Tahir Raj Bhasin is the new Big Baddie in Bollywood. With a terrific performance in Mardaani as a sly and stylish villain – kingpin of a child trafficking gang – Tahir has managed to impress everyone. So much so that even Aamir Khan tweeted about his performance!
Of late, the baddies in movies are given more importance and emphasis than heroes. This is probably because writers recognise that in order to make the hero’s character more powerful and impactful, the bad guy needs to be given more screen space and swagger.
Remember The Joker?
Forget Hollywood. The good ol’ Bollywood has had a long and colourful tradition of villains who have gone on to become widely popular. Some even more famous than the heroes! The last such great villain was, in all fairness, Amrish Puri.
Bad is so good that, in many instances, top heroes have given a shot at portraying villain. Sanjay Dutt in the recent Agneepath is a prime example. And, of course, Irrfan Khan in Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster Returns. Just like Irrfan, Rishi Kapoor, too, proved his versatility by turning in a brilliant negative role in Agneepath. Take Jimmy Shergill who changed his entire image from a boy-next-door to villainous roles, finally earning some credibility as an actor. Taking a cue from his friends from the tinsel town, John Abraham pulled off the baddie in Shootout At Wadala. Baddie late than never, Johnny Boy.
And if actors can do it, why not actresses? Konkona Sen Sharma and Huma Qureshi surprised the audience with their devilish acts in Ek Thi Daayan. Let’s not forget Manoj Bajpayee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui made their way into Bollywood by playing unconventional roles, ranging from grey to pure evil. Nawaz’s Kick gig comes to mind.
Desi Kattey is now the next movie to portray actors in a dark role. The trend which was started by Amitabh Bachchan back in the 1970s and Shah Rukh Khan in Baazigar and Darr in the 1990s is still being followed by today’s actors.
And, amidst all this, the villain has become the new hero in Bollywood.