When we were busy looking at the central performers, these scene-stealers came along and swept the show away.

Subhash K Jha lists his top five, right here:


Sharad Kelkar, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

Of course, Ajay Devgan and Saif Ali Khan were resoundingly good in Tanhaji. But the real star of the biggest money-spinner of 2020 was Sharad Kelkar.

As Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Sharad — with that baritone voice and majestic walk — slayed it.

Someone should make a whole film with Sharad in the central character of Shivaji Maharaj.


Manvi Gagroo, Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan

Manvi Gagroo, playing a crazy bride on the run, hit the ball out of the park in Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.

Unlike other comic acts by female actors, this one was not about being overweight or oversexed.

Manvi played a woman named Goggle Tripathi, with joy and stride in her comic timing. It was definitely refreshing.


Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Guilty

It’s not easy to play a character who is not afraid to address her sexuality and is unwilling to play the victim card after being sexually violated.

Akansha brought in all the complexities of the role — the hysteria, the helplessness and the hope for justice.

This was a tough one for a debutante.

She sailed through it and stole the show right from under leading lady Kiara Advani’s nose.

Inaayat Verma, Ludo

With a cast of stalwarts — ranging from the popular Rajkummar Rao and Pankaj Tripathi to the lesser-known Shalini Vatsa and Ishtiyak Khan, — it was eight-year old Inaayat Verma, as a pint-sized firebrand who plans her own kidnapping, who stole the show.

Her confident dialogue delivery and her effortlessness made Inaayat a natural-born scene stealer.

Abhishek Bachchan says he has never been face to face with a more challenging co-star. With due apologies to father Amitabh and wife Aishwarya.


Sikander Kher, Aarya

No words, just a glance is enough to convey the inner world of this brilliant actor’s character, Daulat in Aarya.

The Web series focused on Sushmita Sen — and she was, no doubt, a powerhouse — but every time Sikander stood silently in the shadows, I felt the danger lurking beneath the polished surface.

Will someone please write a central role for Sikander?

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