Amid ‘Maidaan’ Release, A Look At Powerhouse Ajay Devgn’s Work Across Diverse Genres

Ajay Devgn’s ‘Maidaan’ released in theatres recently, clashing with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff’s ‘Bade Miyan Chote Miyan’.

Nitika Sharma
Written By: Nitika Sharma
Updated: April 13, 2024 | 10:30 IST
Ajay Devgn
Ajay Devgn’s ‘Maidaan’ released in theatres recently, clashing with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff’s ‘BMCM'.

As one of the largest film industries in the world, Bollywood has always captivated viewers with its rich blend of music, drama, and spectacle. From epic love stories to rib-tickling comedies and action-packed entertainers, the Hindi film industry has something in store for everyone. What sets Bollywood apart from other film industries is its ability to evoke a wide range of emotions – from laughter to tears, from joy to heartbreak, and more – in just a single viewing experience. Bollywood movies have the ability to transport their viewers to a different world altogether, thanks to the huge sets, catchy music, killer dance numbers, and memorable performances. 

Apart from entertaining the audiences, some Bollywood movies are also thought-provoking and inspiring. They are also a reflection of our society, addressing relevant issues and sparking important conversations. With its powerful storytelling and unforgettable performances, Bollywood has the ability to inspire, provoke, and unite viewers.

Whether it's the timeless charm of iconic actors or the innovative storytelling of emerging talents, each Bollywood movie offers a unique experience that resonates with audiences across generations. Among the many actors – Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Aamir Khan – have amassed a huge fan following.

SRK, also known as King Khan or Badshah of Bollywood, has given us some of the most iconic romantic movies. And we can all unanimously agree that Shah Rukh Khan is truly the king of romance. Salman Khan, also known as ‘Bhaijaan’, has cemented his place as the biggest entertainer with his action-packed blockbusters. Meanwhile, Aamir Khan has earned the title ‘Mr. Perfectionist’ after delivering several hit movies, including ‘Taare Zameen Par’, ‘Lagaan’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Rang De Basanti ‘Dangal’, and more. 

Amid the Khans, another star who has made his place in the entertainment industry is none other than Ajay Devgn. A powerhouse performer, he is known for his versatility. Born as Vishal Veeru Devgan on April 2, 1969, in New Delhi, Ajay Devgn has never limited himself as an actor.

Ajay Devgn’s father, Veeru Devgan, was a well-known stunt choreographer and action director. The Bollywood star’s mother, Veena Devgan, is a film producer. His family’s deep involvement in Bollywood provided Ajay Devgn with a firsthand experience of the industry from a young age. 

Ajay Devgn made a striking entry in Bollywood with his debut film ‘Phool Aur Kaante’ in 1991, where his introduction scene performing a split while balancing on two moving motorcycles garnered immense attention. The 1991 Hindi Movie earned Ajay Devgn the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut, catapulting him into the limelight. 

And there has been no looking back for Ajay Devgn since then. His career trajectory showcased a blend of commercial and critical successes. His versatility as an actor is evident in his wide range of roles, from action and drama to comedy and romance. His performances in films like ‘Dilwale’, ‘Zakhm’, ‘Company’, ‘Omkara’, and ‘Drishyam’ have been particularly praised for their depth and intensity. 

For his role in ‘Zakhm’, Ajay Devgn received the National Film Award for Best Actor, further solidifying his position as a renowned actor in Bollywood.

In addition to acting, Ajay Devgn has also produced several projects. The Bollywood actor has also tried his hand at directing, demonstrating his multifaceted talent in the Hindi film industry. 

Over the years, Ajay Devgn has evolved from a promising newcomer to a Bollywood star, with a career spanning over three decades marked by numerous awards and a vast fan following. 

His journey, in which he has starred in diverse genres of films, reflects a deep commitment to his craft. In just a few months of 2024, he has once again proved his versatility as an actor. He started the year on a good note with the release of ‘Shaitaan’. The supernatural horror thriller was a commercial and critical success. 

He recently came out with a new Hindi movie ‘Maidaan’. The biographical sports drama had a full-fledged release on April 11, coinciding with Eid 2024. 

With the release of ‘Shaitaan’ and ‘Maidaan’, we decided to take a look at Ajay Devgn’s work across different genres. 

Without further ado, check out the list below:

1. ‘Dilwale’: Directed by Harry Baweja, this Hindi romantic drama film was released in 1994. The Bollywood movie featured Ajay Devgn in the lead role alongside Suniel Shetty, Raveena Tandon, and Paresh Rawal. In ‘Dilwale’, Ajay Devgn portrayed the role of Arun Saxena, a man with a troubled past who falls in love with Sapna (played by Raveena Tandon), the daughter of a wealthy businessman. The film perfectly blended elements of action, romance, and drama, showcasing Ajay Devgn’s ability to portray intense and emotionally charged roles. ‘Dilwale’ is remembered for its music, composed by Nadeem-Shravan, which became very popular. The film, exploring themes of love and redemption, solidified Ajay Devgn’s position as a promising young talent in Bollywood.

2. ‘Zakhm’: Released in 1998, ‘Zakhm’ is directed by Mahesh Bhatt. The poignant drama delved into religious tensions and personal tragedy. The movie, co-starring Pooja Bhatt, Nagarjuna Akkineni and Sonali Bendre, is set against the backdrop of the communal tensions in Mumbai. Ajay Devgn played the role of Ajay R. Desai, the son of a Muslim mother and Hindu father, caught between the complexities of his family's past and the reality of religious conflicts in India. The film is known for its powerful performances, particularly by Ajay Devgn, whose portrayal earned him the National Film Award for Best Actor. It is also praised for its nuanced storytelling and emotional depth, making it a significant work in the landscape of Indian cinema. 

