Sunny Deol and his ‘dhaai kilo ka haath’ have remained an integral part of our films for decades. Audiences prefer to see him as a one man army, fighting the villains with inhuman strength, as the bad guys fly past in the frame due to his stormy punches. He shouts, he extracts hand-pumps, he expresses anger through those intense eyes, and he does everything that is practically impossible from any normal man in the normal world. But, who cares, until his fans are going gaga over his superhero act.
Sunny, who ruled the silver screen in 1980s-1990s as an action hero, is also a recipient of two National Awards. His 2001 film Gadar remains one of the biggest successes Bollywood has seen till date. Even his portrayal of a fearless Major in Border gave him an image which was rock-hard from outside, yet soft from inside. Sunny Deol was recently seen in Poster Boyz playing a selfie-addict man. His comic timing was spot on. Well, a serious look at his filmography definitely boasts of movies which are not about his muscular act. He has played a lover boy, danced around trees (of course in his peculiar style) and even made us cry.
As Sunny paaji (as his fans love to call him), turns 61 today, we remember the films which were way beyond his ‘dhaai kilo ka haath’, and had him donning an image beyond his action avatar.
There was action, but Sunny was far away from that. He plays a lawyer, the last hope of Damini who was out to fight the rich brats. Of course, his famous ‘dhaai kilo’ dialogue was from this film, but that was just to shoo away the goons. Sunny barely got into his action act. We loved his heavy-duty courtroom act much more including ‘tarikh pe tarikh’.
Finding your place in the same frame with Sridevi is surely a task, especially when the actor is doing what she does best – comedy. Sunny Deol managed to do just that in ChaalBaaz. He was her silent lover, who majorly expressed through those eyes, the same eyes which seldom turned red in anger in his other films!
One of his successful home productions, Apne had him teaming up with his father Dharmendra and younger brother Bobby for the first time. The film was a drama weaved around the sport of boxing. And all the punches Sunny threw were inside the ring. It was all about family bonds.
Unlike the name, Sunny Deol was nowhere involved in generating ‘darr’ (fear) in the hearts of the audience. He was indeed the adorable and caring husband who stood like a shield for his wife when an obsessed lover (Shah Rukh Khan) tried to make their marital life hell. There was action, but that was a part of the inevitable climax. For the rest of it, it was all about mushy romance and chemistry between Sunny and Juhi Chawla.
Yet another one starring Sunny and Bobby, this was more about their brotherly bonding and how both are ready to sacrifice their love for the other when they fall for the same girl. With some hummable songs and lovely moments, Dillagi showcased more of Sunny’s shy smile and close-ups than his biceps.
6. Yamla Pagla Deewana
The comic franchise was yet another in-house family production for him, where Sunny did not disappoint. He danced, and danced a lot! Playing his favourite Sardar character, he also romanced a blond wife onscreen. Sunny can pull off comedy with quite an ease, Right?
Here’s wishing a happy birthday to Sunny Deol!