Advertisement
HomeRegional

The Kabali Effect: Rajinikanth Joins These 5 Actors Who Played Filmy Dons

Often cast in villainous roles, Manoj Bajpai's breakout performance was as Bhiku Mhatre in RGV's acclaimed 1998 film Satya, set amid a turf war between opposing factions of the Mumbai underworld

  | July 19, 2016 16:05 IST (New Delhi)
Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth in a still from Kabali.

Highlights

  • Kabali releases a week later than it was originally scheduled for
  • Rajinikanth stars in Kabali as a Malaysia-based Don
  • Rajinikanth has been digitally made to look younger than his 65 years
Even if you lived on Mars you couldn't possibly be unaware that this is the big Kabali week - Rajinikanth's new film releases a week later than it was originally scheduled for and, unsurprisingly, Friday cannot arrive fast enough for fans. The Tamil superstar - and the epithet is terribly inadequate - stars in the film as a Malaysia-based Don and looks the part, with grey hair and his trademark sunglasses. This itself is singular, given that in several previous films, Rajinikanth has been digitally made to look younger than his 65 years.
That apart, his role as a mob boss is major incentive for Rajini fans - who didn't entirely warm up to his previous outings in Lingaa and Kochadaiiyaan. As Kabaleeshwaran or Don Kabali, Rajinikanth joins this shortlist of five other actors, adored for their performances as cinematic gangsters.
Amitabh Bachchan in Deewaar, Don, Agneepath
 

Rajinikanth's Hum co-star and close friend built his stupendous career on the foundation stone of Deewaar's Vijay Verma, the elder of two brothers on opposing sides of the law. Vijay Verma, believed to have been based on real life gangster Haji Mastan, begins as a boot polisher and ends up a smuggling kingpin. Deewar (1975) gave Indian cinema one of its most memorable scenes, dialogues and deaths. Three years later, Big B played both the titular Don as well as his lookalike substitute. In 1990, decades later, he intoned another famous line as Vijay Deenanath Chavan, who sets down a path of crime in pursuit of revenge.
Shah Rukh Khan in Duplicate, Don, Don 2, Raees
 

Big B's Don was given a millennial update with a remake and a sequel in which SRK's good guy persona was revealed to actually have been the Don all along. In 1998, he played the criminal Manu Dada in action-comedy Duplicate - which, no guesses, starred SRK in a double role. Next January will see him as a blackmarketeer operating out of the dry state of Gujarat in Raees.
Ajay Devgn in Company, Omkara, Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai
 

Remember when Ram Gopal Varma used to made great cinema? His fictionalized depiction of the Dawood Ibrahim-run D-Company was headlined by Ajay Devgn, who played the ruthless mafia boss Malik in 2002's Company. A short while later, he starred as Omkara, leader of a gang that commits political crimes, in Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello. In 2010, Ajay Devgn returned to the Mumbai underworld as filmed by Bollywood in Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, playing smuggler Sultan Mirza.
Sanjay Dutt in Khalnayak, Aatish, Vaastav, Munna Bhai
 

1993, the year that Sanjay Dutt was accused of illegally possessing arms, was also when Khalnayak released. His portrayal of the criminal Ballu was widely acclaimed. Over the years, he was cast in several gangster roles, from the Deewaar-like elder brother Baba in 1994's Aatish to crime lord Raghu in 1999's Vaastav. In 2003, he turned his talents to comedy in Munnabhai MBBS, starring as a mafia don with a heart of gold who goes to medical school. The blockbuster movie spawned an equally beloved sequel in 2006, Lage Raho Munna Bhai.
Manoj Bajpayee in Satya, Gangs of Wasseypur
 

Often cast in villainous roles, Manoj Bajpayee's breakout performance was as Bhiku Mhatre in RGV's acclaimed 1998 film Satya, set amid a turf war between opposing factions of the Mumbai underworld. In the first installment of Anurag Kashyap's two-part 2012 crime drama Gangs of Wasseypur, he played Sardar Khan, leader of one of the titular gangs of Jharkhand's coal mafia.

 
Advertisement
Advertisement