From Ranbir's Roy to Dev Anand's Jewel Thief: The greatest thieves of Bollywood
As we wait for Ranbir Kapoor to play the role of thief in Roy, here is our list of favourite Bollywood thieves
This Friday, Ranbir Kapoor joins the ranks of actors who have played the great Bollywood thief. In Roy, Kapoor plays the smooth criminal after whom the film is titled. He has the flamboyance of Dhoom heroes and shares their enthusiasm for expensive rides. However, unlike Dhoom's bad boys (John Abraham's Kabir, Hrithik Roshan's Aryan and Aamir Khan's Sahir) who rode colourful sport bikes, Roy’s tastes are sophisticated. We see Kapoor going on long drives withJacqueline Fernandez in his Cadillac. He’s also interested in art (by which we mean he steals paintings). And wearing his Woody Allen-inspired beige cardigans, Kapoor’s Roy comes across as the quintessential gentleman thief. No doubt it helps that Kapoor has a feed-me-Farex baby face that wouldn’t arouse suspicion in anyone.
Kapoor reportedly only has an extended cameo in Roy and is irked that his name has been used to promote the film. However, given the other two stars of the film -- Arjun Rampal (who has films like Dil Ka Rishtaa and D-Day in his filmography) and Fernandez (of Kick fame)-- we understand the makers pitching Roy as a Ranbir Kapoor film. Here’s hoping that Kapoor’s cameo is a memorable one in Roy, but until then, here are a few of our favourite Bollywood thieves. Here's a look at them all as we wait for Roy to release on 13 February.
Dev Anand in Jewel Thief (1967):
Amar (Dev Anand) is a thief who has a doppelganger, Vijay. Vijay works with the police and helps them catch Amar’s gang members. However, with certain turn of events their identities get muddled and it becomes difficult to tell two apart. Every policeman in India and from the kingdom of Sikkim (of all places) mistakes Vijay for the thief and he finds himself in the middle of a devious plan. Sound a little bit like Don?
Rajesh Khanna in Sachaa Jhutha (1970):
While you might never come across another person who looks exactly like you in real life, in Bollywood such happenings are commonplace. Much like Jewel Thief, this film too was about a crook and his lookalike. This time Rajesh Khanna was in a double role and it’s one of the few negative roles that Khanna, best known for playing romantic leads, played. And he wasn’t half bad as the no-good lead.
Dharmendra in Shalimar (1978):
Crime really does pay in this film. A private island, a beautiful love interest, fantastic music and jewels, it was all in Shalimar along with Rex Harrison as the granddaddy of dons. Dharmendra played the underdog thief, Kumar, who won the ultimate prize (naturally). Along the way, he got to sing some fantastic songs like “Hum Bewafa”, smooch Zeenat Aman and survive all sorts of traps. It doesn’t get more kitschy than Shalimar.
Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan in Shaan (1980):
Kapoor and Bachchan are responsible for some epic antagonism in Deewar, but when they joined hands, it made for great fun. The two of them played Vijay and Ravi, small-time swindlers who took on Shakaal (a bald Kulbhushan Kharbanda), an international crime lord with some crazy real estate. How could a villain who owns cool stuff like an island full of man eating crocodiles could be defeated by the puny Vijay and Ravi? Watch Shaan to find out.
Sridevi in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja (1993):
Yes, this was an utter disaster of a movie but for Sridevi fans, there’s a lot of fun in this box office debacle. The actress played a crook named Simmi and swanned around in ridiculous disguises and outfits. In the title track of the movie, Sridevi wears a blue number that would make a disco ball seem dull. Perhaps if Sridevi had been given more to do, the film would have fared better because there’s no other actress who can make the absurd and illogical seem so utterly entertaining.
Rani Mukerji and Abhishek Bachchan in Bunty Aur Babli (2005):
Inspired by Bonnie and Clyde, Rani Mukerji and Abhishek Bachchan were Babli and Bunty, two con artists and one adorable, bickering couple who fall in love while on the job. Perhaps their greatest con was selling the Taj Mahal. Of course, their dream run of criminal success has an obstacle: the formidable ACP Dashrath Singh (Amitabh Bachchan). One of the cutest bits in the film is right at the end when both Bunty and Babli beg the ACP to save them from a life of respectability and boredom, and let them return to crime.
John Abraham in Dhoom (2004):
Although there were two more Dhoom baddies after John Abraham, his performance as Kabir remains the most memorable of the series. From his leather jackets to his sexy bikes, Abraham was the star of the film even though he had a fraction of the screen time that Abhishek Bachchan did as Jai Dixit. Abraham's Kabir was also the first time Bollywood saw a thief with six pack abs and hot wheels. And so the stud villain was born.
Ranveer Singh in Lootera (2013):
To get a 411 on what not to do as a thief, you may want to consider watching Lootera. Ranveer Singh's Varun does everything wrong. He falls in love with the girl whose father's house he wants to rob, agrees to marry her and then, instead of marrying her, dumps her on their wedding day and runs away with everything that would have been his, if he would have just bothered to say the 'I dos'. Moral of the story, it is never a good thing to mix business with pleasure. But hey, he’s cute and the romance with Sonakshi Sinha still makes for happy viewing.
Akshay Kumar in Special 26 (2013):
Akshay Kumar's clipped moustache gave a heart warming performance in this film. A film on fake-CBI heists of the 1980s, Akshay Kumar plays Ajju who prepare his own CBI team and cons the real CBI officer (Manoj Bajpai). From robbing Delhi's politicians to jewellery stores, it was a delight to watch Kumar's performance. If you ever need proof that Kumar can act, Special 26 is the film to watch.
Sonam Kapoor in Dolly Ki Doli (2015):
Even though Sonam Kapoor looked gorgeous as the “looteri dulhan” in Dolly ki Doli, she didn’t have the acting chops to show off what a fantastic character Dolly is. Dolly’s con is simple: she marries a man and on their wedding night, she drugs him and his family, lets her gang into the house, and they clean the groom’s family out.We have a sneaky suspicion that Kapoor agreed to play Dolly so that she can dress up as brides from different states, but Dolly is one of the few Hindi films in which an actress plays a heroine who isn’t simpering and entirely unapologetic about her love of the crooked life.
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