There are several entities that are responsible for making a film what it is but what always catches our eyes is the cast. The performance of the cast is always crucial because that’s what we overtly discern in the entire runtime of the film and that’s what connects us, if at all, to the story being told. Thus, any shortcoming in the same can prove catastrophic for the entire film. Though not a very good year for the films in total, 2017 did witness some amazing performances, some of which are still etched in our mind and hopefully will be so for long. The year literally belonged to the supporting actors as most of the best acts were delivered by them ruling over the prime faces of the film and you shouldn’t be surprised if you find many such names in the list that will follow.
Honourable Mentions: –
Lalit Behl – Mukti Bhawan
Deepak Dobriyal, Irrfan Khan – Hindi Medium
Shah Rukh Khan – Jab Harry Met Sejal
Akshay Kumar – Toilet: Ek Prem Katha
Pankaj Tripathy, Raghubir Yadav – Newton
Shah Rukh Khan – Raees
Anil Kapoor – Mubarakan
10. Ranbir Kapoor – Jagga Jasoos
Phenomenal is the word to illustrate what Ranbir delivered in this musical. There is no doubt that he is among the best actors in our country at present and if Rockstar and Barfi couldn’t convince you, this one surely will. His act wasn’t a simple one but you wouldn’t feel that thanks to his effortlessness on screen. Kapoor proved it yet again that he could nail any sort of character he is provided with and set the screen on fire like always. All you need to do is to let him know about it.
9. Manav Kaul – Tumhari Sulu
This entry might surprise most of the readers but I do not regret putting Manav Kaul’s name in this list. Acting alongside Vidya Balan and making an impact when that lady has a meaty role isn’t less than any sport and Kaul probably championed it with his delectable performance in Tumhari Sulu. Competing as well as complimenting with the female protagonist, he understood when to take the limelight and when to let the other person shine. I hope this becomes a career defining performance for him.
8. Akshay Khanna – Ittefaq
Ittefaq should have belonged to the lead characters and surprisingly even Sidharth Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha did really well. But the one who eanred the spotlight was the Khanna who overpowered every actor on the screen and dominated unabashedly for the entire premise. He was powerful, commanding and sometimes even terrifying enough for the audience to sympathise with the convicts. Ittefaq was supposedly the comeback film Khanna needed but he made it seem like the film needed him more than he did.
7. Rajkummar Rao – Bareilly Ki Barfi
To be honest exactly, this film didn’t amuse me as much as it has been hyped by people and for the right reasons. The film began (and continued) with so many idiotic mistakes that I and my movie partners were kind of distracted and disgusted with the lack on intellect it exhibited. Things turned their way when Rao got the charge of the film and he was remarkable as he eclipsed the leads and made a lasting impact on not only the audience but the movie in total. So if you ended up liking Bareilly Ki Barfi (I still didn’t) it’s all because of Rao or should I say badass babua. *Winks*
6. Nawazuddin Sidiqqui – Raees
Although in accordance to the plotline the characters of Siddiqui and Khan were kind of competing against each other, in reality it was Sidiqqui who reigned throughout the film’s run beginning with his pelvic thrusted entry. He was confident in his screen presence and sharp with his dialogues, seldom faltering in any montages no matter how difficult his acts were supposed to be. Just like Rao in Bareilly Ki Barfi, Sidiqqui may have been the chief rationale behind the likeability (of whatever could be liked in a poorly executed film) of Raees.
5. Saurabh Shukla – The State Vs Jolly LLB 2
He did it in the first part and he did it again in the sequel without any remorse or guilt for overshadowing acting talents like Arshad Warsi and Akshay Kumar. No doubt his character was meaty and well written but executing his act wasn’t a cakewalk. Not only did Shukla deliver with sheer excellence but also made himself look like the protagonist in disguise. While most actors can’t really repeat the magic of their performances in the sequels (in comparison to the original film), this veteran thespian surprisingly bettered himself and we loved it!
4. Vikrant Massey – A Death In The Gunj
An excellent film starring an equally sterling actor in the lead is a treat to watch. Vikrant Massey has made a very steady ascend from TV to movies and has given some really good performances but this one is his career best (as of now). He portrayed the complexity of his character magnificently exhibiting emotions ranging from ebullience to exasperation and lugubriousness. He nailed each and every sentiment his character possessed and managed to gain the viewers’ sympathy with his poignancy. Massey may be exceeded by other actors in this list but I won’t really mind if he picks up a few awards because he deserves it!
3. Adil Hussain – Mukti Bhawan
It’s obvious for the viewer to connect to a dramatic performance and hence most actors tend to be tad dramatic on screen than what it should be in reality (and rightly so). Very few actors actually make an impact without being dramatic rather by being more natural and to the ground, Adil Hussain’s performance in Mukti Bhawan was one of those very few. The effects of his rendition are not outright visible, they just take over slowly with the passage of time and you find yourself in his character’s shoes thinking and contemplating like him. Even though Lalit Behl had a more poignant character, it was Hussain whose acts glorified the melancholy of the film and ensured that the audience connected itself to the movie and its story.
2. Rajkummar Rao – Trapped
Wonderfully directed by Motwane and even more magnificently performed by Rao, Trapped was probably one of the most cringe-inducing film of the year. The ordeals that its protagonist (i.e. Rao) goes through are extremely disturbing and the perfection of Rao’s performance makes it even more heart-rendering. What was best about this performance was its naturalistic nature. Given his role, it was only obvious to expect a highly dramatic rendition but Rao held his ground and gave an insanely believable performance and that justifies his elevation in this list.
1. Hrithik Roshan – Kaabil
There are several instances when we single out an amazing performance in a bad film (a few even feature in this list) but it’s extremely rare to witness a performance that makes a bad film look good and render it likeable. If you carefully analyse Kaabil, you will get enough mistakes to call it a terribly made film but when I actually saw it I liked it! I knew all its shortcomings but I still liked it and the reason was the impeccable and immaculate performance that Hrithik Roshan delivered. Not only did he improve the cinematic quality of the entire movie but made it seem believable also. The film was made fun of by several trolls on social media before its release owing to its seemingly lack of logic of the film but everyone was silenced once it hit the screen and the credit goes to this man. Very few actors currently working in Bollywood could actually pull off such feats and hats off to Roshan for being so powerful and so unpredictable in his performances.