2018 Reflections: Top 5 male performances of the year

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2018 has been a big year for Bollywood. With new faces, fresh performances and a whole host of creative stories, not one similar to the other. At a time where social conduct is changing where more voices are being heard and supported, there has been no time more crucial than ever before, for the industry to win over the hearts and minds of their audiences. Despite more interesting role for women are being produced, giving them a space to shine in their own right, the men of the industry are also being forced to push their boundaries with challenging roles. BizAsiaLive.com looks at the best top male performances to have come out this year.

Ranveer Singh in ‘Padmaavat’ & ‘Simmba’
Having already established himself as a top favourite amongst audiences and critics alike, many were eagerly waiting to see how Sanjay Leela Bhansali would make Ranveer Singh’s character different from the last film they did together, and how the actor would execute it. Regardless of the high hopes audiences had of Singh already, he shocked, surprised and stunned every single one of his audiences with this role. Playing an ultimate villain, Singh managed to portray a role that levels that of the other great villains of Bollywood. Singh then ended the year with another bang, with Rohit Shetty’s ‘Simmba’ as a bad cop turned good. Much like his role in Bhansali’s directorial, there was no other actor who could have pulled of this off as well as Singh. Depicting a perfect Shetty hero, Singh was a complete breath of fresh air with his role as Simmba, where he added to the immense energy that comes with many of Shetty’s films. From the style to the accent, Singh captured his character right down to a tee, making him an instant hit.

Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Sanju’
Talks of Rajkumar Hirani presenting the true story of his close friend Sanjay Dutt had been doing the rounds for months, and it became almost unbelievable when he had signed the timid, calm, small framed Ranbir Kapoor to play the part. But as anyone who had seen the film would say, it was the best decision the film maker made for the whole project. Kapoor immersed himself with this role at every stage. So much so that as the film played on, audiences almost forgot about Kapoor and felt they were actually watching Dutt play himself. Though the story itself leaves the audiences much to think about, there was no doubt in saying Kapoor exceeded himself with this role more than ever. And with the actor being rather selective with the films he chooses, only made audiences want to see more.

Shahid Kapoor in ‘Padmaavat’
With his co-stars already having worked with Bhansali, there was much to wonder as to how Shahid Kapoor would fair in one of his films. Though the actor had a whole host of different roles under his belt, this was one film that would either make or break him. And did he make it his own or what? Playing the hero, fighting for his woman, with his endearing looks and perfect body,  Kapoor matched up perfectly to his leading lady and the notorious villain. In perfect Bhansali style, Kapoor fit into the wide shots, glamorous sets and pulled off the extravagant costumes with sheer valiance. Just like his co-star Singh, this role proved as a turning point for Kapoor as an actor, where he proved himself to those who had ever questioned his talent.

Ayushmann Khurrana in ‘AndhaDhun’
Playing a character who has a disability has always been one of the biggest challenged actors face, and getting it right is always the most important part of their performance. However, the likes of Ayushmann Khurrana who plays a blind man in this Sriram Raghavan directorial, makes it look like a breeze. This was, in fact, a difficult character to play, where he gets himself into all kinds of situation, however, with Khurrana being such a chameleon, he performs this role with all the right aspect, engrossing his audiences to not only believe the story but his character completely. And as with every serious actor’s dream, his performance had a long lasting impression on all that come to watch the film. The actor also had a hit with ‘Badhaai Ho’ this year.

Akshay Kumar in ‘PadMan’
With biopics having become quite the favourite for filmmakers, it can still be rather difficult to get right. However, with having an actor like Akshay Kumar on board such a project, one is bound to feel a little relieved of having a job well done. And Kumar fails to disappoint in the role of Lakshmikant Chauhan, the simple village husband who make a huge difference to women’s hygiene after finding out what his wife, mother and other women in the village do when it come to their menstrual cycle. This true and heartfelt story of man’s determination to make a difference in something that he would have to otherwise think about, is brilliant developed through Kumar playing such a character. As many of his other roles, Kumar completely surrenders to this role, where it becomes evident through his performance that this is a subject that he also feels strongly about. As the audiences are exposed to this magnificent story, it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing such a character, where Kumar yet again proves he still has a lot more under his belt, and there is a lot more to come.

Special Mentions
It’s fair to say, there doesn’t seem to be anything Shah Rukh Khan can’t do, and being crowned the King of Bollywood for being the ultimate romantic, even as a dwarf, he manages to steal the hearts of all his admirers in one go. Playing the role of the obnoxious Baaua Singh, who uses being vulgar as a shield to make up for his height, that twinkle in his eye, that dimple from his smile and the soft words of a perfect romantic aren’t too far away from Khan’s hero personality. Though the film leaves it’s audiences a lot to think about, there’s no question in Khan still being able to hold that big title he is so well known for, even in a very unconventional role.

2018 has definitely been Vicky Kaushal’s year so far.  With the likes of ‘Sanju’ and’Raazi’ under his belt, where his performance was received extremely well this year, it was the portrayal commitment-phobe Vicky Sandhu that stands out from rest.  Having to share the screen space with the likes of Abhishek Bachchan, Kaushal manages to stand on his own and be noticed, where even as he is off-screen, he remains in the audience’s thoughts. This is also quite a relatable character, where the actor portrays many different characters in one. Being placed in a scenario not much different to many in serious relationships, Kaushal portrays a character who is strong-headed however his fragility and vulnerability is shown through his anger – a skill not many actors are able to get right. If this is what the actor can already do now, it’s a wonder to see what else he will come out with in the future.

With 2018 being such a roller-coaster for filmmakers, performances, music and stories, only makes it all the more exciting for what the next year will hold.

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