Son of Bollywood action choreographer Veeru Devgn, Ajay Devgn made his foray into tinsel town by making his debut along in an out-an-out action-packed masala flick ‘Phool Aur Kaante’ (1991). This film became a huge hit, thereby heralding the arrival of a tall, dark and handsome actor in B-town.
Ajay Devgn successfully broke his action image with his first comedy film ‘Ishq’ (1977), which starred Aamir Khan, Kajol and Juhi Chawla. ‘Ishq’ went on to become a Box Office smash hit and was hugely loved by the audience, especially the role of Ajay Devgn, whose comic timing were as amazing as that of Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla.
Pyar To Hona Hi Tha
Ajay Devgn and Kajol starrer ‘Pyar To Hona Hi Tha’ (1998) was a rip-off of Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline starrer ‘French Kiss’ (1995). ‘Pyar To Hona Hi Tha’ was a mushy romantic flick, which furthered the real life romance of Ajay Devgn and Kajol. Ajay-Kajol’s on and off screen chemistry was the highlight of this romantic caper.
With ‘Zakhm’ Ajay Devgn silenced his critics by bagging the Best Actor National Award for his awe-inspiring role. His performance in critically and commercially acclaimed ‘Zakhm’, beautifully evoked the dilemma of religious divide in Indian society. In ‘Zakhm’, Ajay won accolades for his sensitive and coming of age maturity, which added conviction and depth to his character.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
A Sanjay Leela Bhansali multi-starrer, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ (1999) was a love-triangle, starring Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgn. The film was adapted from Maitreyi Devi’s Bengali novel ‘Na Hanyate’, where Ajay played Vanraj, an embittered husband, whose wife Nandini (Aiahwarya) is in love with Sameer (Salman). However, when Vanraj wants Nandini to reunite with Sameer, a matured Nandini aka Ash realises the steady love and devotion of Vanraj and finally leaves Salman for Ajay.
A screen adaptation of Taslima Narseen’s hard hitting novel ‘Lajja’, ‘Lajja’ (2001) was a Rajkumar Santoshi film, which starred Rekha, Manisha Koirala, Madhuri Dixit, Mahima Chaudhry, Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Ajay Devgn. A sharp and poignant take on the plight of women in India, ‘Lajja’ satirised the double standards of patriarchal society, where Ajay Devgn floored the critics and audiences alike with his powerful performance.
A Ram Gopal Varma film, in ‘Company’ (2002), Ajay Devgn played Malik, a dreaded gangster of the Mumbai underworld, who is closely modelled on Dawood Ibrahim. Another convincing and powerful performance by Ajay Devgn, whose Bollywood innings showcase immense versatility and variation when it comes to Indian cinema.
The Legend of Bhagat Singh
Ajay Devgn’s portrayal of Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh won ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ (2002) two National Awards, which included the Best Feature Film in Hindi and Best Actor award for Ajay Devgn. Though the film did not fared well at the Box Office, it went on to become a critically acclaimed film, which showcased the life and times of Bhagat Singh.
After delivering a slew of hard hitting films, Ajay Devgn once again showed his funny side in Rohit Shetty’s ‘Golmaal’(2006), ‘Golmaal Returns’ (2008) and ‘Golmaal 3’ (2010), which were successful comedy capers and Box Office money spinners.
A Vishal Bhardwaj film, Omkara (2006) was loosely based on William Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’. Starring Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, in ‘Omkara’, Ajay played the tragic character Omkara Shukla, an influential muscleman, who is modelled on the character of Othello, while Kareena Kapoor played Dolly Mishra and Saif played wicked Ishwar Langda Tyagi.
A 2010 multi-starrer political thriller, ‘Raajneeti’ was directed and produced by Prakash Jha, which starred Ajay Devgn, Ranbir Kapoor, Manoj Bajpai, Arjun Rampal, Naseeruddin Shah, Katrina Kaif and Nana Patekar. In ‘Raajneeti’, Ajay won critical acclaim for his role of a Dalit leader Sooraj Kumar in the mad scramble of national politics.
Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai
An Ekta Kapoor film, ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai’ is loosely based on the life of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim – dreaded Mumbai gangsters, where Ajay plays Sultan Mirza and Emraan Hasmi plays Shoaib Khan. ‘Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai’ was a Box Office hit and Ajay Devgn’s role as a gangster was hugely appreciated.
Dil Toh Bachchan Hai Ji
Ajay Devgn continued with his dream run on the silver screen in 2010 with three super hit films, which included Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji’. In the film, Ajay played Naren Ahuja, a forty-something divorcee, who falls in love with his young, pretty and twenty-something office intern Jerry Pinto played by Shazahn Padamsee, another winning performance by Ajay Devgn.