These astonishing performances showed us that the small screen has limitless potential to interact with our mind and arouse our emotions. We may forget stories but we never forget a character who moved us, tickled us or made us think deeply about life. From Scam 1992’s Harshad Mehta to Paatak Lok’s Hathi Ram – here are a few characters that made us laugh, cry and introspect.
1. Jagdeep Chadda in “The Office”:
Can fictional sitcoms like “The Office” be successfully adapted to Indian sensibilities? Well, we don’t really know that for sure, but in our own adaptation of this global success, Mukul Chadda’s portrayal of the eccentric manager popularized by Ricky Gervais and then Steve Carell was widely praised. Mukul as Jagdeep Chadda is the easily recognizable boss who is all too familiar, chuckles loudly at his own jokes, and always misses personal cues as he awkwardly tries to bring a good mood into the moody work environment. Mukul effortlessly plays a affable but ultimately clueless character who is completely different from the roles he carved out in “Gurgaon” and “Bichoo Ka Khel”. He is an actor who continually amazes audiences and Jagdeep Chadda is truly one of his most memorable creations.
2. Abhishek Tripathi in “Panchayat”:
Jitendra Kumar is flawless in the role of Abhishek Tripathi, the hapless secretary of a Sarpanch from the “Panchayat” series. He is an engineering graduate whose dreams of a successful career and exciting life in the city did not come true. He feels frustrated at being just a racing man, but as the series progresses we see his angst give way to new ideas. He begins to engage with the life around him even as he studies to pass the Common Entrance Test (CAT). Abhishek is a nostalgic reminder of the golden age of Doordarshan when realistic and cleverly written shows like “Kakaji Kahin” and “Malgudi Days” told the simple stories of “ordinary” Indians. And Jitendra is just the perfect actor to play the common man who wants an unusual existence but is stuck in Phulera where even computer screens are mistaken for televisions.
3.Harshad Mehta in ‘Scam 1992’:
This series of superhits was also a groundbreaking performance for actor Pratik Gandhi in the lead role. Playing the ambitious broker Harshad Mehta, Pratik perfectly lives his trajectory from a Chawl to a lavish penthouse and a prison cell where his meteoric rise ends on a tragic note. Based on journalist Sucheta Dalal and Debashish Basu’s book The Scam: Who Won, Who Lost, Who Got Away, the uplifting tale gives us an unforgettable protagonist who exists in the gray area between good and evil and loses his way trying to play the banking system. Whether it is the realistic places, the authenticity of the period or the background score, everything has come together to give us a story and a character that we will not forget in a hurry.
4. Hathi Ram Chaudhary in “Paatal Lok”:
Jaideep Ahlawat as Hathi Ram Chaudhary in “Paatal Lok” gives a master class on how to develop a character in detail. Everything, from his walk, his diction and his body language, cements him forever in our memory. Hers is an austere and realistic portrayal of a cop who is a father and a husband, a small part of a system that rarely delivers justice and finally a man on a mission who wants to find the truth no matter what the cost. . He realizes that the only way to survive the system is to not get played by it and his raw physical courage and empathy help him unearth layers of corruption leading to an assassination attempt on a top journalist. level. Easily one of the best performances of recent times, Hathi Ram deserves a reminder.
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