5 times Riteish Deshmukh excelled in non-comic roles!

Anish Mohanty

In this week’s big release ‘Marjaavaan’, Riteish Deshmukh will be seen as a menacing villain. ‘Pata hai kameenepan ki height kya hai? 3 foot!’, a vertically-challenged Vishnu (Ritesish) tells Raghu (Sidharth Malhotra) in a promo of the film. Though Riteish has built a career on comic roles in ensemble films, he has played non-comic characters on more than one occasion. Read on…

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Here is a list of five films featuring Riteish Deshmukh in which in which he excelled and proved that while he is great at doing comedy, he can do justice to a wide variety of serious roles as well.

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Ek Villain : In this Mohit Suri directed film, which was ‘inspired’ from the South Korean thriller ‘I Saw The Devil’, Riteish played, a man who is frustrated owing to an unsuccessful career and a nagging wife. He releases his frustration and anger by knocking off women who either talk rudely to him or get into a tiff with him for some reason. Riteish surprised the audience with his villainous act and his performance was one of the highlights of the film. Milap Milan Zaveri, who had written the dialogues for the film, now directs him in ‘Marjaavaan’.


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Tujhe Meri Kasam : In his debut film, Riteish played the quintessential romantic hero which every aspiring actor wishes to play in his first outing as a lead actor. In the film, Riteish was paired opposite Genelia D’Souza (now Deshmukh) who, as we know, tied the knot with him in 2012 a few days before the release of their film ‘Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya’. Though the film did average business in most of the states, it turned out to be a super-hit in a couple of states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, even completing 100 days of run in a couple of cinemas. As is the case with films produced by Ramoji Rao, the film never came out on home video or satellite but still gets re-released every year in a couple of theatres in smaller centres and runs to packed houses.


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Bardaasht : This E. Nivas film did not do very well upon its release and has not aged well either but if you are somebody who has seen this film, you will realise that Riteish put across a very good performance as a young man who gets shot by a bunch of police officers for no reason. Bobby Deol was playing the main lead and Riteish had a supporting role in the film but he left an indelible impression with the material he got to work with. The film did not do much for his career but gave him his first big hit song in the form of ‘Janaabe Ali’.


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Darna Zaroori Hai : In ‘Imaginary Ghost’, one of the multiple stories in the film, Ritesh played the role of Altaaf, a student of Professor Sunil Khanna (Amitabh Bachchan) who has come to the professor’s place for a study session. Professor Khanna starts pointing to Altaaf in different directions and warns him about the presence of a ghost. Initially, Altaaf gets irritated but then, realising what is happening around him, he tries to escape. This was a treatment-heavy film and both the actors did a fine job in keeping the audience’s interest and the tension in the atmosphere alive.


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Lai Bhaari : Riteish made his big Marathi debut with this Nishikanth Kamat directed film and a big debut it was. ‘Lai Bhaari’ was an out-and-out masala film and used several tropes which one has seen being used in films of this genre. It was a massively entertaining film and the kind (in terms of genre and style) that has not been made in Marathi cinema in a long time. Riteish played a double role – he was the suave and sophisticated Abhay and the rugged and rustic Mauli. These are the kind of roles he did not really get to play in Hindi films and he made the most of it. The film ‘Lai Bhaari’ surpassed all the box-office records to become the highest grossing Marathi film of all time at the time of its release.

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