3. ‘Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha’: This 1998 Bollywood movie starred Ajay Devgn with Kajol. In ‘Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha’, directed by Anees Bazmee, the Bollywood actor showcased his fun romantic side. The film is popular for its humour, engaging storyline, and brilliant performances by the lead actors. It also features memorable music by Jatin-Lalit, with songs that became quite popular and are still loved by many. ‘Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha’ was a commercial success and is fondly remembered for its depiction of love and the crackling chemistry between Ajay Devgn and Kajol. It is also often celebrated for its feel-good nature and remains a favourite among fans of romantic comedies.

4.‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’: In this movie, Ajay Devgn played the role of a husband who comes to know that his wife (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) loves someone else right after their marriage. Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the cult classic also starred Salman Khan and released in 1999. Ajay Devgn’s performance as Vanraj in the epic love story cemented his position in the entertainment industry as an actor who can take up any role with ease, without fearing the screen time. 

5.‘Company’: The 2002 Hindi movie, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, launched Vivek Oberoi in Bollywood. The Indian crime thriller film, starring Ajay Devgn in the lead role along with Vivek Oberoi, was based on the life of two gangsters and how their desire for power drifts them apart. Ajay Devgn’s role as Mallik is considered a classic and is still remembered as one of his finest performances. The movie’s cast also included South star Mohanlal as a dedicated police officer tasked with tackling the gang activities and Manisha Koirala as Mallik’s love interest. The film, exploring themes of loyalty, betrayal and the quest for power, received positive reviews for its storytelling, direction and performances.

6.‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’: The 2002 historical biographical film, directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, got Ajay Devgn his second National Film Award for his powerful performance as Bhagat Singh, an Indian revolutionary freedom fighter. Set against the backdrop of British colonial rule in the 1920s, the film explored Bhagat Singh's involvement in the struggle for India's independence. The movie, co-starring Sushant Singh, D. Santosh, Akhilendra Mishra, Raj Babbar, Farida Jalal, and more, is remembered for its intense performances, particularly by Ajay Devgn who portrayed the role of Bhagat Singh with conviction. The movie effectively combined dramatic recreations of key events with powerful dialogues and a rousing musical score.

7.‘Bhoot’: Showcasing his versatility yet again as a leading actor in Bollywood, Ajay Devgn starred in this 2003 horror thriller. This one is particularly memorable as one doesn’t often get to see big Bollywood actors in horror films. The movie was directed by Ram Gopal Varma and co-starred Urmila Matondkar opposite Ajay Devgn who played a husband whose wife becomes possessed. The film is known for its chilling sequences and strong performances. Ajay Devgn’s role was crucial as he navigated the terrifying changes in his wife's (Urmila Matondkar) behaviour. The movie's effective storytelling and cinematography made it one of the standout horror films in Bollywood, with a soundtrack that complemented its eerie feel.

8.‘Gangaajal’: Ajay Devgn’s intense appearance was put to the best use when he played a cop in Prakash Jha’s ‘Gangaajal’. In the 2003 movie, Ajay Devgn portrayed the role of Amit Kumar, an honest police officer who takes a stand against corruption and crime in a lawless town. His portrayal of the fearless cop garnered him immense critical acclaim. ‘Gangaajal’ also achieved the ideal balance between substance and masala entertainment. The movie also won a National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues. 

9.‘ Golmaal’ series: In Rohit Shetty’s ‘Golmaal’ movie franchise, which started with ‘Golmaal: Fun Unlimited’ in 2006, Ajay Devgn showcased his comedic prowess. He played the role of Gopal, a quirky and mischievous character known for his antics. The 2006 Hindi movie also starred Arshad Warsi, Sharman Joshi, Tusshar Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, and more. 

10. ‘Singham’ movies: Directed by Rohit Shetty, the 2011 movie ‘Singham’ featured Ajay Devgn as Bajirao Singham, an upright and fearless police officer. While Ajay Devgn had played a cop before in ‘Gangaajal’, the ‘Singham’ movie franchise remains iconic in his decades-long career. Ajay Devgn's portrayal of the character was characterized by his trademark intensity and action-packed sequences. His performance contributed to the film's success and established him as a formidable action hero in Bollywood. In 2014, ‘Singham Returns’, was released and it also starred Kareena Kapoor Khan. In 2024, ‘Singham Again’ is set to release. The film, which will see Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor khan reprising their roles, will also feature Tiger Shroff, Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Arjun Kapoor. 

P.S: ‘Drishyam’ movie series, originally made by Indian writer-director Jeethu Joseph in Malayalam with Mohanlal in the lead role, received widespread acclaim. The hit suspense thriller was later remade in several languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Chinese and more. While Mohanlal’s ‘Drishyam’ remains iconic, its 2015 Hindi adaptation directed by Nishikant Kamat, starring Ajay Devgn, gained immense appreciation and became quite popular.

Having showcased his versatility across various genres, Ajay Devgn decided to take up ‘Drishyam’, a film that was purely based on content. Playing a middle-aged father with two kids, Ajay Devgn’s performance left the audience impressed. The second installment of the Hindi version was released in 2022. It was a massive critical and commercial success. The movie also starred Tabu, Akshaye Khanna, Shriya Saran and Rajat Kapoor. 

Apart from these movies, Ajay Devgn has starred in many memorable films like ‘Omkara’, ‘Apaharan’, ‘Raincoat’, ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’, ‘Raid’, ‘Shivaay’, ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai’ and ‘Raajneeti’.

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