Amrish Puri is undoubtedly one of the best and most iconic actors Bollywood has ever produced. Anyone who knows and loves Bollywood has to be a fan of his work. This actor has given us some iconic performances and characters which are still evocative.
One of the most important elements of a Bollywood movie is a good villain, without which a movie is incomplete. Also, the best things about villains, especially in Bollywood, is that they are eccentric, have their own unique style of dressing up, talking, and they have to have a peculiar dialogue. All of this is what remains with us long after the movie and makes the character what it is.
When I was a kid, I remember seeing Amrish Puri as a villain in almost every movie, so much so that my idea of a villain became this man with a heavy voice, big eyes, frightening gaze and a stiff body language. He truly made every character his own and made us all fear him. Whenever he appeared on the screen as the villain, everyone knew that the boss is here!
Puri was a very talented actor with a range of roles -- remember his protective father trope? However, whenever he played a villain, it was always special because he had it in himself to play someone who everyone would fear. His roles raised the bar so high that playing a villain, making it iconic and memorable is not just anybody’s cup of tea anymore.
Puri would have been 89 today if he was still with us. We lost this star in 2005 but his roles and work still remain with us. Let’s have a look at some of his best roles as a villain:
Mogambo (Mister India, 1987)
This movie was groundbreaking in many ways. Not only did it give us our very
unusual ‘superhero’, it had one of the most iconic Bollywood villains of all time. Mogambo became the touchstone for every villain that came after him and no one has managed to earn that much acclaim for a negative portrayal.
The classic ‘Mogambo Khush Hua’ is still a major part of Indian pop culture, you say it anywhere and everyone will get it. What is there to not love about this character- the hair, the costumes, the dialogues, the laugh!! Thankyou Shekhar Kapoor for blessing us all with Mogambo.
Bhairon Nath (Nagina, 1986)
It was not long ago when ‘Aao Kabhi Haveli Pe’ was trending like crazy and you know who we have to thank for this? Yes, none other than our very own Puri ji, whose Bhairon Nath from 'Nagina' said it and we wouldn’t shut up about it even after 34 years.
Yes, that is his magic, his dialogues have been passed onto generations and continue to entertain the hell out of us. I just noticed Sridevi and Amrish Puri together in a movie managed to give us something special every time!
Mola Ram (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 1984)
Puri, in a movie directed by Steven Speilberg alongside the likes of Harrison Ford? What about this doesn’t scream SPECTACULAR! He added 'chaar chand' to this movie by playing Mola Ram and the director made a smart choice by picking the best villain India had to offer and putting him in an Indiana Jones movie. Yes, this character was gruesome and exactly what the movie needed, no complaints!
Balraj Chauhan (Nayak, 2001)
I am not gonna lie, that interview in this movie was something that stayed with me for a very long time and introduced me to the darkness of politics. Although the movie was all about the 'Nayak', however, it takes a good villain to make a good hero and Balraj Chauhan did just that by stopping the police from taking any action during that jam! If you didn’t get that reference, go and watch the goddamn movie, you are missing out on.
Thakur Durjan Singh (Karan Arjun, 1995)
This movie had ‘‘Mere Karan Arjun aaenge’’, Salman-Shahrukh duo, Shahrukh-Kajol duo and Amrish Puri as the main antagonist, literally everything to make a blockbuster! Puri played Thakur Durjan Singh to perfection and made us all hate him. All we wanted was to not have such a villain anywhere near us.
Indrajit Chaddha (Damini, 1993)
One of the most hated tropes in court drama movies is the bad lawyer, the one who is defending the bad guy. You know he’s gonna ask some very uncomfortable questions and will do something to piss the hell out of us. The scene where he discusses the details of the sexual assault in the court room, we knew we hated him. Chaddha saab was gruesome but our Amrish ji was nothing less than a star to have played that character to perfection. Sunny Deol’s ‘Dhai kilo ka haath’ is another iconic thing to come out of this movie.
Puri ji may not be with us anymore, but his four decade-long career remains with us. He still manages to entertain us and lives with us with his roles and dialogues. We thank him for blessing us with his work. Happy birthday, legend!
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