Birthday Love: Anil Kapoor’s most memorable films

Kirat Raj Singh



Known for his evergreen youthful looks, this week sees Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor celebrate his 64th birthday. A veteran of more than 100 Hindi films, Kapoor has also represented the industry overseas in films such as ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’.

In his 40-year career, Kapoor has proven himself in typical masala film roles and offbeat ones too. He has succeeded as an action hero, a romantic lead and comedian too, winning six Filmfare and two National awards along the way.

On the occasion of his 64th birthday, looks at back at some his most memorable films.

‘Mashal’ (1984) – Having just made his film debut as lead actor the year before, Kapoor was still a newbie to the industry when he was offered this role which had been previously turned down by both Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Hasan. Starring alongside legendary actors Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rahman and Amrish Puri, Kapoor portrays a loveable vagabond in this action drama and walked away with all the accolades (literally) winning his first Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actor.

‘Mr India’ (1987) – A rare Hindi science fiction superhero action comedy, both Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan turned down the lead role before it was given to Anil Kapoor. A cult classic even today, the film went on become the highest grossing Indian film of that year and played a pivotal role in cementing Kapoor’s position amongst the top league of Bollywood stars. On the centenary of Indian Cinema, ‘Mr India’ was included amongst one of the 100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time.

‘Lamhe’ (1991) – The critically acclaimed film was one of the few films that picked up the Filmfare Award for Best Film despite its moderate business in India. It instantly became one of Bollywood’s biggest hits in the overseas market and video circuit and is listed in Outlook magazine’s list of All-Time great Indian films. The bold and previously unheard story is often considered way ahead of its time and gave Kapoor to showcase his sensitive, sophisticated portrayal of both a heartbroken young man and a somber man inching towards his mid-forties while retaining his innate shyness.

‘Nayak’ (2001) – In this remake of Shankar’s Tamil blockbuster ‘Mudhalvan’, Kapoor’s character in the film shows that what he can accomplish as a Chief Minister in one day. Though it’s largely bombastic and crowd-pleasing, its anti-corruption sentiments and rampant red tapism resonate in conviction thanks to Kapoor’s credibility and dynamism. Refraining from stereotypical heroics, he doesn’t conceal his nervousness nor play down his determination. Achieving popular cult status over the years, Kapoor is still fondly remembered for his outstanding performance in the scene where he interviews and accepts the challenge from the sitting Chief Minister.

‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ (2016) – No other film in his career, till date, has brought Kapoor more honours than this 2016 Comedy-Drama, winning the Best Supporting Actor Award at six different awards including the prestigious Filmfare and IIFA. Having given a stellar performance as the manipulative patriarch and businessman, Kapoor was at first hesitant at accepting the role who he claimed was “completely opposite to his real self.” The film went on to debut at number nine at the UK Box Office and earned over 160 Crore Rupees worldwide.

Anil Kapoor will next be seen in Netflix’s ‘AK vs AK’, alongisde Anurag Kashyap. The film will premiere on Netflix on 24th December 2020.