The Bollywood Underrated

“When you talk about a great actor, you’re not talking about Tom Cruise.”  Lauren Bacall


The Bollywood version of Mr. Underrated, here is a list of my favorite underrated actors that are a class above the boring Khans and the mediocre Kapoors. These actors certainly deserve a lot more than they’ve been dealt and yet haven’t made it to the top of the list.


5. Vivek Oberoi



Though a popular name in Bollywood, Vivek Oberoi is known for a plethora of diverse roles that he executes beautifully. Whether it is the lover boy caught in the midst of a political storm in Yuva or the childlike Kesu Firangi in Omkara, Cassius of the Indian equivalent of Othello, Vivek Oberoi has played these roles with delicate perfection as if these parts were tailor-made for him.


4. Kumar Gaurav



An actor from a different era, Kumar Gaurav was the most underrated actor of his time, and still remains one to this day. His most recent movie was in 2009, and his recent claim-to-fame was Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante, a rip-off of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, which Tarantino has admitted is one of the best rip-offs of one of his movies, that he loves. Kumar Gaurav wasn’t seen much in his time, or these days, but is treasure trove of talent and certainly deserves more time in the spotlight.


3. Lucky Ali



One of my favorite singer/songwriter, Lucky Ali has written many soulful ballads that he has gone on to sing in his most cherished voice. Just seeing him live in concert last week, it reminded me of his movie Sur-The Melody of Life where he plays a highly acclaimed music teacher in an existential crisis when he meets the female equivalent of his voice. With the power of his exquisite voice, Lucky Ali has sang many songs in various movies, yet acted in very few, including Kaante. He is deserving of so much more.


2. Rahul Bose



Writing about underrated Bollywood actors, how can Rahul Bose not be in this list? The rugged Rugby player and social activist has acted in various movies playing characters that are poles apart in many languages. Bose has played a photographer in the Hindu-Muslim conflict-ridden Mr. and Mrs. Iyer, a movie about a Muslim photographer and a travelling Brahmin mother, the guilt stricken ex-fiancée in 15 Park Avenue, a lonely investment banker in Chameli and who can forget the cult classic Jhankaar Beats where he played the immature Rishi. Bose, a highly versatile actor, has acted seamlessly in English, Hindi, Bengali and Tamil.


1. Nowaz



Genius. After an extremely rocky start in Bollywood where Nawazuddin Siddiqui, also known as Nowaz, played the roles of extras in epic hits such as Sarfarosh, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S and Dev D , Nowaz’s excellence was finally displayed in Kahaani, where he played the IB Officer Khan. Since then, Nowaz has gone on to play many roles in films such as Gangs of Wasseypur, Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 2, Talaash and Paan Singh Tomar. Nowaz has garnered much attention and rave in many countries and has won many awards since and he will certainly win many more.





Responses (3)

  1. Respectfully disagree on Rahul Bose. Zero charisma and personality with a few unexpected hits throughout a decade long career….that sums his role in the film industry up!

  2. Almas Zephyr Khateeb says:

    I think the unexpected hits is what give him his worth. Otherwise he really wouldn't be quite so underrated.

  3. Keerath Sethi says:

    This is beautifully written, I like. 🙂

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