Bollywood baddies

The villains who remain iconic till today

Cinema

December 17, 2019

/ By / Kolkata

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One of the main ingredients of a Bollywood masala movie are the big, bad, scary and mean villains.  Some of these villains have left a lasting impact in the minds of movie enthusiasts with their impeccable performances.

The 2012 blockbuster thriller movie Kahaani gave us the bespectacled Bob Biswas, who left the audience speechless every time he blurted the humble words “Nomoshkar, ami Bob Biswas” (Hello, I’m Bob Biswas) after he met his target and then shot them dead in the next moment. The deceptive LIC agent cum contract killer with an innocent smile is getting a movie of his own with Abhishek Bachchan taking up the mantle from the Bengali actor Saswata Chatterjee who made the role iconic. This may mark Bollywood’s venture into mainstream villain films which are quite popular in Hollywood.

While Bob Biswas was a deviation from the stereotypical portrayal of villain who have a patent vicious laughter, a good physique and all kinds of evil expressions, Bollywood movies have had a few iconic villains who have left their mark in the history of Indian cinema. Here are few such villains:

Gabbar in Sholay (1975)

“Yeh haath humko de de Thakur” (Give this hand to me Thakur), “Joh darr gaya samjho marr gaya” (Who gets scared they die) are few of the most imitated dialogues made iconic by the villain Gabbar Singh in the 70s that has transcended all generations. His loud voice and notorious laugh is something which every Indian must have come across even if they haven’t watched Sholay. The character was immortalized by the late actor Amjad Khan who surprisingly wasn’t the first choice!

A dacoit with an evil laugh, Gabbar lead a group looting and plundering the villages in the district of Ramgarh. Even the BBC had compared the impact of Gabbar Singh on Bollywood to the impact that Darth Vader had on Hollywood. Anupama Chopra, a film critic had said, “He’s like Darth Vader in Star Wars, pure evil, utterly terrifying and a cool baddie.”

Shakaal in Shaan (1980)

Inspired by movies of west, Kulbhushan Kharbanda’s Shakaal was perhaps the first hi-tech villain in Bollywood. With his own island with sharks and crocodiles, he was the epitome of coolness with fancy gadgets. A wicked but sophisticated baddie, the character was highly influenced by James Bond’s villain Blofeld.

While the movie didn’t make much impact at the box-office, Shakaal became iconic with dialogues like “Yeh zahreeli gas dheere dheere mehfil ko aur rangeen banati rahegi” (This poisonous gas will slowly slowly make this party more colourful). He remained evil till his dying breath as he tried to blow up the whole island to kill the protagonists along with him.

Mogambo in Mr India (1987)

“Mogambo khush hua,” (Mogambo is happy) is one of the iconic line from this movie stuck in our head other than the special watch which could make one invisible. Even Google knows it- as soon as you type Mogambo, it gives you the option khush hua! Touted as one of the best villain in Bollywood the character was played by Amrish Puri. Dressed in strange costume with an ornate cane and throne and with a band of loyalists, he represented the definition of evil for that decade.

Even Hollywood director Steven Spielberg had once remarked, “Amrish is my favourite villain. The best the world has ever produced and ever will.”

Rahul Mehra in Darr (1993)

Known as the king of romance in Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan had played the part of a psycho, obsessive lover in this film. Rejected by a lot of actors, apparently Shah Rukh accepted the role just because no one was taking it up. Even the father-son duo Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra were not much impressed by Khan.

Acting out the role of an obsessive stalker, Khan even overshadowed the main protagonists and showed his mettle as an antagonist. “I love you, K-K-K-Kiran” became an iconic dialogue of this film which is imitated even today.

Lajja Shankar Pandey in Sangharsh (1999)

Ashutosh Rana, known for his portrayal of villainous characters, played the role of Lajja Shankar Pandey, a religious fanatic character who believed that killing and sacrificing young children will make him immortal. His blood-curling screams and chanting are nothing short of a nightmare.

Rana even won the Filmfare award for Best villain and got positive reviews for his acting. While film critic Madhu Jain said that Rana’s performance was one which “remains searingly etched on the mind”, critic Mukhtar Anjoom described his performance as “outstanding”. He has few other unforgettable villain characters like Gokul Pandit in Dushman, DIG Jai Singh Rana in Baadal and others.

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