Good stories are always driven by well-written characters. When these are performed by great actors, the characters are given a life and become unforgettable. Here are my top 5 characters from films and web series.
Chunni from Makdee (2002)
She is cunning and wicked. She makes a fool of others but she is very appealing in her mischievous acts. As a child, I was drawn by Shweta Basu Prasad’s incredible performance as Chunni. At first, you tend to hate Chunni as she fools her twin sister Munni and other villagers but the moment she uses her cleverness to save her sister from the witch, you stand by her. Be it the pranks she plays on the villagers or the way she impersonates her twin sister, Chunni is so convincing as a character that I felt her tangible presence as a child. The song “Panga” still reminds me of Chunni’s paradoxical wickedness and innocence.
Sid and Aisha from Wake Up Sid! (2009)
It would be unfair to name Siddharth Mehra (Ranbir Kapoor) without mentioning Aisha Bannerjee (Konkona Sensharma). Their synergy is subtle but powerful. Aisha transforms Sid from a pampered kid to a mature man and in this process, she also transforms herself in her outlook towards love. The thing that draws these two characters together despite their age difference is their creativity. While one wants to become a photographer and the other a writer, their simple love story speaks of a lived-in comfort, making both Sid and Aisha memorable characters.
Guido Orefice from Life is Beautiful (1997)
Guido has been a life-changing character in my life. Set amidst World War II, Life if Beautiful revolves around Guido, an Italian-Jewish man who works as a waiter. When he is taken to aconcentration camp along with his little boy, he uses his sense of humour to save his kid from the horrors of the Holocaust. His character speaks about the indomitable spirit of humans amidst inhumanity. Guido literally turns a war zone into a comfortable space for his son. The role won an Academy Award nomination for actor-director Roberto Bengini and has changed my perspective on life.
Virus from 3 Idiots (2009)
He is the quintessential brilliant, rigid headmaster. When he says, “Life is a race, agar tum tezz nahi bhagoge, toh tumhe koi kuchal ke chala jayega (if you don't run fast, you'll be squashed)”, it feels as though he is speaking on behalf of the archaic Indian education system. In tense scene with Faizal Ali's Joy Lobo, Boman Irani plays the headmaster's character with such conviction that you feel that you must study well or else you will fail in life. His Einstein-like look and body language gave the film’s antagonism its backbone and it is what makes Rancho's rebellion so enjoyable. Virus is one of the most intellectual villains in Indian cinema.
Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad (2008-2013)
There are characters with whom you connect emotionally and love them. If something good happens to them, you feel good and if something evil occurs, you feel sympathy for them. But there are a some characters whom you just don’t love or hate, you become them. Jesse Pinkman is such a character for me. Whether he cooks meth or kills someone, I just appreciated every bit of him. After watching two seasons of Breaking Bad, I was talking and driving like Jesse Pinkman. Later on, I realized that Jesse was an emotionally broken character than just zany. I wished the series had run forever so that Jesse Pinkman could always be around.