From Saif Ali Khan to Rajkummar Rao, 4 performances by A-list actors that stood out this year

Maithili Shinde
·2-min read

2020 has been a year of incredible content and memorable performances. This has also a been a rather unique year which saw some of the big-ticket films getting a direct-to-OTT release. While some actors reiterated their prowess with their performances, others surprised their audience by taking on a different avatar. Many A-listers took the path less travelled and belted out performances that are sure to remain etched in the minds of the audience for years to come.

We bring to you four such performances that brought us some much-needed respite in what can be a called a tough year:

Saif Ali Khan might have been hailed for being at the forefront of the urban romantic comedy wave in Hindi cinema but he has received raving reviews for playing characters with grey shades to the T. Earlier this year, his portrayal of a menacing villain, Udaybhan Singh Radhore, in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior won him wide acclaim. He was praised for humanising the villain and playing him with an understated swag and style. His performance was appreciated by the audience and the critics alike and he proved his versatility yet again.

Ajay Devgn is not new to epic historical sagas. In Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, he played the titular character of the Maratha warrior, Tanaji Malusare and captured the hearts of the audience once again. He won accolades for slipping under the skin of the character with aplomb and for playing him with a rare grit. His face-off with co-star Saif Ali Khan was the highlight of the film and the duo’s performances remain one of the fondest big screen experiences of the year.

Amitabh Bachchan continues to remain a favourite to this day. In Gulabo Sitabo, he played a 78-year-old curmudgeon. As a miserly, grumpy and grouchy landlord hurling abuses under his breath, he left the audience in splits. The film saw him changing the straitjacketed definition of a quintessential hero and making the unlikeable Mirza likeable and giving him a pleasant edge. Despite being flawed, he had the audience rooting for him. Needless to say, he struck a chord with his fans and the critics.

Rajkummar Rao played a Mithun Chakraborty fan in Ludo who owns a dhaba and is madly in love with his childhood sweetheart. An actor par excellence, he strikes gold yet again with a performance that both moves you and makes you burst out into peels of laughter. His character is endearing and whimsical and Rao plays his part with an appealing vulnerability. He dances when he is anxious and bursts into tears each time he meets his lady love but he left the audience charmed and smiling with his quirks.