In the theatre circuit, many know him as the clown who has featured in Rajat Kapoor’s plays like C For Clown, Hamlet and Nothing Like Lear. He is also widely known for his cutting-edge work in experimental theatre; his last play Piya Behrupiya is a huge runaway success. This powerhouse theatre artiste appeared in Talvar as Paul, an investigating officer who further messes up the already questionable investigation process of a double murder case, and brings in his own prejudices into the case. If the idea was to make the audience revolt against it, he succeeds in achieving that.
The talented theatre artiste who burst into the celluloid world as a Jain monk in Ship of Theseus, played two very interesting, and quite different, roles this year. In Detective Byomkesh Bakshyhe played an over-the-top and almost flamboyant character with grey shades while in Talvar he was brilliant as a restrained Delhi-based dentist, who is facing the charges of murdering his daughter and a domestic help.
In his pursuit of balancing commercial fare with that of indie, Nawzuddin Siddiqui has been essaying some colourful characters. After showing shades of villainy in Kick in 2014, he was back in yet another Salman Khan-starrer, Bajrangi Bhaijaan. As a breaking news-chasing local reporter in Pakistan who becomes Khan’s ally in the latter’s mission of reuniting a young girl with her family, Siddiqui brings in some much-needed lighter moment that keeps the audience engrossed. He delivers his now-famous line in the film — “Begum tum phir boli?” — with a comic touch that only he can offer.
In Baahubali, where the sets are grand and the characters are larger-than-life, Duggubatti as Bhallaladeva appears as the powerful and egoistic antagonist. With his large-frame and toned body, he is the perfect opponent for the protagonist Prabhas. The actor, who recently turned 30, made the audience sit up with his very first scene in the film: in a show of might, he fights an enraged bull.
He is the chameleon who made the audience gasp with his cunning move. In Talvar, he is the trusted assistant of Irrfan, who is investigating a muddled up double murder case. They form a good team, complementing each other and displaying heartening camaraderie at work, till he switches sides, biting the bait of getting a promotion and other benefits. This sly move of his takes Irrfan aback. It also jolts the viewers.