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As I think of my favorite artists in Indian cinema and their finest moments, I realize that the ones whose performances come to mind are the ones that have not been recognized by either the critics or the audiences. The main reason for these performances going unnoticed is because the movie itself did not reach the highest platform at the box office. It’s rather heartbreaking that performances are taken for granted due to a movie’s box office fate. However, it is understandable why this would be the case. So here is my small effort to get these performances an ounce of recognition and appreciation that they I think they deserve.
Abhishek Bachchan — Shararat
Today when most people think of his best performances, Yuva, Sarkar and Guru come to their minds instantly. However, for me his most admirable performance is from very early on in his career, Shararat. The movie went unrecognized as did AB junior’s performance. Abhishek had a golden opportunity with this character to showcase his talent because the character went through a series of phases and I was so thoroughly impressed to his see him grasping this opportunity with both hands and utilizing it so effectively. Sadly, his work went unnoticed but I’m glad to say that at least his talent hasn’t.
Vivek Oberoi — Dum
Vivek’s career has been a somewhat odd ‘bhool bhulaiya’ (mix up or confusion) of his personal and professional life, and amidst this confusion many performances have gone unrecognized. His performance in Dum, in particular, went unseen. Again, I find that a movie from early on in an actor’s career has the most impressive performance. If there ever was a performance of his that shook me to the core, it was his portrayal of Uday Shinde. For an actor to have such a screen presence at such an early point in his career is very admirable. Indeed a shame that this performance went so unnoticed.
Ajay Devgan — Chori Chori
He is sixteen years old in the industry with two national awards to his name, and I still feel that Ajay Devgan has not received an ounce of recognition compared to what he deserves. To list the movies and performances of his that deserved so much more appreciation than what they actually received would take me a whole another article so I am shortening my vision to recent years and one performance that stands out is Chori Chori. On the whole, the movie too went ignored as did a performance that I was in awe of. Now here is an actor who I would like to see make some serious waves in the coming years. Hopefully, the tables will turn now with Ajay having debuted as a director.
Sushmita Sen — Filhaal
I wouldn’t be surprised if many people have not even heard of this particular movie. It was disregarded thanks to the lack of big names and promotion. Filhaal was indeed a remarkable film by Meghna Gulzar that was filled with admirable performances, in particular by Sushmita Sen. She’s another actress who is yet to get her share of recognition. This performance especially was one of the most natural and commendable performances of her career. Sadly, it was overlooked but like we all know, Sushmita doesn’t stay unnoticed or out of the lime light for too long. I am confident that she will surely get the share of recognition she deserves.
Shah Rukh Khan — One Two Ka Four & Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani
It might be rather surprising to find King Khan on this list, but believe it or not, I feel that some of his best performances have been absolutely ignored. One Two ka Four and Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani are amongst those. Thanks to the movies not getting the warmest welcome by the box office, SRK’s performances in both these movies also went unnoticed. With One Two Ka Four we saw his chemistry with kids, another fellow actor (Jackie Shroff) and most importantly a slight sight of him as an action hero – something I rarely find when I search through my collection of SRK films. On the other hand, PBDHH gave us a chance to see SRK playing a patriotic character, which he hasn’t done too much of surprisingly. In particular, post interval portions of both these movies for me are SRK’s finest moments. I guess there is not a huge regret regarding these performances being ignored because his talent has been anything but ignored in the industry!
Hrithik Roshan — Naa Tum Jaano Na Hum
Yet again another actor on my list that you perhaps may not expect since Hrithik has gotten his fair share of recognition, but to me, for all the wrong reasons. He got recognition for Dhoom 2 which I felt was not his best performance. However, amongst the list of his finest performances I have to include his portrayal of Rahul in Naa Tum Jaano Na Hum. Once more, a performance on my list that comes from a very early stage of an actor’s career. For me, all of Hrithik’s finest performances come from this time of his career as I believe they are some of his most sincerest performances till date. NTJNH is special to me because of the character that he played. Some may find it illogical, but the performance has to be one of the most natural by Hrithik. The main beauty of his performance in NTJNH was that it wasn’t dramatic dialogues or scenes that did the magic for me. Instead, they were simple things like expressions in songs like ‘Tum’ or just one liners that left me in awe. It was a performance that is undoubtedly amongst his most heartfelt and natural ones.
Amisha Patel — Bhool Bhulaiya
If I was ever to point out an actress who has tremendously grown as an artist, it would have to be Amisha Patel. In the past couple of years, the opportunity to showcase her talent has been rather limited, but I believe that a capable actor will shine even in the smallest role. Amisha was exactly that in Priyadarshan’s Bhool Bhulaiya where she was only seen for barely thirty minutes, yet she definitely left an impression on me. You really saw how much she has grown as an actor. Sadly the performance didn’t get as much appreciation as it should have. I am confident that Amisha will shine in the coming years.
If I were to thoroughly list the performances that I believe are underrated, one feature would definitely not be enough so I have cut this journey short here. I hope that if you haven’t checked out any of the above performances, you will do so and hopefully be as impressed as I was.