Listing Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s best work is a tough task. With a filmography of over two decades, the Bollywood star has given one great performance after another.
As Nawazuddin turns 46 today, we celebrate his birthday by looking back at five of his finest performances.
1. Kahaani (2012)
This Sujoy Ghosh thriller was the actor’s ticket to stardom. As deputy inspector general Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui was a natural. The actor’s portrayal of an arrogant, expletive-spewing cop stands out in the league of police officers in Hindi films.
2. Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2 (2012)
One could write essays on how terrific Nawazuddin Siddiqui was as Faizal Khan, a role that has left a huge pop culture impact. While Part 1 shows him as a boy in the shadow of his father, he comes of age as a gangster in the second part. Unlike other such characters, Nawaz’s performance as a man seeking revenge was far from one-tone.
The actor took the brilliant writing several notches higher with his ability to display vulnerability and softness in Faizal’s interactions with the love of his life, Mohsina (Huma Qureshi). This was Nawazuddin Siddiqui in full glory.
3. The Lunchbox (2013)
This wasn’t Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s story, but he made it his own with his endearing and heartwarming turn as Shaikh, the antidote to everything that Irrfan’s Sajjan Chaudhary was. His partnership with Irrfan gave Hindi cinema one of the most glorious cinematic moments in its history. Nawaz’s act as happy-go-lucky Shaikh shone through without really threatening the story of the lead characters, played by Irrfan and Nimrat Kaur.
4. Badlapur (2015)
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Liak, a demon with a heart, is one of the best castings in Bollywood. Nawaz brings alive the vulnerability and naivety of the character, beautifully written by Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas and Pooja Ladha Surti. As a villain, who ends up becoming a bigger hero than the hero himself (Varun Dhawan), Nawaz is outstanding and a case study in how to perfect the art of all things grey.
5. Sacred Games (2018 and 2019)
The Netflix adaptation of Vikram Chandra’s book of the same name is a Nawazuddin Siddiqui show. As the impeccably written gangster Ganesh Gaitonde, the actor displays a myriad of emotions, which alone can be the reason to savour the Anurag Kashyap-Vikramaditya Motwane web series. The actor plays Gaitonde with the commitment of a lover and objectivity of an observer, a combination which is a rarity in actors. As he has done in the movies, Nawazuddin set a benchmark with his maiden web outing.
Special mentions: Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s exemplary filmography cannot be talked about without mentioning his terrific turn in Nandita Das’ Manto and Bal Thackeray biopic Thackeray.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines