Best in Show - From Shah Rukh Khan to Tillotama Shome | 2023 Wrap

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Amruta Subhash in Lust Stories 2 (The Mirror)

Subhash plays Seema, the househelp who uses her employer’s apartment to have sex with her husband.Subhash plays Seema with vulnerability and dignity, she doesn’t let you judge her.

Gagan Dev Riar in Scam 2003: The Telgi Story

Gagan Dev Riar is an uncut diamond. His presence seeps into every frame – a supporting character trying to trick the spotlight into focusing on him – thus turning Telgi into a larger-than-life kingpin who looks jarringly like life itself. 

Gulshan Devaiah in Dahaad

Devaiah’s Devi Singh, whose name means “goddess”, champions a brand of beta masculinity that may not be as flashy as standard machismo, but it’s very much its own brand of cool. Devi is the good cop not only during intense interrogations, but also at home.

Harman Baweja in Scoop

Harman Baweja made a quiet but terrific comeback in Scoop. He plays the senior police officer Harshvardhan Shroff who is as charming as he is sinister.

Jackie Shroff in Mast Mein Rehne Ka

Shroff plays Kamath, a 75-year-old widower who spends his days feigning a sense of routine and purpose. He is a recluse, but not by choice. Shroff is wonderful as Kamath, a man who is trying to conquer his fear of attachment in the twilight of his life.

Kay Kay Menon in Farzi

The terrific Menon, as villain Mansoor. Kay Kay Menon has long been one of Hindi cinema’s most reliable character actors and as Mansoor, he reminds us why he’s had that reputation. 

Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub in Scoop

In a show teeming with guilty consciences and abandoned ideals, journalist Imran Siddiqui is its conscience. Imran is a role written to inspire courage, and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub does him justice.

Mona Singh in Made in Heaven

Singh makes it a point to play Bulbul as unlikeable initially, making her both unpredictable but also adding  nuance and underlining the importance of not sticking to first impressions. Mona Singh was one of the few highlights of the second season of Made in Heaven.

Rajshri Deshpande in Trial by Fire

Rajshri Deshpande as the grieving Neelam is the furious conscience of Trial By Fire, refusing to be subdued or forgotten. This was a performance that seemed to reach out of the screen to pull the viewer into the world of Trial By Fire.

Ranveer Singh in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Rocky Randhawa was the year’s favourite gym-bro.This film is buoyant because of the irresistible energy of Ranveer Singh. It helps that Singh can switch from humour to earnest emotion – without diluting either – in the blink of an eye.

Shefali Shah in Three of Us

Shailaja Patankar, played wonderfully by Shefali Shah, is a middle-aged woman at the onset of dementia, overcome by the urge to revisit a small Konkan town from her past. 

Sidhant Gupta in Jubilee

There have been few breakout, show-making performances on streaming quite as exciting and endearing as Sidhant Gupta’s in Jubilee. Gupta lived up to the spirit of his character and mirrored Jay’s arc.

Survinder Vicky in Kohrra

In Kohrra, Suvinder Vicky is incredibly lean in his reading of a Sikh man blind to his own shapelessness. Special mention: Vicky gets fantastic support from Barun Sobti, who plays Garundi, Balbir’s deputy.

Tabu in Khufiya

Only an actor of Tabu’s calibre can pull off such a poised performance in an otherwise shaky film. There’s a thairaav (gravitas, for the lack of a better translation) in Krishna Mehra, or KM, Tabu shows how artistry can lift the text to become more than it is on paper.

Tillotama Shome in The Night Manager

Shome is an absolute delight. She gives dissent a sense of personality as a woman at odds with the male-dominated vagaries of the system she occupies. She also manages to weave some humour in this otherwise joyless show. 

Vijay Varma in Dahaad

Vijay Varma is the manifestation of patriarchal power. Varma plays Anand as a man who has read the news, studied his setting, stayed abreast with its politics, and perfected his pattern over time.

Vikrant Massey in 12th Fail

What makes Massey’s performance special is how natural and unmannered he seems. There are no tics or mannerisms, just the everyday rhythms of a man growing into his own, sculpted by his experiences and held together by his grit.

Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan

As Vikram Rathore, Khan walks with swagger, fights with panache, and brings us a man who isn’t daunted by his age, but rather amused that anyone would think being older could be a drawback.