Top 10 Turbanators in Bollywood

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Playing a character doesn’t only revolve around putting on a costume and getting on the camera. Playing any character requires a focused in-depth research on how does he speak, what are his habits, what is/might be his past, what is his overall personality and why does he do what he does. When the actor gets these things straight, only then can he play that character with conviction. Many of our Bollywood stars have attempted at playing Sikh characters; some failed and some struck the bull’s eye. Here is our pick of top 10 actors.

10. Tusshar Kapoor- Chaar Din ki Chandni (2012)

Yes, you are thinking right. Tusshar has tried his hands at this as well. He plays a Sikh character named Pappi Sardaar who blurts out crude dialogues at the drop of the hat. The critics termed this movie as the worst movie of the year and the Sikh community got miffed with the Pappi Sardaar character. All in all, a forgettable performance at best.

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9. Salman Khan- Heroes (2008)

How many of you remember Salman Khan playing a Sikh soldier in a certain movie called Heroes. Hmmm…… ! Anyways, the movie was about two youngsters taking a road trip on their bikes across India to meet the real heroes- the soldiers of Indian armed forces. Apparently, for this role, Sallu opted for real beard instead of a fake one by not shaving for three weeks. He is at #9 of our list because save for this beard thing, there was nothing special that Sallu offered his fans here.

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8. Sanjay Dutt- Sarhad Paar (2007)

Sanjay Dutt played Major Ranjeet Singh who on getting trapped behind the enemy lines, is captured and tortured. By the time he is rescued and brought home, he already have had lost his memory. The movie flopped and everyone forgot this character.

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7. Akshay Kumar- Singh is Kinng (2008)

Khiladi Kumar always manages to strike a chord with the masses. All his films, irrespective of the content, always manage to recover their cost. We all loved Akki playing Happy Singh in Singh is Kinng but one couldn’t help but notice that something was off about him in this Sikh burlesque directed by Anees Bazmee. Oh wait! It was his get up. Among other things, Akki’s beard irked the sentiments of many Sikh associations. The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) asked for a ban on the film because Akki was sporting trimmed beard in the movie as according to Sikh beliefs, trimmed beard is a taboo. This lack of eye for detail puts Akki’s Happy Singh at #7.

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6. Amitabh Bachchan- Ab Tumhaare Hawale Watan Sathiyo (2004)

At #6, we have Amitabh Bachchan who played Major General Amarjeet Singh in this jingoistic war drama directed by Anil Sharma (Gadar- Ek Prem Katha, Apne). Though he suited this part and carried off his turbaned look pretty well, the writers fumbled with the writing. Today, audience neither remembers this movie nor Amitabh’s character.

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5. Ajay Devgan- Son of Sardar (2012)

You saw him playing a goofy character in Son of Sardar (2012). If talking about the looks, then his character of Jassi Randhawa looked real to the eyes, thanks to the costume and make-up department. His comic timing was perfect and he looked good in a turban too. But lack of recall value of this role and the movie puts him on #5 of our list.

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4. Saif Ali Khan- Love Aaj Kal (2009)

One of the surprise packages of 2009 was Saif Ali Khan playing a sardar in Imtiaz Ali’s hit Love Aaj Kal, and what a pleasant surprise it was. With a pitch-perfect look and a neatly researched mannerism, he swept everyone off their feet. Even those who are not his fans, liked this particular endeavour of his.

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3. Sunny Deol- Jo Bole So Nihaal (2005), Gadar: Ek Prem Katha (2001), Border (1997)

He is the original jatt. No one can match the charisma and the nuance that he brings onscreen with such roles. He is one actor who has played a Sikh character maximum number of times (Border, Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, Jo Bole So Nihaal and Yamla, Pagla, Deewana). His natural flair for such roles earns him #3 slot on our list.

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2. Ranbir Kapoor- Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009)

Ranked #2 on our list is Ranbir Kapoor for his brilliant and out-of-the-box role in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year (2009). Today, when it comes to challenging and unconventional roles, only one Indian super star stands out- Ranbir Kapoor. With this performance, not only did he break the age-old Bollywood convention of portraying Sikhs as goofy and dumb, he also turned the attention towards the corroding sales and after sales service culture in the corporate. This was in itself an important movie. Ranbir won Filmfare Award for Best Actor for this movie. With this movie, he stands out to be one of the most charming and cute onscreen sardaarji. Don’t you agree?

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1. Farhaan Akhtar- Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)

And the top honour on our list of the ‘Best Onscreen Sikh Character’ goes to Farhaan Akhtar for his groundbreaking performance in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. The sheer amount of physical and emotional hard work put into this biopic by him is clearly visible on screen. Be it one of his sprinting scenes or the scene where he comes back to his old village in Pakistan and cries his heart out, one definitely feels the strong emotional resonance brought on the screen by Farhaan. The level of research and portrayal is so strong that Milkha Singh himself has applauded Farhaan’s unparalleled performance. For this film, Akhtar received Filmfare, IIFA, Life OK Screen Award and Renault Star Guild Award for Best Actor. He was also applauded by the international critics throughout the world. Need we say more?

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Conclusion

So, while sometimes, even superstars may turn in bad performances, you will be surprised what a good actor can do with a well-written role.

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