Year-Ender 2021: Vicky Kaushal, Sidharth Malhotra to Adarsh Gourav, Top 10 male performers of the year

Here is a list of the top 10 male performances in Bollywood in 2021.

Updated on Dec 31, 2021   |  03:10 PM IST  |  124.4K
Year-Ender 2021: Vicky Kaushal, Sidharth Malhotra to Adarsh Gourav, Top 10 male performers of the year
Year-Ender 2021: Vicky Kaushal, Sidharth Malhotra to Adarsh Gourav, Top 10 male performers of the year

It’s that time of the year– between Christmas and New Year’s Eve when everybody reflects back on the year that’s just gone by. It’s time to tally the good, bad, and memorable moments that might have happened to us. In this article, we shall do something similar, talk about the best that Hindi cinema and series had to offer us in 2021. This year put up a good fight against all odds brought to us by an ongoing pandemic, and we had some terrific performances and films on our silver screens and digital screens alike. 

From Vicky Kaushal in Sardar Udham to Dhanush in Atrangi Re, to Adarsh Gourav in The White Tiger. Let us have a glance at the top 10 male performances of 2021. 

1. Sidharth Malhotra (Shershaah)

In Shershaah, Sidharth essays the role of the celebrated officer, Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra, who laid down his life protecting the country in the 1999 Kargil War. His performance has been appreciated by critics and fans alike. Playing a man in uniform on the silver screen is considered a golden opportunity by many, and Sidharth’s act surely proved to be a window to the potential he holds as an actor. 

2. Vicky Kaushal (Sardar Udham)

Shoojit Sircar’s Sardar Udham has emerged as one of the best films in the Hindi film industry in recent years, with commendable screenplay and cinematography. However, it was Vicky Kaushal who surprised everyone with his act as Sardar Udham Singh, an unsung Indian revolutionary who assassinated Michael O’Dwyer, the British officer responsible for the Jalianwala Bagh incident. Vicky totally immersed himself into the skin and psyche of an innocent boy-turned-man, ready to avenge his countrymen’s brutal murder, and it showed. 

3. Adarsh Gourav (The White Tiger) 

Adarsh Gourav made a mark on everyone’s minds with his complex portrayal of Balram Halwai in The White Tiger, which also starred the likes of Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Rajkummar Rao. Adarsh, as Balram, who makes it out of a poverty-ridden life with his wit and cunning, is a force to reckon with, and he proves this several times on screen. The scene where he loses his calm on a beggar in the busy Delhi streets, particularly, stands out. 

4. Vikrant Massey (Haseen Dillruba)

It can be tricky to play the problematic ‘nice man’, but Vikrant Massey does it well in Haseen Dillruba. His transformation from a simple-minded middle-class man who, at the first glance, has all the qualities to be the ‘perfect’ husband, to a revengeful, violent man, was terrifying and creepy at the same time. Vikrant successfully portrayed layers of a seemingly not so ‘meaty’ character. 


5. Arjun Kapoor (Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar)

Arjun Kapoor, who plays Satinder Dahiya, alias Pinky in Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar, packed a surprise for his audience. The Ishaqzaade duo seemed to have brought out each other’s strength in this Dibakar Banerjee film. Arjun as Pinky, a man trapped in the maze of the ‘system’, doing the rich men’s dirty jobs and surviving on their mercy is believable and evokes sympathy. 

6. Dhanush (Atrangi Re)

Aanand L Rai’s Atrangi Re has left the audience divided with opinions. While one section of the audience has enjoyed this ‘atrangi’ story featuring the unique casting of Akshay Kumar, Sara Ali Khan, and Dhanush, the other section does not approve of the way the film dealt with mental health and its projection. However, it was Dhanush’s performance as Vishu regarding which everybody stood on the same ground. Dhanush, yet again, blessed cinephiles with his effortless charisma and honesty in portraying roles. 

7. Manoj Bajpayee (The Family Man 2)

Manoj Bajpayee as Srikant Tiwari was back with the second season of The Family Man 2 this year. Bajpayee as an on-screen TASC officer fighting a dual battle involving the safety of the country’s leader and his own daughter had us rooting for him. Manoj delivers a power-packed performance with his action sequences in narrow streets and open fields, while also giving subtle glimpses of his emotions as a man struggling to keep his marriage going. 

8. Arvind Swami (Thalaivii)

While Kangana Ranaut as Jayalalithaa was the protagonist in Thalaivii, Arvind Swami’s performance as AIADMK’s MGR was equal parts convincing and commendable. Arvind sunk his teeth well into the role of the renowned leader, and contributed to making us believe that it was in fact, Jayalalithaa and MGR we are witnessing on the silver screen. Arvind’s composed and reserved portrayal was respectable, and never once looked like insincere imitation. 


9. Mohit Raina (Mumbai Diaries 26/11) 

Mohit Raina made his OTT debut with the medical thriller drama, Mumbai Diaries 26/11 and the actor did not disappoint. Mohit was on-point as Dr. Kaushik Oberoi, a senior doctor at Mumbai’s General Hospital who, among his other co-workers, were at the front line on the fateful night of the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. Mohit brings his two-decade-long experience along with him, which helps the actor shine in a terrific ensemble cast that also included Konkona Sensharma. 

10. Amol Parashar (Sardar Udham)

Apart from Vicky Kaushal, Amol Parashar as Shaheed Bhagat Singh was another memorable and remarkable performance from Sardar Udham. Although Amol had a short role to play, he did it with sincerity and commitment, so much so, that his brief stint in the film left an impact on the audience. Talking about his role to t2, Amol said, “He had to be a charming fellow. He had to be not only smart, but also witty. He had to be friendly and approachable. Even when he was imparting knowledge, he had to talk to people as a friend, as opposed to having that attitude, ‘Chalo, main abhi tumko gyaan deta hoon (laughs).’ And undoubtedly, Amol portrayed this essence in Bhagat Singh. 


Which, according to you, was the best male performance in Bollywood this year? Tell us in the comments! 

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Dec 31, 2021
Sidharth Malhotra for SherShaah all the way!!