Manoj Bajpayee is a phenomenal actor, yet highly underrated. His filmography easily has more than 50 films and yet after the 1999-released Satya, it wasn't before Gangs of Wasseypur in 2012 that the industry realised how an actor indeed had arrived. This is pretty disheartening because all of us know how talented he is and how impactful a character becomes just because he is playing them. Bajpayee has been struggling for the most part of his career (that is a pretty common story in the film industry) and yet managed to get out of the typecast web and emerged as a star that he is.
Today, the actor turns 48; let`s see five of his performances that are highly underrated:
This psychological thriller with a highly twisted plot enjoys a cult status now. The character and performances were immensely gripping. While Urmila Matondkar walked away with all the appreciation for her work, Manoj Bajpayee's incredible performance somewhere took a backseat.
We might forget the name 'Shool' but no Indian (specially from UP and Bihar) can forget the girl who sang "Main aayi hu UP Bihar lootne". This Ram Gopal Varma film was one of the early political action drama based in Bihar. The film received a National Award but didn't quite fetch the recognition for Manoj Bajpayee.
A partition period drama, Pinjar starred Manoj Bajpayee and Urmila Matondkar. In a chaotic setting of rivalry, revenge and partition, both actors delivered terrific performances. Bajpayee even received a National Award for this movie but this movie as critically-acclaimed as it was and not particularly successful commercially.
Most people would not even remember the release of this film. Amid controversies, critics hailed this film as an honest and real effort. Another critically-acclaimed movie in the kitty for Manoj Bajpayee. It is still surprising that two National Awards didn't get him the recognition that one well-promoted movie did. It is truly said that "Industry mein jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai."
It can quite be said that Manoj Bajpayee is admired by a lot of people but that "lot" couldn't get this marvelous movie the audience it deserved. Aligarh is a masterpiece of a movie that moves beyond the stereotypes and myths associated with homosexuality. It is a true picture of how homosexuality is looked at by the majority of people in the country and remains unaccepted. His performance was both moving and real.
All these movies do not prove him to be less acclaimed as an actor. It is just that the industry has probably become more PR-driven and those who do not follow the trend often tend fall behind.
We wish Manoj Bajpayee a very happy birthday. Sir, we love you and your work, and are eagerly waiting for your next release – Sarkar 3.