It has been six months exactly since actor Sushant Singh Rajput passed away on June 14. His death has lead to a void in the hearts of his admirers and fans. Amidst all the controversies surrounding his demise, we cannot forget that we lost a talent actor prematurely. While his body of work isn’t vast, it is more than enough to prove his grasp over his art. What better way to pay a tribute to him than to revisit some of his most memorable notes?
So here are the top five performances of Sushant Singh Rajput, that you must check out.
Lakhna, Sonchiriya (2019)
This film by director Abhishek Chaubey is not an easy watch. For instance, the opening shot of the film is a long hard stare at a rotting animal carcass, lying in the ravines of the Chambal Valley. But apart from its stunning cinematography and hard-hitting storyline, the film is powered by some top-notch performances. One would think that a young actor like Rajput would appear lacklustre in front of a stalwart like Manoj Bajpai, or seasoned names such as Ranvir Shorey and Ashutosh Rana, but Rajput’s Lakhna will stay with you for sure.
A remorseful dacoit searching for purpose and redemption in life, Rajput makes you empathise with Lakhna, wishing how he had a different life than what he got to live. If only the audience had shown more love in theatres to this stellar film.
Byomkesh Bakshy, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! (2015)
As a fan of noir films, it amuses me how underappreciated this gem of a film is. This stylish and gory adaptation of Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay’s work is a film that I have watched multiple times. Sushant deserves a hat tip for trying to fill in the gigantic shoes of actor Rajit Kapoor whose performance as Byomkesh babu in the 1993 television series on the Bengali detective, that was directed by renowned filmmaker Basu Chatterjee, has set a benchmark.
And yet, Sushant carried this film about a young and inexperienced Byomkesh at the start of his career with exuberance and charm that we now associate with him.
Ishaan, Kai Po Che! (2013)
Ye Pavitra Rishta wala Sushant hai? This was my reaction when I saw the trailer of Kai Po Che! which was Rajput’s debut film. Before this film, Sushant was just that guy from that serial that mom used to watch, or that contestant on a dance reality show that, again, mom used to watch. But when the trailer of this film dropped, we sat up and took notice and Sushant managed to hold our attention.
I remember watching this film in the theatre with my mother and by interval we were both floored by Rajput, he was just so likeable. The passion that drove him to make it to the silver screen from television, it shows in this film in every frame that Sushant occupies.
MS Dhoni, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story (2016)
It is impossible to talk about Sushant’s work without the mention of M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, a defining film in the actor’s career that he will mostly be remembered for. Arguably, this isn’t my favourite performance by him. I would any day choose his portrayal of Byomkesh or Lakhna over Dhoni, but having said that, this is indeed a very good performance. As my cricket crazy husband has pointed out many times, while making me watch this film, the skill on display here wasn’t Sushant’s acting, but how easily he slipped into Dhoni’s mannerism. From the way he smiles or talks, to his famous helicopter shot, it takes a certain level of dedication on the lead’s part to sell a biopic to the audience, and boy did Sushant work hard.
Raghu, Shuddh Desi Romance (2013)
Okay, I know that this isn’t exactly a film one can rave about. Besides, what could be likeable about a character who jilts two women and is absolutely clueless about what he wants from his life? There are times when you just want to grab Raghu by his collar giving him a good shake, sit him down and talk some sense into him.
And yet Sushant infuses Raghu with such affability that you cannot hate this guy. You can be irritated at times, but he is more like that stupid friend of yours who keeps on taking advice from you and then does exactly what you had told them not to.
I know for sure that Dil Bechara will be yet another performance by Rajput that we can add to this list.
The views expressed are the author’s own.
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