Nana: Intensity is his hallmark
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Nana: Intensity is his hallmark

Nana Patekar reinvents himself according to the role, observes Arnab Banerjee.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 18:30 IST

Are there enough actor-stars in Mumbai or just enough stars to bag lead roles? On the face of it, there seems to be more of a demand for stars whose acting ability may be as limited as the new age female actors' itsy bitsy clothes.

But thanks to the changing scenario, some actors, who may not boast of chiselled bodies and Greek god looks, are being recognised as stars too. Manoj Bajpai, Irrfan Khan and Nana Patekar come to mind in this category.

As director Milan Luthria celebrates the grand initial to his film Taxi No 9 2 11, its lead stars Nana Patekar and John Abraham walk away with a swagger, accolades coming their way.

Abraham has girls swooning over his great looks, but to be fair, it’s the common man Patekar who steals the thunder from right under his nose, overshadowing him in virtually every department. Lighting up the screen with his fiery, passionate, intense persona, Patekar is in a league of his own when it comes to the make-believe world of cinema. A commanding and overpowering voice, he is always the one whose effective dialogues deserve an encore from his fans with his punch lines remembered long after the film is over.

Nana has the ability to reinvent himself according to the role.


Taxi No 9 2 11

, as Raghubir Shastri who could be called a failed man, what with 23 jobs and a dubious reputation of not getting along with anybody. The mounting pressure of not being able to pay his bills to keep the kitchen fires burning, or taking care of his only child’s school education shows clear on his face. But he carries on undeterred, with a sense of performing his duty and getting on with life. Adding to it is the frustration of not coming out honestly with the truth to his wife - that he is not the ‘insurance agent’ he pretends to be but a cabbie. To make both ends meet has the actor give it his all in terms of body language, a two-day stubble look and a peevish attitude.

It’s unimaginable to think of any other actor bringing the character alive in a manner Patekar does.

Of course the Maharashtrian actor’s ability to get into the skin and flesh of any role isn’t anything new.In the past there have been many instances when he looked any part that he essayed with so much conviction that viewers almost got convinced that it wasn’t the theatre-trained actor performing those complex roles but someone who was the person one saw on screen. It was earlier as


in Parinda, the hit-man to carry out nefarious activities in and as


the deaf-mute father Joseph of

Khamoshi- The Musical

or the tormentor Vishwanath of Agnisakshi, police inspector Liyaqat Qureshi in


or in the recent past as Inspector Sadhu Agashe in

Ab Tak Chhapan

based on encounter specialist Daya Nayak’s life, the con man Chandru Parekh in



as the double faced politician Tabrez Alam in


– all these films come to mind instantly where his fiery speeches, seething fury, unsentimental toughened criminality and suppressed anger looked straight out of life – be it the hard boiled gangster in one or the sympathetic father looking for compassion.

There are critics who find him repetitive and an actor falling prey to the monotonous sameness in his performances but I am sure after watching Taxi No 9 2 11, his severest detractors would eat humble pie and hand him a bouquet for his remarkable ability to make discontent and dissatisfaction of a middle class man look as tangible so as to penetrate deep into cinema audiences hearts and minds. And our crown for this week’s Star Of The Week is undoubtedly a well-deserved honour.

May his tribe increase!

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 18:00 IST