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The girl with a husky voice, short height, and not so sexy body – she was reminded of that many times. And with that, she was also told that she can hardly make any mark in Bollywood as she doesn’t belong to that so-called “mainstream” template of Bollywood heroines. But that didn’t break her because she had immense talent which was noted by able directors.

With time she proved that she is one of the best actresses of Indian Cinema. With 7 Filmfares in her kitty, she is always ready to entice with her power-packed performances. Till today, when there is Rani Mukerji release, there is a queue outside the theaters. She also broke the general notion of Bollywood actresses getting married and losing their charm on audiences.

The stories and performances matter the most and she has proved that every time. On her birthday, let’s remember some of her best performances on screen.

Saathiya (2002)
Saathiya
Image Source – Google

As Dr. Suhani Sharma, she gave one of her career-best performances. The young girl who fell in love at a wedding, developed love over many train journeys, got married secretly, left parent’s home, and then went through various tests that couples go through. Her character was so beautifully written and enacted. She became one of us easily.

Hum Tum (2004)
Hum Tum
Image Source – Google

We saw so many changes in one character. Rhea Prakash first met us as a bright, free-spirited, young student. She remained in our hearts forever with her tragic and eventful journey. We got to see her quirky phase, dreamy bride phase, shy and silent phase, head over heels in love phase, and lovelorn phase.

Veer-Zaara (2004)
Veer-Zaara
Image Source – Google

She didn’t get to play the central character but without her, there would have been no Veer-Zaara. Her screen time was limited not her acting. A strong and confident woman who wants to become the 1st female lawyer of Pakistan is not ready to adjust with the truth. Rani was sheer brilliance on screen.

Black (2005)
Black
Image Source – Google

As Michelle McNally, she taught us that you don’t need eyes to dream. Her simple dream was to call her mom one day and say that she passed. Being blind and mute was her obstacle in that road. But with perseverance, she achieved her goal. It is a tear-jerking performance of Rani.

Bunty Aur Babli (2005)
Bunty Aur Babli
Image Source – Google

Babli, who wanted to become Miss India, with the turn of events becomes a con artist. She brought out exuberance, quirk, and seriousness – all on-screen and effortlessly. That’s why aren’t we eagerly waiting for Bunty aur Babli 2?

No One Killed Jessica (2011)
No One Killed Jessica
Image Source – Google

This is another power-packed performance of Rani Mukerji that was based on a real-life incident. As a journalist, she portrayed her character with the right amount of fearlessness, spirit, and zest.

Aiyyaa (2012)
Aiyyaa
Image Source – Google

I don’t know how many of you would agree to the mention of this movie but it is a personal favourite. Meenakshi Deshpande is just one of us. She is a middle-class girl who wants a job so that she can buy a room where she can sit quietly, listen to music, and read. Also, she wants to fall in love first to get married. She was hilarious in her portrayal and that’s why I believe this is one of her best. Which leading lady of Bollywood would dare to be so weird?

Talaash (2012)
Talaash
Image Source – Google

Roshni Shekhawat terribly misses her dead child. Her desperateness leads her to believe in Plan Chet. There was a strange wait and loneliness in her eyes that made us cry for her.

Bombay Talkies (2013)
Bombay Talkies
Image Source – Google

Gayatri is one of Rani’s most glamorous roles I believe. She is a fierce entertainment journalist who knows her business well. She can handle everything but cannot digest the fact that her husband has been keeping his sexual preference away from her. That scene where she tries to rub off her makeup, mascara, and lipstick in front of the mirror because her husband touched her is something only she can pull off. Also, the last scene where she gets dressed again, brushes her hair, and looks into herself in the mirror with hope, acceptance, and courage is stupendous.

Mardaani (2014)
Mardaani
Image Source – Google

With Mardaani she proved that she can never be off the game. In an industry where only male-centric heroism is worshipped, it takes guts, first of all, to make a heroic movie with a female character. And then you have Rani Mukerji to do the rest. Not only critical acclaim, this movie was a Box Office Hit as well.

Apart from these above 10 movies, here are some more.

Special Mention- Hichki, Yuva, Paheli, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

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.

Masaan: 2015

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.

Golmaal Series:

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.

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