Gathering together around a television set to watch ‘Antakshari’ was a popular weekly affair for most south-Asian families in the 90s. Seen as India’s first rendezvous with reality television, the musical game show wrapped up in 2006 after a 13-year-long run, but not before turning its host Annu Kapoor into one the most recognised faces in the industry. Having stumbled into the acting arena because of family’s circumstances rather than any personal passion, Kapoor went on to win his first National Award for his role behind the camera, as director for the film ‘Abhay’ (1994).
In a career spanning 39 years, Kapoor has now cemented his place as one the most critically acclaimed actors ever to grace the silver screen. To mark his 65th birthday, BizAsiaLive.com looks back at some of Kapoor’s most memorable roles.
‘Vicky Donor’ (2012)
The man on the lookout for the best sperm (donor), Kapoor did an incredible job portraying the role of Dr. Chaddha, a doctor running a sperm bank in Delhi. Having watched the film, we could not think of anyone else who would have been able to characterise the role of the desperate fertility expert better. Kapoor managed to bring a sense of laugh out loud humour to an otherwise serious character and story. In the film, Kapoor finds the family fertility history of Vicky, persuades him, begs him and even ends up helping him reconcile with his wife. The scene in which he explains how sadhus granted the wish to a childless mother back in times has audiences in splits whilst not deviating from the underlying message. No wonder Kapoor walked away with no less than seven awards for his role in this film, including the National Award and Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.
‘Jolly LLB 2’ (2017)
If Kapoor can be the funniest part in a film, he can be the most cunning one too. In ‘Jolly LLB 2’ he plays a time hardened prolific lawyer named Pramod Mathur, who can go to any lengths to ensure the innocence of his client, even if he is guilty. His scenes opposite Akshay Kumar in this courtroom drama were intense and his dialogues were hard-hitting. As Advocate Mathur, Kapoor proved yet again why he is a seasoned actor. Kapoor not only gives Kumar a solid run for his money throughout the film, but eventually even comes out on top.
‘7 Khoon Maaf’ (2011)
Of course, we all knew he had to die, like all of Susanna’s husbands in the film, but the time he got to spend with her were funny yet intense. Kapoor played a man totally smitten by this woman and could do anything for her. Kapoor’s story was titled ‘Pyaar Ki Keemat’ and he was Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s fifth onscreen husband. As a police officer, he saves his ‘Madame’ from prosecution for two murders in exchange for marriage. As a man with an immense appetite for sex, who is dependent on Viagra, Kapoor was one of the best parts of this dark film.
Another one where Kapoor plays a lawyer but this time, he’s fighting from the good side. The film addressed the story of a man accused of sexual harassment by his female boss. As the legal counsel protecting Akshay Kumar in the film, Kapoor adds his own light moments to the story, and even suffers a near fatal accident for his case. Kapoor was a strong pillar in this thriller, in which not only the performances but the concept was progressive on a lot of levels.
‘Mr India’ (1987)
Kapoor had a small yet memorable role in this cult classic sci-fi superhero film. He played Sridevi’s boss and the newspaper editor Mr. Gaitonde, whose biggest struggle in life was the frequent cross connections on his office telephone. And amid all this, he had to believe the existence & non-existence of a man who was, well, invisible. His rendezvous with Mr. India where he almost saw the unseen through signs and a chair, was a laugh riot!
Annu Kapoor will be next seen in ‘Chehre’ (scheduled to be released in 2021) and his Punjabi film debut in ‘Phatte Dinde Chakk Punjabi’ (2021).