And their body of work that you should add to your must-watch list.
By Khushi Shah
There’s a horde of actors and actresses in Bollywood that don’t get enough recognition on-screen for their work. In this day and age, we often praise the main leads but forget about the supporting characters that enhance the storyline through their acting skills and versatility. Below is a list of some of the finest underrated Bollywood actors, and their body of work that you should add to your must-watch list this lockdown.
Harshvardhan Rane is an Indian actor who works in South Indian and Hindi films. While he’s certainly attained recognition in the Telugu industry, he hasn’t received much appreciation for his works in Hindi cinema. Sanam Teri Kasam (2016) was his debut in Bollywood, and ever since then I’ve been eager to see more of his movies. The story depicts a classic ‘bad boy falls for a good girl’ romance, but the intensity of emotions and portrayal of purity was rare for this industry. It was a lifetime ride for me, as I was experiencing joy, laughter, and nostalgia simultaneously with different scenes. I’m not a huge fan of sappy romantic films, but believe me this one was realistic as it didn’t display clichéd Bollywood declarations like, “I’ll go against all the odds,” or “I’ll die for my love,” and illogical decisions. Harshvardhan’s rawness and genuine portrayal of friendship and insecurities brought his character to life. He surely deserves to bag some big-budget films and stronger lead roles rather than supporting ones.
Parth Samthaan is well known for playing Manik Malhotra in Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan (2014) and Anurag Basu in Kasautii Zindagi Kay (2018). Both roles were polar opposites as Manik Malhotra was a rich, arrogant, and short-tempered brat, while meanwhile, Anurag was a cinnamon roll of a man who is sweet, caring, and obedient. After seeing him adapt to the two roles on extreme ends of the scale, manifest their personalities beautifully, and create an identity in daily soaps, I was amazed! He did attempt a few Bollywood movies and web series like Googly Ho Gayi (2016) and Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain 2 (2019), however, those didn’t do so well due to their poor storylines and production setbacks. I can already tell that he is talented, ambitious, and will surely do justice to some larger-scale films.
Shefali Shah is an Indian actress who made her film debut with minor roles in Rangeela (1995) and Satya (1998). She has proved numerous times that she’s a powerhouse of talent and deserves a lot of acknowledgement. In Waqt: The Race Against Time (2005), despite being younger than Akshay Kumar, she enacted the role of his mother on-screen and she pulled it off with her grace, adaptability, and the special aura she carries with her.
Other films that showcase her acting technique, voice, and stage presence are Dil Dhadakne Do (2015), where her character Neelam Mehra tries to deal with her husband’s infidelity, and Delhi Crime (2019), where she portrays a police Deputy Commissioner who’s dealing with Delhi’s most infamous gang rape case while simultaneously juggling her personal life. She’s definitely an outstanding actress, and has high potential to work with more prominent directors.
I saw Sameera Reddy first in De Dana Dan (2009) and fell in love with her. Not only is she gorgeous, but she’s also a capable actress who gave a powerful portrayal of a helpless brown girl being forced to commit to an arranged marriage while having a boyfriend and high career aspirations. She also played a supporting role in Race (2008), where she acted as a quirky assistant who’d still be helpful during mind games. Not many of her movies were commercial successes and she’s mainly been cast in side roles, but I think she should make a comeback as there’s great need for her acting skills out there!
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