Sat Sri Akaal.
Praise The Lord!
Before I begin, please accept my heartfelt condolences. I'm really sorry to hear about the passing away of your father, Nawabuddin Siddiqui. Losing a loved one is always tragic. May his soul Rest in Peace.
It's exactly a year since I last wrote to you (July 30, 2014). It was after the release of KICK. I settled in my seat as soon as you were wheeled in at a crucial time in the movie. Just watching you flesh out this maniacal character was a joy in itself.
I write again, a year later, after BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN. Things are definitely looking better as far as your career is concerned. But your talent was never in doubt. Just the timing! Suddenly, there is a massive interest in you.
What I had written then is coming to light now. I had mentioned that there is an audience out there who want to watch meaningful cinema, and also want to watch actors like you bring characters alive on the big screen. This was written because I had known for a fact that some of your films were being held up for want of distributors.
I'm glad the scenario has now been reversed. I believe your semi-maniacal laughter from KICK, reached the ears of the distributors who were holding up your films.
I'm looking forward to MANJHI and have no doubt whatsoever about how your performance will be. You are a ‘Mountain Man', any which way you look at it. You climb the highest peak of every character you portray with a rare sense of creepy calm.
You becoming the character you are supposed to play in every movie is what amazes me, and scores of others. There is never a residue of your last act. The way you go about your craft, I get the feeling that acting is religion for you! No short cuts. No theek hai attitude. You give it your all.
I have seen the audience go berserk at the entry of a ‘hero' in many films. The last time I saw such welcome was for Jaggu dada in 1942: A LOVE STORY, in 1994. Jackie Shroff's entry in that movie was stylish! Not to mention bhai's entry in EK THA TIGER.
However, Bhai's entry in BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN did not get so many ceetis and taalis as did yours when you came on as a television reporter, microphone in hand. You have raised the bar for acting; you become the character you play, no matter what the scale of the movie.
Yours has not been a rosy journey. You have had your fair share of struggle and bit roles before recognition came your way. The big stars and big banners are looking your way. Talent is being justified. And you are justifying the faith reposed in you by the directors and producers.
Keep going Nawazbhai. Keep entertaining us in every role you play.
You are truly a Nawab, the Czar of Bollywood. The proof is in TALAASH, KAHAANI, KICK, BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN, in BADLAPUR as Liak. If more proof is needed, MANJHI will settle it.
Yes, Nawabbhai, your father is smiling down at you from up above. His son is now a star!
God Bless You.
(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be…)
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