Abhishek Bachchan is 44 today. Ever since he debuted in Refugee, he’s been a polarizing figure. To me, he comes across as a mild-mannered, smart individual who knows what to do when. For others, he’s the epitome of nepotism. I wouldn’t disagree that Abhishek got a damn good debut because of his lineage, but hey, he’s getting movies even after 20 years.
This guy has something going on for him, no? Normally, Abhishek wouldn’t make it to an IHC feature. Though he has some suspense in his filmography, he doesn’t have an out and out horror movie. But, now that he’s all set to play Bob Biswas in the Kahaani spin-off, he becomes one of the many names you’ll read at the IHC website in the times to come.
On his birthday, I list my top five favorite Abhishek Bachchan starrers. Some of them are not blockbusters, and they maybe tanked at the box office, but these are my guilty pleasures:
#5 The Dhoom Series
You know how this list is going to be when the Dhoom series comes this early. But then, this is a mainstream movie and Abhishek Bachchan played Jai Dixit the way it is supposed to – a subtle performance for the mass audiences. Jai Dixit isn’t a complex character. His one belief in life is to beat up the baddies and stop them, sometimes not in that order.
Abhishek has faced some great performances as Jai. In Dhoom, there was John Abraham. Dhoom 2 was the bigger sequel. In this Bollywood heist movie Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai were the USP. In Dhoom 3, there’s not one but two Aamir Khans. Now, there’s a Dhoom 4 in the works and the rumors suggest Akshay Kumar will portray the villain. More power to Jai Dixit, I say.
My guilty pleasure. Nobody can play the suave, cool, conman as Abhishek Bachchan can – and Rohit Sippy took it to himself to give Abhishek a role of a lifetime. The movie didn’t do well at the box office but has since gained a cult following. The movie had powerhouses like Nana Patekar, Boman Irani and great performances by Ritesh Deshmukh and Priyanka Chopra. Still, apna Aby Baby held his own.
Ram Gopal Varma has a special fascination with the Bachchan family. Seemingly, he married his fascination with crime and retribution and the Bachchan family by casting father and son in his crime-drama Sarkar. Amitabh Bachchan played the don, Subhash Nagre, who rules Mumbai and Abhishek Bachchan plays his younger son, Shankar. Bachchan played the character with surprising ease. He portrayed a suave, morally strong character who first is overwhelmed by the power of crime and then embraces it to become an undeniable part of it.
And then we have Mani Rathnam use his magic wand to bring out Abhishek Bachchan’s second-best in Yuva. Possibly the most hated anti-hero in Cinema history, Yuva has Abhishek Bachchan play Lallan Singh, a small-time goon with political aspirations tasked with killing off three students who want to ward off corruption.
Abhishek plays Lallan with a rare warmth that has the audience root for him even when he’s doing dastardly deeds. The important aspect of the movie is all the actors, Abhishek, Ajay, Rani, Vivek, had played roles catering to the masses earlier. All of them came out trumps when the director needed them to blend into reality, and Abhishek still came out trumps.
The one movie that had everyone stand up and take notice. This was Mani Ratnam and Abhishek Bachchan once again rousing the audiences. Guru depicts the rise, fall and rise of a businessman and Abhishek Bachchan plays the character to the hilt. The inspiring story has got a great screenplay. Mani Ratnam’s movie is specked with powerful performances by Mithun Chakraborthy, Aishwarya Rai, Madhava and a young Vidya Balan. This one is for the ages.
Looking at this top five list, its clear that Abhishek enjoys playing characters with multiple traits. Ever since he made his debut in Refugee, some of his most important movies have been entire stories of his character, including Bluffmaster and Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost. Even the roles not in this list are critically acclaimed, like Manmarziyan. All this means good news for Bob Biswas