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10 Top Performances By Nawazuddin Siddiqui That You Cannot Miss

Ashwati Vipin | September 09, 2016

Entertainment  

We all know who Nawazuddin Siddiqui is. We have seen his movies, and have simply loved whatever he has done. We loved his cameo role in Munnabhai MBBS as a pick pocket, and we fell in love with his Faizal Khan after watching Gangs of Wasseypur. His on screen presence and charisma is overwhelming and eye-catching to any and every cinema lover. This versatile actor has won our hearts with all his performances, but some have left their mark more than others. He seems to be becoming a better actor with every performance, which is very good news for cinema enthusiasts and his fans. In a world where the Khans, Kapoors and Bachchans dominate, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has left quite an impression on us in every role of his. So today, we are going to talk about 10 such roles, which left us wanting more. Read on to find out more.

Tehmur (Talaash)

Talaash was an interesting movie for everyone and a fairly unexplored genre in Hindi cinema. But Nawazuddin received critical acclaim for his supporting role as Tehmur in the movie. Even as a supporting character, he mesmerized the audience with his fantastic acting, along with his ability to blend into any character given to him. Fans and critics agree, the role of Tehmur could not have been played by anyone other than Nawaz. Despite it starring Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor, Nawazuddin became the prime spectacle.

Layak (Badlapur)

Badlapur was a dark, menacing movie. Nawaz’s role in Badlapur as the bank robber Layak gave bank robbers a whole new sense of class and style. The entire focus of the audience shifted from the rest of the movie to his key moments in the film. In fact, many people are of the opinion that one of the reasons behind Badlapur’s box office success was Nawazuddin’s Layak, and many critics would perhaps agree with them.

Faizal Khan (Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 & 2)

Anurag Kashyap followed in the footsteps of Quentin Tarantino to bring one of the finest movies ever to have been released in India. Originally a 5 hour movie, Gangs of Wasseypur was divided into two parts for the Indian market for better economic success. The movie was not only memorable, it also showed us what Nawazuddin was capable of on screen! Faizal Khan is considered to be one of his finest roles in the last eight years of his career and truly showed his depth as an actor. Playing the head of a family of criminals in 80s Bihar, Nawazuddin Siddiqui did justice to the role with his fantastic ability to give new meaning to a character on screen and envelope the audience in his character.

Khan (Kahaani)

We all remember Kahaani for Vidya Balan and Parambrata’s iconic performances. But no cinema lover could ignore Nawazuddin as the Deputy Inspector A. Khan, a role which brought him critical acclaim all over again. His dialogue delivery and his sheer on-screen presence gave the audience a film they’d be talking about for years to come!

Gopi (Paan Singh Tomar)

Although people flocked to the multiplexes to watch Irrfan Khan in Paan Singh Tomar, they left the theatres also amazed by the wonderful portrayal of Gopi by Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Both Irrfan and Nawazuddin’s portrayal of their characters was wonderful, but Nawaz’s portrayal of Gopi was critically acclaimed and lent the film great vigour.

Rakesh (Peepli Live)

Amir Khan and Kiran Rao brought us the quirky Peepli Live, the story of an impoverished farmer and his intention to commit suicide for the sake of his family’s well-being. Nawazuddin portrays the character of Rakesh, a local news reporter, who collaborates with a journalist from a big network who wants to cover the event. Albeit a small role, Nawaz still never fails to impress us with his performance.

Shaikh in (The Lunchbox)

Irrfan Khan as a retiring office employee and Nimrat Kaur’s wonderful performance as a distraught housewife who falls in love with the man who mistakenly eats her husband’s “dabba” in the Lunchbox was beautifully done. But it’s hard to forget the Nawaz’s fantastic protrayal of Shaikh, a colleague of Irrfan Khan’s. With his witty humor and his attention to detail, Nawaz exasperated and mesmerized us in equal measure with his performance!

Hanif (Firaaq)

Firaaq brought us Nawazuddin in the role of Hanif, a Muslim man who is out to get revenge for his house being burnt down and destroyed. The performance was not only charismatic, but it also showcased an unseen side of Nawaz’s acting prowess. His performance earned him immense critical acclaim.

Sonu (Miss Lovely)

Although a bold move by the director to showcase the Indian Adult Film Industry, Miss Lovely was another glorious opportunity for Nawazuddin to show off his acting talents as Sonu, an independent film director trying to earn an honest living by directing films. The film earned critical acclaim from across the world and was another feather added to Nawaz’s acitng cap!

Purandar (Bombay Talkies)

Zoya Aktar, Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar and Dibakar Banerjee came together to come up with this masterpiece of a movie, comprising four short films from each director. Bombay Talkies was a critical hit all over the world. Nawazuddin played the character of Purandar, a struggling actor, in Dibakar Banerjee’s short film “Star”. His heart-aching performance was truly marvellous.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the epitome of how far hard work and an undying passion can bring you. His struggle for numerous years before his breakthrough into the film industry are proof of his commitment to his craft and are perhaps contributing factors to how he puts his best step forward in every role he his given. His versatility as an actor and diversity in roles are hard to beat. Even with his most recent release Raman Raghav 2.0, he truly becomes the character. In a land where superficiality dominates the big screen, Nawaz is the exception. A true actor who has carved a niche for himself, one that is solely his territory.


Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s latest film, Freaky Ali, is out in cinemas in Singapore. Be sure to book your tickets at Golden Village and Bombay Talkies.

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Ashwati Vipin

Ashwati Vipin is currently a graduate student in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. When she isn't busy wandering the realms of Neurodegenerative Disorders, she is usually working on her photography, travelling, or catching up on the alternative arts: movies, music and theatre. She also runs a photography blog on Flickr, National Geographic Members and has published with the National Geographic Society. Follow her pictures on Instagram. Other articles by this author

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