The actor material...
ST looks at the top five actors of 2017 who wooed the audience with their performances
With every passing year, we see the roles of Bollywood actors getting redefined. Till a few years ago, the heroes were mostly macho, superhero types. Now, they are experimenting with their roles and shedding their star persona, to play real-life characters.
For instance, Salman Khan played a dim-witted man, whom people called Tubelight, and therefore the title of the film. For once, Salman did not take off his shirt or beat up 10 goons with one punch. Even though the film flopped, many appreciated the risk he had taken.
Shah Rukh Khan also attempted two diverse characters with his releases this year. In Raees, he played a gangster inspired a real life character, whereas in Jab Harry Met Sejal, he played a tourist guide, who is a womaniser. Hrithik Roshan played a visually challenged man in Kaabil out to take revenge for the death of his wife.
However, the actors who walked away with all the accolades and admiration from the audience and critics, were Irrfan Khan, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rajkummar Rao. And, the actor who left an impact on all, was Prabhas as Baahubali. His performance will be remembered for a very long time.
Irrfan Khan (Hindi Medium and Qarib Qarib Singlle)
One of most talented actors in Bollywood, Irrfan Khan has created a niche for himself with content-driven films. He has no qualms playing characters which are relatable and his age. He was the highlight of Hindi Medium, where he played a love-struck husband, who goes to great lengths to fulfil his wife’s dreams, including shifting to a posh area in Delhi, for the sake of their daughter.
In Qarib... we saw him as a poet, who goes on a trip with a widow, whom he meets on a dating site. Irrfan got the best lines here, and proved yet again that his comic timing is impeccable.
Akshay Kumar: (Toilet: Ek Prem Katha)
The Khiladi of Bollywood keeps impressing critics and audiences with his choice of films. His role in Toilet... is one of the most loved characters of 2017. He plays a man who does all he can to support his wife so that she need not go for open defecation, and later builds a toilet for her. His next film Padman, is inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu, who has been making cheap sanitary napkins.
Rajkmmmar Rao (Bareilly Ki Barfi, Trapped and Newton)
The year 2017 has been exciting for the actor who had three theatrical releases and a web series to his credit. All his films were not only critically acclaimed but also did well commercially. Rajkummar’s role in Trapped was highly appreciated, whereas he ate the barfi and the malai with his act in Bareilly... The actor has already won an award for Newton and is expected to win all the major nominations this year.
Ayushmann Khuranna (Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan)
The actor is becoming the face of independent cinema in the country. Ayushamann Khuranna has been signing roles that no star actor will attempt. From playing a sperm donor (Vicky Donor) to someone having erectile dysfunction (Shubh Mangal Savdhaan), Ayushmann has garnered love from the audience.
Prabhas (Baahubali: The Conclusion)
Rarely does an actor give five years of his professional life to one project. But Prabhas did it for Baahubali. The actor worked on his body language and his war scenes, and thus stood out in the film. Post Baahubali, Prabhas has become one of the sought-after actors in Indian cinema.