Jul 20 2016

Naseeruddin Shah’s best onscreen moments with Om Puri: Birthday special 

by   Keyur Seta

With a career of almost 40-year-old full of dedicated performances, it won’t be an overstatement that Naseeruddin Shah is one of the finest actors of Hindi cinema. If one looks at his filmography, it is evident that his career has been running parallel with that of Om Puri’s. Interestingly, both actors are of the same league and have been buddies ever since they joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). There have been a number of films where they put up a great exhibition of their art together. On Naseeruddin Shah's 66th birthday, we take a look at the most notable performances from the duo.

1 Aakrosh 

Naseeruddin Shah played a young idealistic lawyer, whose sole aim was to provide justice to a tribal man, played by Om Puri, at any cost. Although the main character was portrayed by Puri, Shah too managed to impress with his act. The scenes between both actors are interesting despite the fact that Puri never utters a word in them.

2 Maqbool 

Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri were literally inseparable as corrupt cops in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool, which was adapted from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Apart from inducing humour, the notable aspect about seeing them together was the feeling of jugalbandi they created in almost every instance. In Macbeth, these two characters were witches. But Bhardwaj gave a completely different dimension to them while retaining the original flavour.

3 China Gate

This is by far the only hardcore action film where Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri starred together. They were part of a team of 10 army officers who were sacked from the Indian Army. They get a chance to redeem themselves by freeing a village from the clutches of an evil dacoit, Jageera (Mukesh Tiwari). Despite being a part of an ensemble cast, the two of them managed to stand out, which is hardly a surprise.

4 Jaane Bhi Do  Yaaro 

Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri have done umpteen number of films together. But in all of them they are mostly seen playing serious characters. But Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is the only film where the two legends are seen indulging in mad-cap comedy antics. The film saw Shah play a photographer who is forced to become a detective. Puri, on the other hand, is a corrupt businessman.

5 Sparsh 

Naseeruddin Shah plays a blind professor in love with Shabana Azmi’s character in the film directed by Sai Paranjpe. Their love story goes through some testing times. The film only has a single scene between Shah and Om Puri, who plays a deaf character. However, it has turned out to be not only an important one but also memorable because of the brilliant acting of the two stalwarts.