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Understated courage: Kay Kay

He proves his mettle once again with Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena.

india Updated: Nov 19, 2005 18:19 IST
Arnab Banerjee
Arnab Banerjee

The debate whether it's the stars who make a film run or good actors do, is almost becoming stale, particularly in reference to India and our weird and wonderful film industry. While Hollywood would also insist on raising their budgets whenever there's a star involved in a project, we all know that in Hindi films it's the "stars" who get to sign on big banners, hog every frame, deliver the punch lines and thus walk away with all the attention.

Does it sound fair to some eminently great actors who for some unfathomable reason, never quite make it to the category of stars?

Not really.

To all those diehard quality cinema buffs Kay Kay needs no introduction, having proved his mettle many a times before. Chhal, Bhopal Express, HazaronKhwahishen and Main Meri Patni Aur Woh are some films which more than showcased his rare talent. In the interim, two films Anurag Kashyap's Paanch and Black Friday, which ran into serious trouble with the censors due to their dark, ugly but startlingly candid depiction, have yet to see the light of the day.
Avid television watchers would also recall his graceful and powerful take on the late PM Rajiv Gandhi in the tele-series, Pradhan Mantri, directed by Ketan Mehta.

If a few months back, this South Indian actor stole the limelight from right under Bachchan junior's nose, in Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar, loosely based on Francis Coppola's Godfather, attribute it to his great potential and incisive qualities as an actor which cuts through bitterly as the "family's elder but wronged" son.

This week, he again emerges a winner in PNC's Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena. As Kaif, his con man act is perfect and faultless. One doesn't hold any grudges against him for being so ruthless at times. His endearing act is pitted against one of the best looking guys in business - Fardeen Khan and the seasoned Feroze Khan, not to mention the towering Sharad Kapoor and the many-film weathered Gulshan Grover. Kay Kay gets reduced to playing second fiddle in many scenes in this thriller where too many actors share screen time. But it is his immaculate timing and multi-dimensional characterization which enables him to rise above the humdrum routine of villainy one is so accustomed to watching here in India.

Kay Kay enacting the emotion of rage never descends into dramatic ranting. His volatile fury is understated with studied arrogance.

Let's hope some more meaningful roles come his way which would tap his full range as an actor in future too!

First Published: Nov 20, 2005 21:00 IST