Rajkummar Rao is a Bollywood fan favorite. Even though the actor made his debut nine years ago, it was only recently that his talents were recognized widely. In the last three years, he has been a part of 13 movies, most of which had him starring as the lead actor. He has won three Filmfare Awards (with seven nominations), three Star Screen Awards, and two Zee Cine Awards (with five nominations for each). He has also bagged a National Award and Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award, given to only the best artists in the industry. He is one of the most bankable actors in Bollywood today and any movie starring this talented genius definitely makes for a great watch. While Rajkummar Rao has over 30 movies in his kitty, here are his top 10 performances:
Kai Po Che! (2013)
2013 was a year of critical and commercial success for Rajkummar Rao. It began with this buddy drama film co-starring him alongside Sushant Singh Rajput and Amit Sadh. The movie had a world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, becoming the first Indian film to be featured in the World Panorama section. Rajkummar also bagged his first Filmfare nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
The actor’s first of many collaborations with director Hansal Mehta came with this biographical drama film based on the life of lawyer and human rights activist Shahid Azmi. Rajkummar played the titular role in the film, which was screened across the world at film festivals in Toronto, New York, Stuttgart, Mumbai, Dubai, and Chicago. Apart from winning his first Filmfare, Rajkummar also bagged the National Film Award for Best Actor.
Rajkummar’s second collaboration with Hansal Mehta paired him opposite Patralekha, whom he has been in a relationship with ever since. The film was a remake of the BAFTA-nominated British film Metro Manila and was considered a commercial success due to its very low budget. Here, Rajkummar effectively portrayed the plight of a poor farmer who moves to the city for a livelihood.
Yet another collaboration with Hansal Mehta, this biographical drama had Rajkummar sharing the screen with Manoj Bajpayee, who essayed the character of Aligarh University professor Ramchandra Siras. While Bajpayee bagged a Filmfare, Rao was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for this film.
This was the movie that truly brought Rajkummar Rao into the limelight. Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, Trapped was a survival drama film which had Rao hogging the screen all by himself for the most part of the movie. The film premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2016 and upon its release in the subsequent year, it was critically acclaimed. Rao even bagged the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor and the film won two more awards.
Bareilly Ki Barfi (2017)
In the same year, Rajkummar also bagged a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his dual personality in Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s romantic comedy. He starred alongside Ayushmann Khurrana, playing a meek salesman who pretends to be the tough guy to Kriti Sanon’s Bittu. The movie was a commercial success and all the actors were lauded for their performances.
Rajkummar’s biggest breakthrough in 2017, however, was this black comedy-drama, which was also that year’s official Indian entry for the Oscars. Directed by Amit Masurkar, the film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, receiving critical acclaim and its subsequent release in India was also a critical success. Rajkummar was once again nominated for Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor and even received an Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actor.
Omerta was the closing film at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2017 and its critical acclaim garnered an early release in the subsequent year. Another biopic collaboration between Rajkummar and Hansal Mehta, this film had the actor essay the character of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British terrorist who played a key role in the assassination of Daniel Pearl. It was one of Rao’s darkest characters, very different from his usual roles, which he portrayed with exceptional tact and finesse.
Rajkummar Rao’s biggest commercial success to date was this Amar Kaushik-directed horror comedy film, starring the actor opposite Shraddha Kapoor. Made on a small budget of INR 25 crores, the film’s gross earnings amounted to INR 180 crores. It also bagged 10 Filmfare nominations, along with Best Actor for Rajkummar. He eventually won the Star Screen Award for the role.
Judgementall Hai Kya (2019)
Rajkummar Rao’s second movie of this year was Prakash Kovelamudi’s black comedy, which reunited him with this Queen co-star Kangana Ranaut. The film ran into a number of controversies early on which hampered its box office results but that did not stop critics from raving about the lead actors’ performances. Rajkummar was once again experimenting with his negative side and his portrayal of the dark character was the perfect match for Kangana’s crazy persona in the film.
Rajkummar Rao’s next film is yet another comedy entertainer titled Made in China. The Mikhil Musale directorial pairs him with Mouni Roy, while the supporting cast includes talented stars such as Paresh Rawal, Boman Irani, and Gajraj Rao. The movie is all set to hit theatres later this month, so stay tuned for updates by clicking on the ‘Interested’ button below.