A look back at Abhishek Bachchan’s top 5 films

Despite his own career being somewhat overshadowed by the hugely successful work of his father and wife, Abhishek Bachchan has nonetheless made a name for himself in the film industry for his excellent comic timing.
Abhishek Bachchan, left and Amitabh Bachchan, centre, in Sarkar. Courtesy Dinodia / agefotostock.com
Abhishek Bachchan, left and Amitabh Bachchan, centre, in Sarkar. Courtesy Dinodia / agefotostock.com

Despite a promising debut in Bollywood and great comic timing, Abhishek Bachchan, the son of superstar Amitabh Bachchan, has never quite reached the star status that was expected of him. With All Is Well, his new Bollywood road trip movie out in theatres tomorrow, rounds up five of his best films during his 15-year career.

Whenever the work of Indian actor Abhishek Bachchan is discussed, comparisons are inevitably made with his father, the legendary Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, and his wife, Indian actress and ex-Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Despite his own career being somewhat overshadowed by the hugely successful work of his father and wife, Abhishek Bachchan has nonetheless made a name for himself in the film industry for his excellent comic timing.

The 39-year-old – who has won a National Award, three Filmfare Awards, five International Indian Film Academy Awards and six Screen Awards – got his big-screen career off to a good start with his 2000 debut in Refugee alongside Kareena Kapoor, who also made her debut in the film.

The movie was not a major box-office success, but his performance earned praise. This would become the template for most of the actor’s work: critical acclaim for his performances in only moderately successful films, or a lack of praise for his part in box-office sales.

With his latest film, road trip comedy All Is Well, out tomorrow, we look at five of the most memorable roles from his 15-year career.

Yuva (2004)

Bachchan earned his first Filmfare Award for his role in the political drama Yuva.

Directed by Mani Ratnam, the film was a remake of his own Tamil film Aaytha Ezhuthu, about the lives of four students entering careers in politics.

The film was not a huge commercial success, with some distributors even losing money on it, but it received plenty of critical acclaim. Bachchan and co-star Rani Mukherjee picked up Filmfare Awards – for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress – while Ratnam received the Critics Awards for Best Movie and Best Screenplay. The Best Action and Best Art Direction Awards also went to Yuva.

Bunty Aur Babli (2005)

The film that drew everyone’s attention to Bachchan’s comic timing was Bunty Aur Babli. It also marked the first time the actor had appeared on-screen alongside his father, who played a police officer. The film also featured a song with his father and wife. The crime comedy was the second-highest grossing Bollywood film of 2005 and earned Bachchan a Filmfare nomination for Best Actor, although he did not win.

Sarkar (2005)

2005 was an excellent year for Bachchan. In addition to the acclaim for Bunty Aur Babli, he won another Filmfare Award – for Best Supporting Actor – for his role in Ram Gopal Varma’s political drama Sarkar. The film, partly inspired by Hollywood classic The Godfather, starred Abhishek and Amitabh Bachchan as father and son and earned the young actor rave reviews. It remains one of his most lauded ­performances.

Guru (2007)

Bachchan’s second film with director Mani Ratnam, Guru, was loosely based on the life of businessman Dhirubhai Ambani. It paired him on screen with his wife Aishwarya for the first time after their marriage, and was well received by critics – though it failed to make much of an ­impact at the box office.

The Dhoom trilogy (2004, 2006, 2013)

The role that has had the biggest impact on Bachchan’s life – both professional and personal – is his portrayal of assistant police commissioner Jai Dixit in the Dhoom trilogy. The blockbuster action-­thriller series kicked off in 2004 and the 2006 sequel was the ­highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year.

It was also where Bachchan fell in love with co-star Aishwarya, whom he would marry a year later. The two had previously worked together in Dhai Akshar Prem Ke (2000) and Kuch Naa Kaho (2003).

Dhoom 3 came out in 2013 and ranks among the highest-­grossing Hindi films of all time. Though Bachchan plays a key role in the trilogy, critics have slammed his performances in each instalment. Despite this, the fact remains that without Bachchan there would be no ACP Dixit – and without ACP Dixit, there would be no Dhoom.

artslife@thenational.ae

Published: August 18, 2015 04:00 AM

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