Ajay Devgn has been in Bollywood for 21 years now- and he’s regarded as one of the best performers when it comes to most genres. But given that it’s only recently that he’s been slotted in the superstar category, we decided to take a look at some of the films that gave him the title!
Though he made a mark with Phool aur Kaante and won the award for the Best Debutant (Male) that year, his real stint with great movies started much later in the 90s. Ajay played the troubled elder son of Pooja Bhatt in Zakhm. The movie took the audience through political, religious, social and emotional conflicts of a child born to Hindu-Muslim parents. Next up was his powerful performance in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam as Vanraj- the husband to Aishwarya Rai’s Nandini, a girl deeply infatuated with someone else, but married to Ajay’s advocate character. Ajay was the perfect actor for the role- serious, gentlemanly, and uncomfortable with too much of colour and music around him- yet deeply in love with his wife. Ajay was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award.
He then moved on to play the legendary revolutionary from Punjab- Bhagat Singh in the movie ‘Legend of Bhagat Singh’ in 2002. The film was one of the many that released that year with the Martyr as the topic, but this one shone out brightest because of Ajay’s agitated and powerful portrayal! Following up soon was Gangaajal- the first of many socio-political roles that Ajay would don later. Based on the corrupt administrative system in North India, Ajay did a job that brought him to the spotlight as a refined actor and one who could shed light on severe issues.
But Ajay hadn’t lost his romantic charm, even with the serious roles he played. Raincoat saw him paired opposite Aishwarya Rai again, and this time, they both played lovers parted by circumstance. The story of one chance meeting, Ajay’s Manu was appreciated all over. Following up, the next year itself, Ajay attempted to play the autistic father in Main Aisa Hi Hoon. The attachment between dad and daughter was portrayed effectively, even if the movie didn’t do too well. Main Aisa Hi Hoon saw Ajay play one of the earliest specially-abled characters in Bollywood history.
2006 saw the emergence of Ajay the comedian. He played Gopal in Golmaal- re-establishing his connection with Rohit Shetty- action director of his debut movie. The series went on to be a hit. Ajay proved that he was a master of every trade, only outdoing himself with every movie. But the serious genre of films could never be too far off, as he went on to play the power-lord Sultan Mirza in ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai’- driven by the people and also by love. In 2011, Ajay played Bajirao Singham in Rohit Shetty’s Singham, the movie that introduced him to the Rs 100 Cr club.
Ajay proved one thing to all audiences-be it donning the khaki, bashing the goons, playing the romantic hero, taking up social causes or simply making you laugh, he’s been there, done that- and HOW!