As they say – “Bas naam hi kaafi hai!” Paresh Rawal — just the name is enough to draw an image in the minds of the millennials. Sometimes as Baburao Ganpatrao of Hera Pheri, at other times Teja of Andaz Apna Apna. The films that he has done have gone down in the history of Hindi cinema as some of the biggest hits of their times. For the 90s generation, Paresh Rawal is more than just a name. As the ace actor turns 67 today, we list down 10 films which just cannot be imagined without Paresh Rawal, even if we try to replace him from them.
This list has to begin with Hera Pheri. And just the name of Baburao Ganpatrao Apte aka Babu Bhaiya is enough to bring that giggle on anyone’s face. To say that Paresh Rawal was the soul of this Priyadarshan film, and even its sequel Phir Hera Pheri, won’t be wrong. From trying to stop the two men — Raju and Shyam — from turning his house into a mess to running from the villains wearing a helmet in the climax, what Paresh Rawal has done, just cannot be forgotten. We can only thank him for giving us such an epic film and an iconic role.
The man with a ‘?’ on his forehead, Paresh Rawal was someone from whom every character in the film was trying to escape, given his non-stop queries and weird line-up of any and every question under the sky. But ask the audience and they would tell how they keep waiting for him to return to screen to bring comic relief in the otherwise serious drama.
If Anil Kapoor was the heart of this political drama, Paresh Rawal was the soul and even its backbone. He played the Chief Minister’s Secretary, but with a heart. So even when he was surrounded by the goon-turned-politicians and saw his state going up in flames, he did not shed his righteousness. And when Anil Kapoor came on scene, he was ready to play Krishna to his Arjun.
Chup Chup Ke
Yet another Priyadarshan ensemble, this one had Paresh Pawal playing a greedy fisherman Gundya who readily gives away his ‘nephew’ played by Shahid Kapoor in return for money. But the way he turned desperate when his plan goes wrong gave the film some of the best moments of laughter.
A small yet interesting role, for the way Paresh Rawal played it. The money-minded landlord of Kamal Haasan, who ends up coveting ‘Chachi’ Lakshmi and forgets about the rent from his tenant, Paresh’s part looked like it was absolutely written for him.
Andaz Apna Apna
“Teja main hoon, mark idhar hai…” Only those who’ve lived through this cult film will know why this dialogue which looks too random to read is actually one of the most memorable scenes in the film. And as if one Paresh Rawal wasn’t enough to leave the audience in splits, he played a double role. When good man Ram Gopal Bajaj is replaced with his twin brother Shyam Gopal Bajaj aka Teja, who is a criminal, hell breaks loose, and that’s where all the confusion begins which only gives way to one of the most hilarious climax scenes in Bollywood.
A supporting yet beautiful role, Paresh Rawal played the only friend of Amitabh Bachchan during the latter’s hard times. Portraying a Gujarati, his daily struggles with Hindi and his adorable pairing with Lilette Dubey gave us smiles in this emotional drama.
A remarkable performance by Paresh Rawal in this courtroom drama, where he played the brutal advocate Patel, who knows his job well and can prove any innocent, a wrongdoer. The way he grills Akshay Kumar for the rape charges he files against his client Priyanka Chopra are the highlights of the film. He is cunning, he is barbaric too, and he can kill with his words.
Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge
He played the perfect uninvited guest who just refuses to go. From farting anytime and anywhere to going after the maid to giving her instructions, Paresh Rawal was in his elements again. He becomes sticky, but when he leaves in the end, the audience is teary eyed. We all fell in love with this uncle, didn’t we?
OMG – Oh My God
One of the best works of Paresh Rawal, this one had him playing the protagonist, as producer Akshay Kumar preferred to take a back seat in the supporting role. A hard-core atheist who becomes victim of an earthquake, and ends up filing for damages incurred to his shop due to the natural calamity listed under ‘Act of God’. Paresh Rawal as Kanji Lal raises several questions about religion and superstitions in the society. It is one of Paresh Rawal’s most hard hitting, yet light-hearted film.
Paresh Rawal has also some critically acclaimed films to his credit like Sardar, Sir and Tamanna. The actor is a Padmashree awardee and a National Award winner too. He will soon be seen playing the part of Sunil Dutt in the biopic of Sanjay Dutt which is being directed by Rajkumar Hirani.