Where the previous year saw Bollywood make a big change in the types of stories that were being told, 2019 has been proof that innovative and thought-provoking cinema is now what the audiences are looking to watch. With this comes variety for our actors and as the years go on, it’s becoming more and more evident, that the film industry is changing for them too. BizAsiaLive.com looks at the top male performances for this year, who have managed to make their mark with critics and audiences alike.
Ranveer Singh – ‘Gully Boy’
If anyone thought Ranveer Singh has pulled all his tricks out of his bag, his role as Murad in Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’ proved that there is so much more to this actor than he lets on. Undergoing a complete transformation, playing a boy trying to make it big as a rapper from the slum, Singh’s performance was endearing, heart-warming and real. Singh’s process of surrendering himself to the character he plays is extremely evident in this film, where it seems likely that Akhtar had written this role for only him. And it will come as no surprise if ‘Gully Boy’ stands out as one of the best roles of Singh’s career.
Ayushmann Khurrana – ‘Article 15’ & ‘Bala’
Ayushmann Khurrana has come a very long way since he debuted in 2012, and it seems he is taking everything he is learning and running with it. ‘Article 15’ saw Khurrana in a completely different avatar. Known for his roles in comedy dramas, Khurrana portrayed a more serious character here as a new appointed cop, stuck in the middle of social norms and his beliefs. Not only did he play this character well, it could be said that he also used the audience as a character in the film too, where playing this role that seems to have an almost lack of emotion from the very beginning. On the other hand, Khurrana’s role in and as ‘Bala’, a man going through premature balding, is brilliant and has everyone keeping their eye peeled on him. Impressing audiences and critics alike, he is able to address all the true emotions of someone who experiences a physical life change of such sort. With all agreeing that this was in truth Khurrana’s film where he is the shining glory, it only makes fans excited to see what he will do next.
Vicky Kaushal – ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’
Where 2018 saw Vicky Kaushal finding success with supporting roles and taking the online streaming platform by storm, ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’ directed by Aditya Dhar, proved he has what it takes to also conquer the big screen as a lead. Through his role as Major Vihaan Singh Shergill, the audiences find themselves completely engrossed in his story. The addition of Kaushal playing an army officer, viewers feel a sense of pride. The actor wowed audiences with his diverse acting skills, showing intensity and emotion. Through this, Kaushal also sent a message to those who had first rejected him, saying there will be more of this to come from him.
Shahid Kapoor – ‘Kabir Singh’
It was arguably one of the films that made the most headlines but Shahid Kapoor’s male protagonist role in ‘Kabir Singh’ was one of the best of the year. This heavily flawed character had its defenders and those who absolutely hated him. However, ultimately, noone can and should deny that Kapoor’s performance was flawless. He was hugely convincing as Kabir and totally made the film what it was.
Hrithik Roshan – ‘Super 30’
Hrithik Roshan came back with a bang in Vikas Bahl directed ‘Super 30’ on the life of mathematician Anand Kumar. Roshan changed his look for the film to fit into the character and this enhanced his performance further. In this underdog story in which he helps underprivileged children become aces in maths, Roshan’s efforts are not misplaced. He shines in this character and this made for one of the best male performances of the year. He followed this up with ‘War’ this year too which also worked well at the box office.
As always, there are performances that actors have created which don’t quite qualify for our top five list but deserve a mention. Akshay Kumar in Kesari was one such performance. The film was on the Battle of Saragrahi and the actor was a complete hero in the film, taking on all the twists and turns of the plot before achieving victory. The actor has also had
Another performance was the formidable Amitabh Bachchan in Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Badla’. As a lawyer, he managed to give a straight-faced performance which added to the intrigue about his character on whether he’s there to actually help or hinder. His chemistry with Taapsee Pannu was also a joy to watch and made for enduring viewing.
It’s fair to say 2019 has given audiences a great selection of brilliant films, wonderful performances and a whole lot to think about. With social ideas developing, where voices are being heard louder than ever, this is the most exciting time for innovative and thought-provoking filmmaking within the Indian Film Industry, and audiences cannot wait to find out what the next year will hold.