One of the most difficult lists, as always it is, is to look back at the performances and films that impressed you the most, and choose only 10 out of them. It is very challenging and at the same time, quite enjoyable too. Ah, anyway, it is time for me to do the stuff, and choose ten of the most impressive performances by a male actor in Bollywood this year. The list isn’t pertaining to any film’s box office performance, and even the quality of the movie (looking at you, BB2), but how the actor manages to come out trumps despite the odds, or in some cases, even using the odds to enhance the performance. Best Films of 2022: From Alia Bhatt’s Gangubai Kathiawadi to Ayushmann Khurrana’s An Action Hero, 10 Hindi Films That Impressed Us the Most This Year!
In this special year-ender feature, we choose 10 best performances (in no particular order) by an actor in 2022 in Hindi Cinema. You are free to offer your suggestions and feedback in the comments section below.
Rajkummar Rao in Badhaai Do and Monica, O My Darling
Rajkummar Rao in Badhaai Do and Monica, O My Darling (Photo Credits: Junglee Pictures and Netflix)
Rajkummar has his consistent habit of making to the best actors’ list nearly every year. This year, two performances of the actor do it for him. Badhaai Do shows what a beautiful performer he is, blending humour with tenderness, as he strips emotional layers off Shardul’s sculpted physique to reveal a vulnerable and scared core. In Monica, O My Darling, he plays well with the greys of his character, an ambitious young man forced to take some extreme steps to maintain his status quo. Special mention also must be given to hs troubled cop act in HIT.
Bobby Deol in Love Hostel
Bobby Deol in Love Hostel (Photo Credits: Red Chillies Entertainment)
Bobby Deol seems to have found a resurgence in his acting career playing with negative roles, what with Aashram and now Love Hostel (let’s forget for a moment, Race 3 exists). In Love Hostel, Deol plays a cold-blooded, bigoted killer with a deadly precision who has no qualms in killing his own kin when it comes to getting to his target. It is a chilling performance from the actor, and makes him one of the most underrated antagonists in recent times.
Ranveer Singh in Jayeshbhai Jordaar
Ranveer Singh in Jayeshbhai Jordaar (Photo Credits: YRF)
In a year that celebrated alpha masculinity, Ranveer Singh took on a role that goes the other way. While that effort was not rewarded at the box office, it is still one of the finest performances by the actor known for his penchant of taking roles that allows the performer in him to shine (again, let’s forget Cirkus exists). Nailing the meekness and the accent consistently, Ranveer makes Jayeshbhai a loveable protagonist 2022 doesn’t deserve.
Kartik Aaryan in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Freddy
Kartik Aaryan in Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2/Freddy (Photo Credits: T-Series and Disney+ Hotstar)
What a year Kartik Aaryan has had! He had delivered one of 2022’s biggest blockbusters in Hindi in BB2, confidently stepping into Akshay Kumar’s shoes and bringing the required fun swag and charisma to the performance. Then there is Freddy, where Kartik takes a very tonally different route with his act, and yet emerging trumps playing a meek but sinister-revenge seeking dentist.
Varun Dhawan in Jugjugg Jeeyo and Bhediya
Varun Dhawan in Jugjugg Jeeyo/Bhediya (Photo Credits: Dharma Productions and Maddock Films)
Another actor who had a really good year as an actor was Varun Dhawan. In JJJ, he was really good as the emotionally down-in-the-dumps young man, dealing with his crumbling marriage and and his father’s infidelity. Bhediya has the actor do full justice to what is could be a physically taxing role, while also getting the comedic beats right.
Vijay Varma in Darlings
Vijay Varma in Darlings (Photo Credits: Red Chillies Entertainment)
Vijay Varma is an absolutely wonderful, wonderful actor and his Hamza in Darlings is definitely one of his best performances. The actor succeeds in bringing an unpredictable trait to his character, often scaring the viewer as to when he will turn from the sweet-acting husband to a terrifying abuser. Varma breathes enough menace into that character to make him the film’s most interesting character.
Dulquer Salmaan in Chup: Revenge of the Artist
Dulquer Salmaan in Chup: Revenge of the Artist (Photo Credits: Pen India Limited)
Dulquer Salmaan is an absolute showstopper of Chup. In a character that is challenging to play on screen, Dulquer is stunning in the scenes where his character get into the dark recesses, and whether you are familiar with his earlier work in Malayalam cinema or not (or haven’t watched Sita Ramam yet), I have a feeling that you are bound to end up liking him more after this. Year-Ender 2022 Recap: From Dulquer Salmaan in Chup to Vijay Varma in Darlings, 10 Villains We Loved to Watch in Bollywood This Year!
Hrithik Roshan in Vikram Vedha
Hrithik Roshan in Vikram Vedha (Photo Credits: Reliance Entertainment)
Look, I still prefer Vijay Sethupathi’s fabulous performance as Vedha in the OG Tamil film. But there is something about Hrithik Roshan’s dark, manic and intense performance that is nothing short of arresting. Bringing a larger-than-life aura to a role that allows him to play both hero and the villain, Hrithik Roshan continues to surprise us with the diverse range he can bring to a performance, even today.
Ayushmann Khurrana in An Action Hero
Ayushmann Khurrana in An Action Hero (Photo Credits: Colour Yellow Productions)
An Action Hero is one of this year’s best movies, and the two principal actors has a major role in making that happen. Just when you accused Ayushmann of sticking to his kind of cinema (which is a strange accusation since he was labelled ‘unconventional’ for his brand of cinema once), Ayushmann goes ahead and does an unconventionally ‘conventional’ action role, bringing a zestful energy to a well-written character. Year-Ender 2022 Recap: From Shah Rukh Khan in Brahmastra to Akshay Kumar in An Action Hero, 7 Bollywood Cameos That Left Us Pleasantly Surprised!
Jaideep Ahlawat in An Action Hero
Jaideep Ahlawat in An Action Hero (Photo Credits: Colour Yellow Productions)
In a year of some really good negative roles – see Vijay Varma in Darlings and Dulquer in Chup – Jaideep Ahlawat definitely stands out with his menacing swagger, and just killing it as a vengeance-seeking politician who doesn’t mind getting his own hands dirty to kill his brother’s murderer, even if it means going globe-trotting.
Honourable Mentions: Diljit Dosanjh in Jogi, Amitabh Bachchan in Jhund and Goodbye, Siddhant Chaturvedi in Gehraiyaan, Shantanu Maheshwari in Gangubai Kathiawadi, Shreyas Talpade in Kaun Pravin Tambe?, Shahid Kapoor in Jersey, Anil Kapoor in Thar, R Madhavan in Rocketry, Jaaved Jaaferi in Jaadugar, Ranbir Kapoor in Shamshera,Pavail Gulati in Goodbye, Ajay Devgn in Drishyam 2 et al
(The above story first appeared on The Hamden Journal on Dec 31, 2022 10:03 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website thehamdenjournal.com).