Bollywood Villains Who Eclipsed The Protagonists
By Ashley Shoptorshi Samaddar April 16, 2023 Update on : April 16, 2023
Bollywood movies are known for their larger-than-life heroes who fight against all odds to emerge victorious. However, with the fast-evolving audience preferences, many directors over the years have been able to craft villains that not only overshadow the protagonist but also have managed to secure a place in the audience’s mind despite being ‘the bad guy’.
Let’s look at some such villains that stood against all odds, redefining the showbiz narrative where the audience fell in love with them despite their evil character portrayal.
Released in 1999, the Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta starrer phycological thriller is best known to movie buffs for Ashutosh Rana’s impeccable performance as Lajja Shankar Pandey.
Treasuring one of Rana’s most cherished performances, the Tanuja Chandra directorial production revolves around police officer Reet Oberoi’s (played by Preity Zinta) quest to track Lajja, a serial killer who believes he will be blessed with immortality in exchange for human sacrifices.
Rana beautifully essayed the role of Lajja Shankar, a religious fanatic obsessed with his superstition. Rana’s performance in “Sangharsh”, which earned him a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role, testified in favour of his acting spree while setting him up as one of the most rejoiced actors to take up negative roles in the industry.
Next up is Ra.One, a 2011 sci-fi superhero action film featuring superstars like Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor in lead, alongside Arjun Rampal.
While the movie was about the hero G.One, it was Ra.One’s character that stole the show. The charismatic villain with a larger-than-life persona was played to perfection Rampal.
Rampal’s portrayal of the character is intense and menacing, and he brings a sense of realism to the role. He embodies the character’s strength and power, making him a formidable opponent for G.One.
One of the most impressive aspects of Rampal’s performance is his physical transformation for the role. He underwent extensive training to build his physique and performed many of his stunts without the use of a body double.
Rampal’s dedication to his craft is evident in his performance, which is both convincing and compelling.
Rampal’s portrayal of Ra.One was widely praised by critics and audiences alike. He was nominated for several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in the movie.
While speaking of villains, Sanjay Dutt’s portrayal of Kancha Cheena, a drug mafia, in the remake of the 1990 film was one of his best performances till date. The 2012 remake, directed by Karan Malhotra, casts Hrithik Roshan and Priyanka Chopra in pivotal roles.
Kancha is a ruthless and powerful crime lord who controls the underworld in the town of Mandwa. He is feared by everyone in the town and is known for his violent and brutal ways.
He brings a sense of realism and depth to the character, making him one of the most memorable villains in recent Bollywood history. His performance is menacing, and he captures the character’s wickedness and brutality with ease.
One of the most impressive aspects of Dutt’s performance is his physical transformation for the role. He gained weight, shaved his head, and underwent extensive makeup to make his character look menacing and evil.
Playing Kancha won Dutt several nominations, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role, for his performance in the movie.
Standing against the handsome and strong John Abraham, Vidyut Jamwal was no less than the show stopper in the 2011 action film “Force”. Jamwal, in the role of a drug dealer and a cold-blooded killer, was vicious and evil with a ting of charm and charisma.
Being Jamwal’s ebut in the Bollywood, the actor garmered praises for his jump start and was the recipient of many awards, especially crowning him as one of the most promising debutantes that year.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2
“Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2” shocked audience when Tabu, an actress cherished for her larger than life roles and brilliant screen presence, played the role legendary character of Manjulika.
The movie is a sequel to the 2007 film “Bhool Bhulaiyaa” and has garnered significant attention due to its impressive cast and engaging storyline.
The critics and audiences alike have praised Tabu’s performance in “Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2,” with many citing her as one of the best parts of the movie. Her portrayal of Manjulika is a testament to her versatility and ability to bring life to any character she plays.
In the 2018 epic period drama Padmaavat, Ranveer Singh played the role of Alauddin Khilji, a powerful and ruthless Sultan who stops at nothing to get what he wants.
Singh’s portrayal of Khilji was a revelation. He brought intense energy and a rawness to the character that made him stand out as one of the most memorable villains in Bollywood history.
His dialogue “Allauddin Khilji chahe jitna bhi bada ho jaye, uska asli khel toh mahobbat se hai” (No matter how big Allauddin Khilji becomes, his real game is love) showcased the depth and complexity of his character.
Aitraaz, released in 2004, starred Priyanka Chopra in the role of Sonia Roy, a successful businesswoman who accuses her ex-lover of sexual harassment. Chopra’s portrayal of Sonia Roy was one of the most nuanced performances of her career. She brought a perfect mix of vulnerability and strength to the character, making her one of the most memorable villains in Bollywood.
Chopra performance as Sonia Roy not just brought her into the limelight but the actress’ effort was honoured with a Filmfare in the award category Best Performance in a Negative Role.
Funny, sweet, and humorous Riteish Deshmukh portrayed Rakesh Mahadkar, a gentle serial killer with a murky past, in the 2014 romantic thriller “Ek Villain”.
Fans were pleasantly surprised by Deshmukh’s portrayal of Rakesh, who was a departure from his typical performances. His acting was subtle, subdued, and powerful.
Deshmukh won the IIFA award for Best Performance in a Negative Role for his depiction of Rakesh.
Released in 1993, “Khalnayak” is a Bollywood action thriller directed by the legendary Subhash Ghai. The movie stars Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, and Madhuri Dixit in lead roles.
The movie revolves around the story of Ballu (played by Sanjay Dutt), a dangerous criminal who escapes from prison and goes on the run.
Dutt’s performance as Ballu was the highlights of this dramatic production. He effortlessly portrayed the role of a dangerous criminal with conviction, bringing a sense of authenticity to the character that made it hard to root against him.
Dutt’s portrayal of Ballu was so captivating that it earned him a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.
The movie also had some memorable songs, including “Choli Ke Peeche” and one song that still plays in the background being “Nayak Nahi Khalnayak Hoon Main”.
So, the next time you’re in the mood for a movie with a villain who overshadows the hero, don’t hesitate to check out some of these Bollywood classics. And remember, sometimes it’s the villains who steal the show and leave us with unforgettable cinematic experiences. As they say, a hero is only as good as his villain!