2014 and 2015 would be two such years that would see a record number of Bollywood personalities enacting the part of a detective. Though the genre has been in vogue world over ever since the inception of cinema, Bollywood has hardly seen it’s protagonists with a lens in hand. Especially in the recent times, such appearances have been far and few.
Here is presenting 10 such protagonists who would either be seen as detectives or have already appeared on screen in this avatar.
Vidya Balan – Bobby Jasoos
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One can’t recollect the last time a top female lead had actually played an on-screen detective for a Bollywood film. Well, Vidya Balan – who is doing quite well for herself in the B-Town – is doing exactly that with yet another female centric part after The Dirty Picture and Kahaani. With another female, Dia Mirza, as the producer along with beau Sahil Sangha, Bobby Jasoos sounds like an interesting outing.
Ranbir Kapoor – Jagga Jasoos
After Barfi! , Ranbir Kapoor and Anurag Basu would be reuniting in an altogether different stage and setting with Jagga Jasoos. Apparently, Ranbir would be enjoying his ‘Aamir Khanisque’ moment from 3 Idiots by turning into a 17 year old. One hopes that after Besharam, this experiment indeed works, especially considering the talent on board.
Sushant Singh Rajput – Detective Byomkesh Bakshi
Meanwhile, Sushant Singh Rajput, flavour of the season, was picked up before many others by Dibakar Banerjee for bringing back the legend of Detective Byomkesh Bakshi. The name still rings a bell for those who grew up watching television in early 90s where Rajit Kapur played the famous part. Now in this Aditya Chopra production, one expects a contemporary ‘avatar’ of a cool headed detective coming into play.
Rajeev Khandelwal – Samrat And Co.
Seen last year in an intriguing thriller Table No. 21, Rajeev Khandelwal’s tryst with thrills and suspense continued with Samrat And Co. The film was backed by none less than Barjatyas at the helm of affairs. What was all the more intriguing was to see the director here as Kaushik Ghatak, the same man who had earlier called the shots for ‘Barjatya’s Family Special’ – Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi (Sonu Sood, Isha Koppikar).
Akshay Kumar – Thank You
Now this one was a comic detective at play who specialised in extra marital relationships. Though the golden rule of being a detective is to not get involved into the personal lives of the client, it was just the opposite for Akshay who found himself being attracted to Sonam Kapoor, who played Bobby Deol’s wife.
Anil Kapoor – Race and Race 2
As a private detective whose fondness for fruits was no secret, Anil Kapoor was a lot of fun, especially in the first installment of Race. An opportunist who played games smartly enough to keep everyone guessing around whose part he was on, Kapoor Sr. was the one having most fun in this Abbas-Mustan affair, first with Sameera Reddy and then with Ameesha Patel.
Ava Mukherji – Detective Nani
Actually there has been a woman who has played a detective. However she was an 80s something – Ava Mukherji who played the part as ‘Detective Nani’. A popular face in the world of television advertisements and notable for playing Shahrukh Khan’s granny in Devdas, she was seen as a central protagonist in Detective Nani. She wasn’t a detective by profession in the film but did solve a crime in this ‘feel good’ film.
Irrfan Khan and Naseeruddin Shah – Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One
Private Detective: Two Plus Two Plus One – Yes, there was actually a film by this name which was made in 1997. Unfortunately though, it could never get a theatrical release. Featuring a bunch of newcomers, it was directed by Rajat Kapoor (of Mithya fame) and was an unconventional take on detectives. Released on television, the film also featured – hold your breath – Irrfan Khan and Naseeruddin Shah.
Emraan Hashmi – Gangster
As an undercover detective agent, Emraan Hashmi made a splash with Gangster. Seen for most part of the film as a bespectacled simpleton, he won everyone’s hearts, including that of the leading lady Kangna Ranaut. However he had a job in hand, to capture a gangster played by Shiney Ahuja, and in the process played everyone along. He was the kind of detective who sang ‘Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai’ in a lounge.
Shah Rukh Khan – Baadshah
A mumbling-bumbling detective who didn’t mind playing blind for the love of his life, Shah Rukh Khan was easily having a lot of fun in Baadshah. Abbas-Mustan, who know a thing or two about thrillers, looked everywhere from West to East when it came to inspirations and put together a ‘bhelpuri’ of sorts with Baadshah. Shah Rukh played to the gallery and the kids, and succeeded as well.