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Bollywood’s Top 10 Cameo

Posted by Kokolicious on February 11th, 2009


Sometimes less is more.

When portrayed effectively, a well-written role, despite its brief screen time, has the potential to make a greater impact than a lengthier leading part. That’s the magic of a nicely-done cameo. Bollywood understands its effect only too well. And so we have an array of film stars lending in their two cents to a project. The latest being Shah Rukh Khan. If producing Billu wasn’t stressful enough [the film ran in trouble because of its earlier title Billu Barber), the actor also pitches in to perform a larger-than-life appearance as a reigning superstar. Considering he plays the latter 24/7, there is hardly any reason to worry. This is certainly not the actor’s first attempt at a hyped cameo. Previously too, Khan dabbled in the category with films like Saathiya and Shakti: The Power. Others like erstwhile 007-agent Pierce Brosnan and Bollywood’s resident dulhan Kajol, too, are due to make a short ‘n’ sweet appearance in Leena Yadav’s Teen Patti and Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots, respectively.

Here’s list of Hindi cinema’s Top Ten Cameos:

10. Hrithik Roshan, Luck By Chance

Another take on Bollywood. Another superstar clone. But it’s definitely not just another performance from Hrithik Roshan. In Zoya Akhtar’s masterful take on tinsel town and its complex workings, Hrithik plays the semi-megalomaniac with faultless intricacy. Essentially a story of two struggles, Hrithik’s character forms brief albeit integral sub-text to just the same. While there is continuous effort from the screen-writer [Zoya again] to make this megastar a mix of fascinating, contradictory and personal, what makes it truly work is just how unpredictably Hrithik plays it.

9. Akshay Kumar, Om Shanti Om

If there was an award for the Most Rocking Cameos of all times, Akshay Kumar would win hands down. King Kumar pretty much employs all of him in a brief but action-packed gig while parodying his innumerable Khiladi avatars to side-splitting effect for Farah Khan’s spoof unlimited, Om Shanti Om.

8. Abhishek Bachchan, Salaam Namaste

Define pleasant surprise. Abhishek Bachchan in Salaam Namaste. In this Melbourne-themed rip off of Nine Months, Bachchan Jr shows up right in the chaotic climax to add his brand of uninhibited confusion. The actor’s bumbling, forgetful, faint-hearted gynaecologist avatar is obviously inspired Robin Williams from the original. And yet, AB’s baby pays the ultimate tribute in the medley of laughter that follows.

7. Salman Khan, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai

He’s done an entire slide show-worth of cameos. But Salman Khan’s cool dude act in Karan Johar’s mush-filled debut continues to be an eternal favourite. During the fleeting duration of his character’s graph, Khan creates an immensely likeable and humane Aman. To think it’s no more than an extended cameo, yet not only does he walk away with audience’s sympathy but is rewarded with a Best Supporting Actor Filmfare trophy for the same.

6. Juhi Chawla, Andaz Apna Apna

‘Haila, Juhi Chawla!’ That’s Aamir Khan’s spontaneous (and understandable) reaction on spotting actress Juhi Chawla caught in a car breakdown crisis. As expected the goofy AK comes to her rescue and cooks up a Mills & Boon brand of romance in his imagination. Known for her effortless comic timing and cherubic chirpiness, Juhi infuses the part with sufficient Juhisms to make it instantly adorable. And while she was equally adept in her other cameos in films like Chandni and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, it’s her make-believe coyness and playing-along attitude that wears an extra edge.

5. Madhuri Dixit, Dharavi

There’s something about Madhuri Dixit. While some want to be her, others cannot stop dreaming about her. Bring respite to one such despondent soul is part of the deal in Sudhir Mishra’s realistic yarn, Dharavi. Here, Om Puri’s cabbie Rajkaran plays one of MD’s biggest fans. And as part of his fantasy, Madhuri is accessible and enchanting at once. Draped in a red chiffon sari, the actress puts her million-dollar smile to good use, lending Puri’s reverie a sense of escapism from the miserable going-ons of his true existence. True to her stature in his life, she’s every bit of the goddess he hopes her to be. Trust Madhuri to play someone else’s perception of her to perfection.

4. Amrish Puri, Mandi

Sometime in the latter second half of Shyam Benegal’s imaginative slice of life, Amrish Puri shows up unexpectedly, keeping up with his equally enigmatic character of a prophetic Baba. There’s much quirkiness in his approach and madness to his delivery, which is both amusing and intense at once. Not everyone could master this blend as he could. Although in the recent Welcome to Sajjanpur, Benegal tries to create a similar character along the lines of Puri’s with Dayashankar Pandey doing the honours. The Lagaan man does well but does not come close to the original.

3. Shashi Kapoor, Silsila

Previously, a short appearance warranted a short life on screen. Take Yash Chopra’s still-talked about Silsila for instance. After romancing the demure Jaya Bachchan in his inimitable, boisterous style and indulging in some high-strung camaraderie with best buddy Amitabh Bachchan, which means bathing under the same shower; Shashi Kapoor — an air-force pilot, dies in a tragic crash. As much we miss the charismatic actor and his amorous overtures, his exit brings about the adulterous twist in the plot.

2. Rajesh Khanna, Andaaz

There’s much fun, laughter and carefree joie de vivre to be found in Rajesh Khanna’s ultra-stylish appearance — printed scarfs, berry-coloured knitted vests, belted jackets, matinee idol sunglasses et al. Not only does Ramesh Sippy’s directorial debut give him a chance to sing one of his signature Zindagi-themed yodel-yoos on the ever-ominous motorcycle but also remind us why he earned the epithet of King of Romance in the first place.

1. Dharmendra, Guddi

Playing oneself can be rather pleasant when you are Dharmendra. As the accommodating, genial and gallant superstar the actor is perfectly tailor-made for the part in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s feel-good yet meaningful Guddi. Even as he charmingly endures the besotted glances of his biggest fan, played by Jaya Bachchan [then Bhaduri], there’s much profundity and earnestness to be found when he talks about his rock-solid village roots or the bittersweet reality engulfing the glamour-filled superficiality of show-business.

Source: Rediff

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