importance of Amitabh Bachchan's booming baritone, Dhanush is Daanish; the man that inherits the iconic voice. He stands toe to toe with the legendary actor, holding his own and in fact outshining him. With no voice to rest on, he captures some great physical comedy from the film specifically when he is overshadowed by the larger voice [something that most missed was intentional in the film]. Moments of a mismatched romance with Akshara Hassan are lightened up by his sweet and relaxed natural turn. 
The best is that with any excellent turn in such a role, not for once does Dhanush make you feel that he can talk and not for once does he slip away from making you feel the passion that Daanish has is false. 

Gulshan Devaiah as Mandar Ponkshe for Hunterrr

Sometimes showier performances overshadow subtle turns, it is most noticeable during awards seasons. Look for example to 2014's Foxcatcher. Channing Tatum gave a subtle but powerful turn as the leading man but was overlooked in favor of the more showy performance by Steve Carell, that was nowhere near deserving of a nomination. 

People like to see the actor 'act' in a film, rather than be natural because it can blur the lines between non-performing and actually becoming the character. 

Gulshan with his infinite reservoir of talent, accomplishes the latter. Not for one second does he let it slip that he is one of the finest and underrated actor, rather than the horny, lusty, hilarious and deeply dissatisfied Mandar.

It's a wise choice that our first encounters with the Hunterrr so to speak are at his downfall, it shows you the despicable spiraling life of the character and also paints the underlining frustrations of a man who seems to be charged from the outside. 

Each point of hilarity or 'vasugiri' as Mandar puts it, is punctuated by a hollow pain and dissonance from the world that Devaiah poetically internalizes. Yet he never lets things go to dour and drag the energy of the film down, there's an electricity to the performance specifically his delivery and language when things go his way; whether it's his 'want to get arranged married' montage or his dream conversation with Tripti [Apte] on 'An open marriage'. The dry humor gets a kick thanks to the live wire that Deviah can be. 

He adds a sweet heart to the center of the sociopathic tendencies of the Hunterrr making for a riveting film. 

And the Winner is...

Gulshan Devaiah as Mandar Ponkshe for Hunterrr!

This time, subtlety takes the cake and rightfully so...

Onto the next batch...

Up Next: A cerebral palsy affected girl just searching for 'normal' love, an urban modern woman stuck in the hell amidst regressive tradition bound honor killers, a woman regretting lost love while a regressive system shames her, a determined cop searching for her missing son against all costs and a vivacious innocent friend burdened by her married life...these are the five women that make the HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Drama]

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia  


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