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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Langda Tyagi from Omkara: When we were awakened to the ‘actor’ Saif Ali Khan

Langda Tyagi wasn't even the titular character in Omkara, but Saif Ali Khan made sure that it was him you remembered at the end of the film.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: July 28, 2020 2:13:48 pm
saif ali khan in omkara With Langda Tyagi in Omkara, Saif Ali Khan delivered one of his best performances.

Saif Ali Khan has played the sidekick who’s there to boost the hero’s machismo. He has also played the uber cool urban boy who flaunts his ‘Tom Cruise look’. However, despite being the commercial big ticket hero, Saif has often picked niche projects and given some performances that will probably become his legacy one day.

The 2001 film Dil Chahta Hai changed our perception of Saif. With subsequent films like Kal Ho Naa Ho, Hum Tum, Salaam Namaste among others, he became the poster boy of the big-ticket multiplex films. His audience was fixed and knew what to expect from him and just when Saif was starting to enjoy the best phase of his career, he rocked the boat but did not let it sink.

It was around this time that Saif Ali Khan picked up projects like Ek Hasina Thi, Being Cyrus, Omkara and impressed the audience with his diverse movie choices.

Now, you might say that playing Sartaj Singh in Sacred Games brought Saif back to the limelight but in 2006, it was Omkara that awakened us to the actor that Saif was and continues to be.

Langda Tyagi, based on Iago from Othello, wasn’t even the titular character but Saif made sure that it was him you remembered at the end of this film. Tyagi walks with a limp, hence the name, and with his manipulative ways and conniving tactics, he hatches a plan that is evil enough for his revenge.

Adapting Iago into an Indian setting was quite an achievement on director Vishal Bhardwaj’s part but playing him like Saif did, is what made him memorable.

In the few scenes that Saif’s character shares with Deepak Dobriyal’s Rajju, especially the one where he realises how he has been wronged by Omi, Saif’s controlled body language, confident stance, and authoritative dialogue delivery gets the audience ready for the hell he plans to unleash.

In a scene with Indu, played by Konkona Sen Sharma, when Tyagi finally gets the ‘kamarbandh’ that he plans to use as the key to all the chaos, you can see the madness that he has nested inside him spilling over.

That year, Saif won a few popular awards for this performance. But over the past few years, we have seen that Saif is an actor who impresses seasonally. But in my opinion, he is yet to top what he did in this movie.

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