Bollywood Villains have entertained the audience for many years. It is the villains that made the Heroes worthy to notice. "As there is a use in medicine for poisons, so the world cannot move without rogues."--- Films would be truly colourless and unexciting without villains and the most vital question remains, which would provide the hero to prove his heroism! At the inception of the Indian cinema
the Bollywood villains were mainly replicas of mythological characters. As original scripts became the norm the villains there would create a number of problems for the heroes. The film ended with the villain being vanquished by the hero. The age old concept, `victory of good over evil` was predominant.
The Bollywood villains have at times overshadowed the leading actors with their performances. During the Golden Era of Indian Cinema
several leading actors started their careers as villains. One of the most glaring examples is Dilip Kumar
in Aan (1949). His character in Aan has negative shades. Apart from this the popular Bollywood villain in the 1950s was Prem Nath. His debut movie was Aag under the RK banner. He went onto star in movies, such as, Teesri Manzil, Johnny Mera Naam, Roti
, Kapada Aur Makaaan, Dharmatma and Desh Premee.
The other popular villain of that age was Pran
. He appeared in most of the films with Shammi Kapoor
, Dilip Kumar
, Dev Anand
and other Bollywood heroes. He is remembered for his role in Munimji, Ram Aur Shyam, Madhumati, Kashmir ki Kali, Brahmachari
and a host of other films.
Ajit is another name that is unforgettable when one discusses about Bollywood villains. He was born as Hamid Ali Khan. His unique way of dialogue delivery and impressive personality made him one of the most sophisticated villains of all time. He immortalised the negative characters in Zanjeer, Kalicharan and Yaadon Ki Baraat. Other contemporary Bollywood villains were Rehman, Madan Puri and others.
The representation of villains is quite fascinating as it has changed over the decades: from urban tycoons and village money-lenders in the 1950s and 1960s to smugglers violating law in the 1970s, unyielding patriarchs in 1980 romance films and politicians or terrorists in the 1990s.
, Shakti Kapoor
and others were some of the popular Bollywood villains. But the one man who snatched away the spotlight from everyone was Amjad Khan
as Gabbar Singh in Sholay
. Amjad Khan walked away with all the applause. It was his debut movie as a villain. Gabbar Singh`s dialogues were a national rage. Satte pe Satta, Mr. Natwarlal, Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, Kasme Vaade
, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Suhaag, Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, Kaalia, Nastik and several other movies are credited to him.
At around this time another villain entered Bollywood. Utpal Dutta
with an inimitable style and conniving smile became a favourite. His talent was unquestionable and his screen presence was stunning. He immortalised his characters in films like Barsaat ki Ek Raat, Amanush and others. Amrish Puri
, blessed with an authoritative voice and superb personality was perfect as the dominating villain. He suited all kinds of negative roles such as a tyrannical landlord, a sophisticated crook and also the role of a strict father. His character of Mogambo in the film, Mr. India
was a major hit. He became famous overnight. Some of his hit films include Hum Paanch
, Vidhaata, Saudagar, Aaj Ka Arjun, Shaenshah, Meri Jung, Deewana, Zindagi Ek Jua, Ghatak, Karan Arjun, Damini, Tejashwini, Gadar, Yaadein, Nayak and others.
Alongside Amrish Puri several other actors rose who played the villain in Hindi films. They are Ranjeet, Jeevan, Danny Denzongpa
and later Ashish Vidyarthi, Ashutosh Rana
, Nana Patekar
, Sadhashiv Amrapurkar, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Dalip Tahil
, Sayaji Shinde, Naseeruddin Shah
, Paresh Rawal
, Anupam Kher
, Mohan Agashe
, Gulshan Grover and others.
Amongst these actors special mention of Naseeruddin Shah is probably necessary for his role in Mirch Masala as the lecherous Subedar. He was outstanding in the role. Mohan Agashe is primarily a stage actor but he has established himself as one of the best villains as well.
There has been a huge transition for the villains of the silver screen. Today they are more anti heroes than villains. The trend started with Shahrukh Khan in his film Baazigar and today many heroes have played negative characters in commercial films
Ajay Devgan, Akshaye Khanna
, Akshay Kumar
, Viveik Oberoi, Aamir Khan
, Saif Ali Khan
and others are well known such characters onscreen that are tinged with the shades of grey.
Actresses in Bollywood have portrayed negative roles with equal ‚lan. Earlier there was Nadira, Lalita Pawar
, Shashikala, Bindu
, Aruna Irani
, etc. With the changing times the leading ladies of Bollywood do not shy away from experimenting with their roles either. Female actors in Bollywood, such as, Shabana Azmi
, Smita Patil
, Bipasha Basu
, Priyanka Chopra
, Kareena Kapoor
, Urmila Matondkar
and other heroines have exploited this genre.