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Monday, 4 April 2016

HIndie Awards 2016: Best Actor [Male] in A Leading Role [Drama]

Best Actor [Male]

in a

Leading Role [Drama]

This one's kind of obvious, the copius amount of great roles coming the way of leading men is no surprise. 

The past few years however, specifically this year has seen a great upheaval by young actors to make bold statements with bold roles, whether that is in drama or even comedy/romantic [which I unfortunately didn't mention]. 

These men are pulling out all the stops to shake the foundations of the set hierarchy, so much so that thankfully this year we get to see the big time stars take on challenging roles. Salman Khan is at the least trying something different with Sultan [apparently], Aamir Khan and Hrithik Roshan are returning to their usual star driver good content roles, Akshay Kumar is once again testing the waters and branching out with Rustom, Ajay Devgan is taking leaps in his roles as director/producer/actor for a magnum opus risk like Shivaay and finally and most excitedly...King Khan, Shahrukh Khan; the actor, is back!

So thus it's not surprising to view the list of great roles this year for the men, whether nominated or just so close;

Akshay Kumar for Baby: Before this year, Baby turned out to be Kumar's finest performance...he just topped that a few months back with oh my is this man making statements. 

Kay Kay Menon for Rahasya: Terrific as the cop on the hunt, Menon with his own sense of wry humor and histrionics is a hell of a delight. 

Ranbir Kapoor for Bombay Velvet: In the hard hitting sequence of forcefully cutting his dead friends body, Kapoor is once again a revelation, proving that no matter the film; he is a genius.

Vicky Kaushal for Masaan: If it weren't for his breakthrough win then Kaushal might have no doubt been in the top five and possibly even won. 

Akshay Kumar for Brothers: I hated Brothers because of its remake status for my beloved Warrior and the butchering of that fine film but even I can't deny that Kumar pumped me up in this film, keeping me invested at least until my ticket price value washed away. 

Vinay Pathak for Gour Hari Dastaan: The sixth man. An underrated actor in one hell of an underrated performance. 

Rajat Kapoor for X: Channeling his best, Kapoor as the asshole and conflicted K feels like it comes from somewhere true and deep within him.

So that's quite a list, which makes the next five a tantalizing delight...

Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Dashrath Manjhi for Manjhi: The Mountain Man

Post the theatrical show of the film, me and my flatmate [a first time Nawazuddin Siddiqui film watcher]  couldn't help but continuously gush at the actors small moves during the film that helped wrap up his characters sweet heart nature in the early portions of the film. 

It thus reminded me, that no matter what he does; the little nuances that Siddiqui produces are what truly add a spice to his performance that makes it that much fun to watch and lets you understand why he has become such a phenomenon this past decade. 

With Manjhi he sells you on the passionate quest of a man fighting a mountain for the love of his life. It's a powerful emotion echoed through every pore in Siddiqui's body, proving that when it comes to it; nobody can touch him. 

Slowly but surely Siddiqui is also evolving as an actor and the little touches of charisma allow one to understand that his foray into mainstream cinema has had its advantages with Siddiqui channeling this to create the romantic core of the film, from scratch. 

All in all Siddiqui evolves from the molehill into that damn staunch mountain that no other person can break. 

Randeep Hooda as Charles Sobhraj for Main aur Charles

It's a hell of a performance when Hooda is able to capture the profound persona of Charles Sobhraj and really sell the man's charm, but it's even tougher than hell to not only play that charm but also consistently revel in the inner workings of Charles twisted devilish mind that one sees the man for what he is; a vicious murderer. 

Hooda gets all of that. 

First let's get the technical out of the way, a pitch perfect French-Vietnamese action and some bang on body language adds to the flavor of a performance that probes truly deep into the incidental psyche of Sobhraj. He never for once lets loose of the character, exploring dynamics of a man that has been thoroughly dissected since years. 

Randeep Hooda is slowly becoming the finest and if he keeps on delivering such performances, it wont be long before he even surpasses his mentor; Naseeruddin Shah!

Sushant Singh Rajput as Detective Byomkesh Bakshy for Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!

First of all, let's state it; it would be foolish to try and one up Rajit Kapoor's iconic turn as the Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay character from the much loved Byomkesh Bakshy television series. 

So it's great that Sushant gets a completely revamped direction to take his character, in this film; Byomkesh is at the early stages of his discovery in not being a detective but a 'Satyanwenshi' or A seeker of truth. He carries himself as such thus, having difficulties in navigating the murky worlds of detectives but thrusting with an ambition to know more and more and unravel the secrets that follow. 

Another element is the origin status of the film that form much of what Rajput does with his whole configuration, channeling both a blind arrogance, neurotic inability to understand people as well as a certain groping in the dark nervousness that helps the relationships he builds strengthen when Rajput's expressions sell a sense of betrayal [from Dr. Guha] or a sense of true friendship with Ajit [Tiwari]. 

It's a full bodied performance that goes to show the strides young actors are making and why Rajput is a man to look out for. 

Irrfan Khan as Ashwin Kumar for Talvar

Khan might now be considered a top class dramatic actor, but people forget what great comic timing he has. Taking his zingers into a dark sarcastic level, Khan delivers them with panache unlike any other actor could. 

No one can truly replace Irrfan Khan, because he brings something that is his. In a way, the international Khan has become a brand of his own. 

For a brand a star role is require and what a role it is. From the actor a star performance is needed and what a performance it is. 

His balancing act between a man crumbling under the weight of a corrupt system but never losing his smile is handled deftly in Khan's capable hands. Moments with Tabu highlight the immense struggle Ashwin has while scenes of wit are constantly stolen by the actors confident streak of competitiveness. 

Ashwin is another addition to the ever growing characters that we can truly say that could only have been played by Irrfan Khan. 

Varun Dhawan as Raghav 'Raghu' Pratap Singh for Badlapur

First of all, you have to give it up for Dhawan for taking such a risk early in his popular career and making it work. You have to give it up for Sriram Raghavan who trusted his actor to deliver. 

It's difficult to play such a part, a man seeking revenge can become a brooding figure with a monotonous expression. If you're an actor whose credibility has been question ala Varun, then the critics will hound you for this. No matter what you do, they will call you one note. 

This couldn't be further from the truth, Dhawan is a sensation as the slowly growing deranged Raghu. His quest for vengeance eats his soul from inside turning him into an empty cold heart vessel of monstrosity. Dhawan when needed provides a nice touch of humor, specifically in the flashbacks showing a side that allows the latter emotional surprise when Raghu goes to the dark side. 

Apart from that in the moments of darkness he is great with some particularly interesting points of nuance he creates from his character. Heart breaking is the scene when he dances lonely in the haunt of the collective memories of his dead wife and child. 

Is it a flawed performance? Yes, Dhawan doesn't always convince you of his age but is it a step in a positive direction? Yes and for that this nod is hopefully a big boost. 

And the Winner is...

Randeep Hooda as Charles Sobhraj for Main aur Charles!

After nearly taking the crown last year, Hooda clinches it with his career best performance and a dark horse gem that will hopefully gain fans with years to come. 

Onto the final leading acting award...

Up Next: Five women came, made us laugh, cry and fall in love...A double role that felt like two different and definite characters, A global icon balances the act between independent and pushed down, An A-List star caps of her best year with an acting highlight for the ages, A debutante makes a big splash against some tough competition and amidst them A sweet young girl leaves a hell of a mark, taking out even Salman Khan...HIndie Award for Best Actor [Female] in A Leading Role [Comedy/Romantic]

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

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