ABHISHEK BACHCHAN has delivered a diverse range of performances in various genres across an acting career which began in 2000 with the cross-border drama, Refugee.
As the popular actor celebrates his 48th birthday next Monday (5), Eastern Eye decided to mark the occasion by highlighting his top 10 performances, listed in chronological order.
Yuva (2004): After playing positive roles, Bachchan showed his acting ability with the role of a hitman working for a ruthless politician. He won multiple awards for a grey character who is trapped between the dark underbelly of crime and a devoted wife. Ace director Mani Ratnam brought out the best in Bachchan with a multi-layered role filled with powerful moments. The actor provided the perfect counterbalance to the positive characters played by his co-stars.
Dhoom (2004): The action entertainer was Bachchan’s first big hit as a leading man and spawned a massively successful franchise. He demonstrated genuine heroism in his depiction of a police officer relentlessly pursuing thieves on turbo-charged motorbikes. Such was his gravitas that he returned to play the super cop in sequels opposite villains portrayed by Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan, respectively. Each time he held his own against a strong star cast.
Bunty Aur Babli (2005): The story of scammers on a criminal rampage saw the actor deliver a great comic turn opposite Rani Mukerji. His high-energy performance, filled with fun moments, included taking on multiple personas as the con artist. The actor had great chemistry with Mukerji and shared the screen space with his father, Amitabh Bachchan, who portrayed a cop hot on their trail. Abhishek delivered a memorable performance, including the unforgettable musical number, Kajra Re.
Sarkar (2005): The powerful Bollywood adaptation of the iconic Hollywood film, The Godfather, demanded strong performances and the cast, led by Amitabh Bachchan in the title role, duly delivered. Abhishek was superb in his role inspired by Michael Corleone, as the good son who is reluctantly dragged into the family’s criminal enterprise. He showed great screen presence with a powerful character that made a massive impact, setting the screen alight.
Bluffmaster (2005): The crime comedy based on the 2000 Argentinian movie, Nine Queens, saw him play a suave conman who turns alcoholic and one day agrees to train an eager protégé. He added gravitas to the role, making a character played previously by another actor, his own. Abhishek showed off his acting range in the cleverly constructed comedy caper that had plenty of twists. His many great scenes boosted Bluffmaster, turning it into an audience-pleasing entertainer.
Guru (2007): Abhishek once again teamed up with Yuva writer and director Mani Ratnam and delivered his career-best performance in a film that was rumoured to be based on the life of industrial tycoon Dhirubhai Ambani. He played someone who goes from being an ambitious young man with big dreams to becoming a successful businessman in old age. The film sees his physical, visual and emotional transformation in the challenging role, which earned best actor award nominations.
Dostana (2008): The path-breaking musical revolved around two flirtatious characters who pretend to be gay in order to rent a room in an apartment, with a beautiful woman they both eventually fall in love with. The actor once again showed his great comic timing in the America-set comedy of errors. He had funny moments throughout the entertaining film, including with his co-stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and John Abraham.
Raavan (2010): The contemporary retelling of a story based on ancient Indian epic Ramayana may have been a commercial failure, but still had brilliant performances from lead stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan. The actor was simply superb as the vicious gang leader who kidnaps a married woman and ultimately undergoes a transformative journey. He transformed every aspect of himself, including his body language, appearance and mannerisms, for the decidedly dark character, brimming with unpredictable qualities and contrasts.
Bob Biswas (2021): In recent years the film star has crossed new creative horizons with grey-shaded characters that are dramatically different to the ones he has played previously. He completely transformed his whole look to portray a hit man, who wakes up with amnesia after eight years in a coma. The actor took on a character originally portrayed by another actor in the 2012 thriller Kahaani and made it his own. The captivating performance was filled with surprising moments and multiple emotional layers.
Ghoomer (2023): One of the most underrated movies of recent years didn’t get enough credit. The unique story of a gifted female cricketer who loses an arm and is coached towards sporting glory by a washed-up and embittered player was powered by its lead performances. Abhishek brilliantly played the failed cricketer-turned-coach. He once again transformed his entire look and gave the movie added depth with his presence. He injected raw emotion into each scene and had great moments with co-star Saiyami Kher in a story that was ultimately about not giving up.