Here are my favorite Top 5 performances this year. It is interesting to note that it has 3 females actors and the top 5 has four performances which were biopics.
5. Sonam Kapoor(Neerja) : Right from the time the trailer of Neerja released, we could see the sincerity in Sonam’s eyes. No one apart from her could have played a 23 year old model turned air-hostess with so much ease. The movie gives her complete scope to show diverse emotions of happiness, abuse and finally courage. Watch out for the scene where she is at the dining table with her family and she reads out the letter written by her abusive husband to her father.
4. Swara Bhaskar(Nil Bate Sannata): Not many people would have seen this movie since it could not sustain the power of big movies before and after its release. But Swara Bhaskar in Ashwini Iyer’s Nil Bate Sannata(meaning zero divide by zero) as a doting mother who wants her daughter to succeed was absolutely fantastic. In fact in the movie she even goes to the extent of joining the school herself to pose as a competition to her daughter. There are in fact several scenes which leave you moist eyed. If you havent seen the movie, buy your DVD copy now.
3. Sushant Singh Rajput (MS Dhoni-The Untold Story): I think this was the toughest role of the year. To look and act like someone whom the entire country has seen, loved, adored and even hated at times that too from a field which is severely popular in India is a huge task but Sushant as Mahindra Singh Dhoni was just Dhoni himself. Not an expression more or less. What was worth praising was his special efforts to look like Dhoni; on and off the cricket field. Although the movie received criticism was not exactly being the “untold” story; this performance breaks into the top 3.
3. Aamir Khan (Dangal): The toughest part for a seasoned superstar is to underplay himself to a character. Specially when it is a role where you carry the carry the movie on your shoulders and hand over the last 30 mins of the movie including the climax to the other cast members. Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh Phogat gets into the skin of the character completely and brings to life one of finest movies this year. It is really difficult to single out a special scene from the movie because Mr.Khan was just superb through the movie.
2. Alia Bhatt (Udta Punjab): If there has been once actor who appears to be experimenting with her roles, it is Alia Bhatt. With Udta Punjab she took it to a different level altogether. She plays Pinky Kumari, the outsider in Punjab who gets trapped into the world of drugs. Her demeanor, her accent and her look in the movie was a wake up call to all those critics who thought she can just play a fashionista next door. Watch out for her scenes with Shahid Kapoor where she responds, “Kaise na aayega re achcha time?” This performance really came close to making it to top spot.
1. Manoj Bajpai (Aligarh): You would for sure not agree with me if you havent seen this movie. Manoj Bajpai as Prof.Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras in Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh was simply stellar. It is important to note that in movies where story is no longer a suspense factor; all you need is convincing performers. That is where actors like Manoj Bajpai comes in who give it everything. Its a sensitive story about a gay professor who does not like to classify sexual preferences and the conservative society he lives in. I think this performance from Bajpai surely deserves a National Award.