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Bollywood baddies rule the roost

Piyush Roy introduces you to new poster boys in Bollywood?s rogues? gallery.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 19:45 IST

Being bad works best in Bollywood- at least when it comes to getting critical wows and the audience’s at tention. Both Saif Ali Khan (Omkara, Being Cyrus) and Sanjay Dutt (Anthony Kaun Hai) have proven it with their recent releases.

On Omkara’s posters Saif as Langda Tyagi has a larger presence than ‘hero’ Ajay Devgan. John Abraham as the stylish crook was similarly more appreciated in Dhoom. Come November, Dhoom’s director Sanjay Gadhvi assures us that Hrithik Roshan as the bad guy in Dhoom 2 will whip up no less a fan run than his superman act in Krrish.

So why does one cast the conventional hero or heroine in a negative role? “By having dashing villains, you veer audience sympathies towards their characters,” says Gadhvi. Agrees, Raj Kaushal, director of Anthony Kaun Hai, in which Sanjay Dutt was chosen to play a hitman because “there was no villainy on his face”.

The credit for kicking off this trend goes to Shah Rukh Khan, who with his ’90s trilogy of Baazigar, Darr and Anjaam, made filmmakers aware of the box-office potential of a hero in negative roles, says Gadhvi.

While the focus may now be on creating ‘humane’ baddies, they still don’t escape the villain’s fate in the end.


The natural born villain

Saif Ali Khan (Ek Haseena Thi, Being Cyrus, Omkara)

Spot him: He prefers living on the edge Always sports a stubble His loves are sans emotions and the ends justify any means

The slick hitman

Sanjay Dutt (Anthony Kaun Hai, Kaante), Amitabh Bachchan (Ek Ajnabee) and Irrfan Khan (The Killer)

Spot him: A tough, serious appearance. Guns make necessary accessories. Looks mature and often modelled on successful Western prototypes. For instance, Dutt in Anthony Kaun Hai, according to Raj Kaushal, "packs in the attitude of a John Travolta (Day of the Jackal) with the finesse of a Tom Cruise (Collateral)".

The charmer

Emran Hashmi (Gangster), John Abraham (Dhoom) and Hrithik Roshan (Dhoom 2)

Spot him: Uses the latest gizmos and appears brand-conscious Liberally endowed with dashing young looks He can sing and dance and woos like a gentleman

Femme fatal

Priyanka Chopra (Aitraaz) Aishwarya Rai (Khakee) Bipasha Basu (Jism)

Spot her: Her character is better defined and stronger than the conventional moll Has a mind and motive of her own Dresses to impress and is a foil to the heroine’s glam quotient.

First Published: Aug 12, 2006 15:58 IST