Manoj Bajpayee’s 10 Best Performances, Ranked

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Kaun? (1999)

One of the most original 'horror' films to emerge from the derivative shackles of Bollywood, Kaun? was conceived by a landscape-altering Ram Gopal Verma at his most daring and versatile

Pinjar (2003)

Director Chandraprakash Dwivedi can be a divisive film-maker, but he has been a culturally astute storyteller. Never has this been more apparent in the period drama Pinjar, an uneven portrait of Partition that might have been labelled as a toxic Stockholm-syndrome-sympathizing love story by today's woke brigade.

Sonchiriya (2019)

Bajpayee's character dies in the first act of Abhishek Chaubey's Sonchiriya, but his spirit remains embedded in the ravines of the 1970s-set dacoit film.

Shool (1999)

In a role that can best be described as a hybrid of Sunny Deol's Angry Young Man and Nana Patekar's Angsty Young Man, Bajpayee taps his Bihari roots and infuses the honest-cop stereotype with tremendous grit and middle-class texture for the Ram Gopal Varma-written crime drama.

Bhonsle (2020)

Arguably the actor's most physical performance comes in the form of a retired Maharashtrian police constable living in a Mumbai chawl.

The Family Man (2019-Present)

Raj & DK's hit Amazon series straddles so many genres at once – action, social satire, espionage thriller, slice-of-life dramedy, morality drama – that it organically allows for a Greatest Hits Mixtape of Manoj Bajpayee.

Satya (1998)

Just as Satya isn't a movie so much as a lexicon of the Mumbai gangster epic, Bhiku Mhatre isn't a character so much as a time on the clock of the city's cinematic language.

Gali Guleiyan (2018)

In an ambitious meta-physical drama that draws parallels between the cramped geography of Old Delhi and the dusty insides of a protagonist's head, Manoj Bajpayee delivers a masterclass as a crumbling character who is both a person and a place at once.

Gangs of Wasseypur I (2012)

While Prakash Jha's Rajneeti (2010) and Aarakshan (2011) are officially considered to be Bajpayee's comeback after years in Bollywood's neither-hero-nor-character-actor wilderness, it's Anurag Kashyap's two-part crime epic that actually marked the actor's return to the upper echelons.

Aligarh (2016)

There's something about Manoj Bajpayee playing ageing, persecuted and defeated men – he lends disgrace the dignity of loss, and tragedy the gingerly grandeur of an underdog story.