The glamour, the glitz, and the effect Bollywood have – no other movie-making industry has and everyone would believe in that. Thus, Bollywood is a great place to work undoubtedly. But everyone would also agree that the limelight the lead roles (read hero and heroines) get is not the same for the sidekicks or side actors or character artists. The character artists are also actors but Bollywood doesn’t treat them royally like they do to the leads. But these artists know how to shine like gold through their good patch of work.
One such gifted artist is Sanjay Mishra. He belonged to the National School of Drama and debuted in 1991 with Chanakya – the TV Show on DD. He later became famous with the iconic Office Office. His Hindi movie debut happened in 1995 with Oh! Darling Yeh Hai India. Over 28 years, he has done many roles that made us laugh, made us feel pity for him, and made us emotional. It’s his birthday on 6th October and what would be a better way to celebrate this day than remembering some of the characters that he immortalized on screen. The best part of all his characters is that he played an “aam-aadmi” that connects with us.
Check the list of the best roles done by Sanjay Mishra:
Aankho Dekhi: 2014
Rajesh Bauji – this character fetched him a Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Critic Choice) in 2015. He is in his mid-50’s and is going through a life-changing phase. He decides suddenly that he will believe whatever is visible to his eyes. All his life, he has lived out of fear and adjustments but not anymore. Initially, his neighbors think of him as lunatic but slowly start believing his logical reasoning. Enacted with simplicity and modesty, this role will always be loved. Because there are not many people in the real world who can live the life that simply.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the best movies of the last 5 years. Set in the holy city of Varanasi, this one tells the story of Devi Pathak who is caught by the Police and a college student in a hotel room. Vidyadhar Pathak – the father of Devi is played by Mishra Ji and what a performance that was! The corrupt police filmed Devi nude and threaten Vidyadhar to leak that if he doesn’t bride him. Sanjay Mishra’s role was one of the most heartbreaking representations of a father caught up in desperation and feebleness. He put on a gloomy garb and his intensity simply spills off the screen whenever we see him on screen.
Dum Laga Ke Haisha: 2015
Here he played the role of Ayushmann’s dad Chandra Prakash Tiwari who had raised a “nalayak” son. His son is not good at studies, not interested in the family business, and only listens to Kumar Sanu songs. Set in Haridwar, this movie was produced by one of the largest production companies of Bollywood in a rustic and guileless tone. And that helped all the characters to really shine. This role played by Sanjay Mishra had so many layers – he was strict with his son, very sweet with the daughter-in-law, ardently kind to his sister, and overall he was that someone who wanted to make best out of every opportunity in an honest manner.
Even after almost 3 decades of his career and achieving so much in his field, he plays the small roles in Golmaal Series. It is a treat to the eyes – a joy to the heart to see him donning weird clothes or hairdo in this series. The one in the 2nd part was so obsessed with messaging people that a serial killer chopped his fingers. Among all these, my favorite is Daga from Golmaal 3 where he is an assistant to the character of Johny Lever who forgets everything. It’s fun to watch him in these comic roles.
Anaarkali Of Aarah: 2017
Here, we see him playing a negative role of Dharmendra Chauhan. He is the head of a university and molests Anaarkali after getting drunk. This movie is one of the most underrated ones that question many “acceptable” notions of society. After that incidence, Anaarkali had to fight the system and Mishra Ji delivers a stupendous performance. Never before we have seen him so cruel on screen.
Angrezi Mein Kehte Hain: 2018
There’s something between the ghats of the Ganges and this artist. If you see his graph – all those characters of Sanjay Mishra that involved the cities near the Ganges were his career-best. So, this movie is all about love and the necessity of the expression of love in all ages. Yashwant Batra is a happy government officer who has forgot to romance his wife. Being a staunch patriarch, he also wants his daughter to marry a guy he selected and not the guy she loves. The ladies in Batra house thus are not happy as they want to be treated as equals and want to be loved in a certain way. It is a beautiful movie (contrary to the ratings) where a middle-aged man realizes how important is it to express love even in the middle age to stay happy and connected to your partner.
There are many more movies of Sanjay Mishra like Newton, FryDay, Kadvi Hawa, Rakkhosh, etc. where not the length of the role but his acting prowess proved that he will always stay in our hearts.