FROM playing larger than life heroes to winning supporting roles, evil antagonists and quirky characters, Jackie Shroff’s glittering career is filled with standout moments.
Born on February 1, 1957, the popular Indian actor will be celebrating his 67th birthday next week.
Eastern Eye decided to mark the occasion by going through his wide body of work to select 10 of his most memorable performances.
Hero(1983): A remarkable debut as a leading man saw Jackie Shroff deliver a star-making turn as a hoodlum reformed by the love of a woman he kidnaps. The multi-layered role of a criminal on a journey of redemption showed quite comprehensively that he was destined for great things. It would start a long working relationship with producer-director Subhash Ghai, which would result in more cinema successes in a variety of powerful roles.
Kaash(1987): This Mahesh Bhatt-directed drama may have divided audiences, but what most agreed on was the impactful performance delivered by Shroff. He portrayed an actor who loses everything and gradually sees his world begin to unravel. It puts pressure on his marriage and relationship with his young child, before things get progressively worse with a terminal illness diagnosis. The actor goes through a wide range of emotions from a starry high to the darkest despair and finding a glimmer of hope in his role.
Ram Lakhan(1989): There have been a number of Bollywood movies about brothers on opposite sides of the law, and this masala entertainer from Subhash Ghai ranks right up there with the very best. He played a brave police officer fighting forces of evil, but also having to contend with a brother (Anil Kapoor), who has a decidedly different outlook on life. Shroff showed a bright heroic presence in a film that was filled with underworld characters operating on the dark side of the law.
Parinda(1989): This game-changing crime drama had stand-out performances from a solid star cast, which included Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit. But it was Shroff who received a Filmfare best actor award for his role as a reluctant gangster trying to keep his brother away from the criminal underworld. He added impact as the anti-hero and has stand-out moments from start to finish, which included an unforgettable finale.
King Uncle (1993): Although he is most known for his dramatic roles, the versatile actor showed quite clearly that he could do comedy really well in this cult classic. He played the strict head of a family who slowly sees his cold heart melted in this Hindi film inspired by Hollywood superhit Annie. The actor adds weight to this charming movie and showed that less can be more when it came to making audiences laugh.
Khalnayak(1993): The powerful title role played by Sanjay Dutt as a gangster was so impactful that it needed an actor of real gravitas to balance that out. Shroff earned himself a Filmfare best supporting actor nomination for his portrayal of a brave police officer trying to hunt down a feared criminal on the run with his own fiancée, who is an undercover cop. He injected raw emotion into his role, which included a memorable prison encounter.
1942: A Love Story(1994): By the 1990s there was no frontline Bollywood actor who was better at adding weight to a movie with a hard-hitting supporting role, and this period romance is a perfect example of that. He would win a Filmfare best supporting actor award in the Vidhu Vinod Chopra-directed drama, which saw him play a fearless freedom fighter during India’s march towards independence from British rule. He arguably has the most powerful moments in the movie and breathes fire into every scene.
Rangeela(1995): This superhit movie is remembered for things that include an amazing AR Rahman-composed soundtrack and sensual presence of Urmila Matondkar. What is often unfairly overlooked is an award-winning performance from Shroff as a movie star who starts falling for an aspiring actress. It was another movie where his talent was needed to counterbalance the author-backed lead role, which this time was played by Aamir Khan as a street-smart hoodlum who is also in love with the same woman.
Mission Kashmir(2000): From a leading man to one of the greatest supporting actors of all time, Shroff continued to evolve as a performer throughout his career.
In this hard-hitting action thriller that was very much a vehicle for then newcomer Hrithik Roshan and lead star Sanjay Dutt, he played a terrorist. Shroff added real menace to his role in a movie that earned him another award nomination and showed that he could take on any acting challenge.
Atithi Bhooto Bhava(2022): Whether it was his brilliant short film Khujli (2017) or playing an antagonist in mega-budget blockbusters, Shroff has delivered the widest variety of roles in the latter part of his career. That has included many under-rated gems like this lovely horror comedy, which was released on streaming site ZEE5. He added real charm to his role as a middle-aged ghost in this movie and received well-deserved praise.