What is it about Anurag Basu characters that makes them endure long after the movie’s ended? No matter how outlandish the universe they inhabit, at their core are familiar, comforting characteristics we might recognize in a friend or neighbour. Some of them encompass the best of humanity, some, the most absurd. But they’re all memorable. Here are 4 we love:
Tuti Futi from Jagga Jasoos (2017)
In a world filled with grown-ups embroiled in dangerous grown-up adult activities, Tuti Futi (Saswata Chatterjee) locates the child within himself and consequently turns into the kind of parent every child wishes for. He helps Jagga (Ranbir Kapoor) work around his speech impediment by urging him to sing instead of talk, bringing a lightness and musicality to the child’s life. He’s the kind of person who jumps into puddles on rainy days and records home videos for each of his son’s birthdays. His abrupt disappearance breaks Jaggas’s heart, and by extension, that of the audience who he’s endeared himself to.
Lata Kutty from Ludo (2020)
Nurse Lata Kutty boasts of having a thick skin, but still looks out for the people who don’t. She stands up for a junior colleague who’s being bullied because of her Malayali accent, inviting her to lunch and reading out her horoscope in a kind, maternal way. Lata’s relationship with the don Sattu is one of the highlights of Ludo. She sneaks him a cigarette when visiting hours are over, he bludgeons her assaulter to death. Under her care, Sattu transforms from a foul-mouthed grouch into a caring partner.
Monty from Life In A…Metro (2007)
Monty (Irrfan) is weird. Shruti (Konkona Sen Sharma) thinks as much when they first meet as prospective matches for an arranged marriage. He lies about being a teetotaler, says he’s been on dates with 28 women so far and blatantly ogles her. But he’s not without his redeeming qualities – he sticks his neck out to help Shruti get a job and listens to her vent about her cheating brother-in-law. Over time, they develop a heartwarming, if unusual friendship. Monty is unromantic till the end – when Shruti turns up at his wedding day to say she loves him, his only response is that the bridal gown he has isn’t in her size. What follows is a great climactic chase.
Sub-Inspector Sudhanshu Dutta from Barfi
The staid, respectable Sub-Inspector Sudhanshu Dutta (Saurabh Shukla) is a perfect foil to the exuberant, fun-loving Barfi (Ranbir Kapoor). He shows up to apprehend Barfi during his many elaborate pranks but isn’t written as someone malicious, out to spoil the boy’s fun, but as someone just doing his job honestly. When he complains that chasing Barfi has turned his 52-inch waist into a 42-inch one, you laugh, but simultaneously feel for him. Despite all the trouble Barfi gives him, he saves him from being framed for murder. Dutta insists he’s simply doing what’s right and doesn’t have a soft spot for the boy, but it’s obvious that’s not true.