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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Ajay?s range: Omkara to Golmaal

Saibal Chatterjee traces the actor's journey so far. Ajay goes WWW | Ajay's all excited about this one

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 12:06 IST
Saibal Chatterjee
Saibal Chatterjee

Ajay Devgan is one of Bollywood’s finest contemporary actors. Over the last decade, he has built up a formidable reputation as a solid screen performer endowed with the innate ability to articulate inner anguish better than most other actors in the business today.

In July, however, the ‘serious’ Devgan persona will be offset a little by a lighthearted star turn. Though his brooding intensity is undeniably his stock in trade, the actor is fully mindful of the need to occasionally break away from that image.

“In a span of less than a month, I will have two releases that are completely different in terms of flavour and the challenges that they throw at me as an actor – Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara  and Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal,” says Devgan.

While Omkara  is slated to hit the screen on July 28, Golmaal  is due in the theatres two weeks earlier.

Over the last decade, Ajay has built up a formidable reputation as a solid screen performer.


,” says the soft-spoken actor, “is a frothy comedy which has me in a role that is completely different from the one that I play in Omkara.”

In recent times, fans have seen the two-time National Award winning actor in films like Gangaajal  and Apaharan, both directed by Prakash Jha, and the low-key chamber piece, Rituparno Ghosh’s Raincoat. Earning rave reviews for his smouldering performances come rather easy to Devgan.

That is probably why he is stuck with an unrelentingly sombre screen persona. That image has been strengthened by the fact that Devgan has in recent times attempted roles with varying shades of grey, notably in Anees Bazme’s Deewangee, Rajkumar Santoshi’s Khakee, Soham Shah’s Kaal  and John Matthew Mathan’s Shikhar.  

He hasn’t been that lucky with his comic roles though. He did deliver a hit with Indra Kumar’s Ishq  nearly a decade ago and then followed that up a couple of years back in the small but well-received role of Inspector Sikander in the breezy marital comedy, Masti, directed by Indra Kumar again, but Devgan hasn’t quite acquired the image of an actor who is comfortable with the comic strain.

The biggest comedy of his career, David Dhawan’s Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, co-starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Aishwarya Rai, came completely unstuck at the box office four years ago. That was probably one reason why Devgan turned with vengeance to films with serious themes and off-the-beaten-track characters.

From a film that transplants William Shakespeare’s Othello to the crime-infested badlands of Uttar Pradesh to a wild comic romp that teams him up with Shahid Kapoor and Sharman Joshi, Devgan will traverse the entire range that a Bollywood star can ever hope to. While it will be no surprise if he walks away with unstinted plaudits for his performance in the title role in Omkara, Golmaal is the film some of his fans will keep an eye on.

Will Ajay Devgan be able to finally pull off an out-and-out comic triumph in the sea of intensity that he is usually surrounded by these days? 

First Published: Jun 07, 2006 15:41 IST

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