Amitabh Bachchan – The Biggest Superstar ever of Hindi Cinema completely 50 years of ruling the screen today! The range of his body of work is incomparable, and he has been tremendous in everything that he has done from Action to Comedy to Drama to Extrovert to Introvert to you name it, but my favorite ones have been his serious understated types! Making his debut as the voice narrator in Mrinal Sen’s award winning Bhuvan Shome in 1969 and then with an on screen debut with Saat Hindustani in the same year, the Maestro has come a long way! The Dadasaheb Phalke honour, Padma Vibhushan, 4 national awards, 15 filmfare awards, 41 filmfare nominations and a host of innumerable other accolades and counting, his journey continues! May be his performance of the lifetime is yet to come!
It is also the opportune time for me to try listing my TOP 20 FAVORITE CHARACTERS of the Maestro! It is like searching for needles sprinkled in hay stack! Mr. Bachchan has worked with a wide range of filmmakers going extremely commercial on one end, to perfectly fitting in to the serious middle of the road cinema, and then seamlessly transitioning to the older character roles as he continued his journey in this millenium.
I personally think that his best body of work has been with Hrishikesh Mukherjee, who brought out the softer, sensitive side of the superstar like no one else. I am also not a particular fan of most of his national award winning performances (barring one), some of his most iconic characters, as well as his biggest commercial hits. Most of them were cases of trying too hard and going over the top to make a mark, and think he has done much better work in some of his other films.
I do also know that he is The most favorite for many other cine-lovers, and everyone will have their personal favorites from his body of work, hence looking forward to exchange notes as well!
So here is a ranking of my favorite roles that he played.. what will be yours? The best way to remember these performances will be to go revisit them, rather than talking about them yet again as there may be nothing new to describe in words.. So happy watching..
Honorable Mentions – Jurmana, Sharabi, Aankhein, Zanjeer, Shakti
TOP 20 PERFORMANCES
20. Arjun Singh – Namak Halaal (1982) | Prakash Mehra
19. Vijay Kumar – Trishul (1978) | Yash Chopra
18. Ravi Anand / Babu – Satte pe Satta (1982) | Raj N Sippy
17. Vikram Maharaj – Namak Haraam (1973) | Hrishikesh Mukherjee
16. Amit Malhotra – Silsila (1981) | Yash Chopra
15. Alok Prasad – Alaap (1977) | Hrishikesh Mukherjee
14. Deepak Sehgal – Pink (2016) | Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
13. ACP Anant Srivastava – Khakee (2004) | Rajkumar Santoshi
12. Subhash Nagre – Sarkar (2005) | Ram Gopal Verma
11. Moti – Saudagar (1973) | Sudhendu Roy
10. Vijay Pal Singh – Kaala Patthar (1979) | Yash Chopra
09. Prof. Sukumar Sinha – Chupke Chupke (1975) | Hrishikesh Mukherjee
08. Auro – Paa (2009) | R Balki
07. Dr. Sudhir Roy – Bemisaal (1982) | Hrishikesh Mukherjee
06. Harish Mishra – The Last Lear (2007) | Rituparno Ghosh
05. Amit Malhotra – Kabhi Kabhie (1976) | Yash Chopra
04. Jai – Sholay (1975) | Ramesh Sippy
03. Dr. Bhaskar Banerjee – Anand (1971) | Hrishikesh Mukherjee
02. Subir Kumar – Abhimaan (1973) | Hrishikesh Mukherjee
01. Shekhar Dayal – Mili (1975) | Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Amitabh Bachhan has himself always maintained that Hrishikesh Mukherjee explored the best side of him as an actor and his best performances are a reaffirming testament to the same. Yash Chopra would possibly come next.
In the hope that the actor still has enough in him to slip in a new entry into this list in days to come with another brilliant performance. He can if he chooses well. We will wait.