How do you define a super cop? A well-built police officer, a robust policeman, or a good-looking one?
These days cop films are a craze. Rohit Shetty’s version of a super cop in his Singham series redefined the image of a cop in the popular culture. Bollywood fans rose from their seats in cinema halls to applaud the entry of Singham. Some cop films that redefined police officers in the Hindi film industry:
Shashi Kapoor in Deewaar (1975)
Shashi Kapoor as Ravi in Yash Chopra’s cult-classic Deewaar (1975) may have spoken some of the most popular dialogues in Indian cinema, but it’s his determination and dedication towards his duty that makes him a winner. He shoots his criminal brother (Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay) at the end of the film. Yash Chopra is Yash Chopra, the only one of his kind. A couple of years before Deewaar, Amitabh Bachchan marked his return with Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer (1973) after giving a series of flops.
Dilip Kumar in Shakti (1982)
Imagine a father who has to shoot his only son, though a criminal. Dilip Kumar left no stone unturned in giving all his efforts to portray an honest police officer in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti (1982). A devoted teary-eyed police officer shoots his hurt and wounded son (Amitabh Bachchan as Vijay).
Om Puri in Ardh Satya (1983)
Pardon me again if Om Puri’s portrayal of a young police officer (sub-inspector) is not among Bollywood’s most popular (on screen) police officers. An angry Om Puri joins the force only to see that things are hellish in the department. Govind Nihalani set Om Puri in motion to challenge the very narrative of a corrupt police administration. Om Puri exploded onto the screen with his stellar performance.
Manoj Bajpai in Shool (1999)
Again an honest police officer is transferred to a place, which has a corrupt police administrative system. Like Om Puri in Ardh Satya (1983), Manoj Bajpai sans dance, romance, lights, and sound effects, excelled in the role of a sincere police officer who is up against corrupted politicians and police officials. His anger is palpable.
Aamir Khan in Baazi (1995) and Sarfarosh (1999)
Aamir Khan is a perfectionist, and he never fails to amaze us, be it in the hands of Ashutosh Gowariker or John Matthew Matthan. Before he exploded as ACP Ajay Singh Rathod in Matthan’s Sarfarosh, he played the role of an honest police officer with finesse. His mannerisms, body language, and acting skills made amazed all.
A young, handsome, and good-looking man takes Seema (Sonali Bendre) by surprise (even us) when she comes to know he is an ACP fighting against all evil forces in the country. Without vehicles flying all-round, Matthan made sure that Aamir Khan delivered nothing but the best.
Boman Irani in My Wife’s Murder (2005)
Boman Irani as inspector Tejpal Randhawa in Jijy Philip’s My Wife’s Murder (2005) eats, eats, and eats and solves the murder case of Sheela (Suchitra Krishnamoorthy), wife of Ravi (Anil Kapoor). Irani as a fatty and foodie inspector solves the murder mystery in the end. He performed the challenging role with élan. He has no uniform, no superb physique to flaunt and no great stunts to perform. All he does is solve the case sans pomp and show.
Rani Mukerji in Mardaani (2014)
You will rarely find a woman police officer in Hindi cinema. Let’s not bring here ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991) and ‘The Bone Collector’ (1999). Rani Mukerji as inspector Shivani Shivaji Roy in Pradeep Sarkar’s Mardaani (2014) has to find out and uncover a child trafficking cartel. Mukerji in her first role as a police officer not only amazes us but also overshadows a few other performances. It is no wonder that Sarkar came back with Mardaani 2 (2019) with another gripping story to tell.
Ayushmann Khurrana in Article 15 (2019)
Ayushmann Khurrana is a gem of an actor. He is enough efficient to play any role with élan and finesse. His portrayal of a police officer (his first role as a police officer) fetched him glory and awards. A must-watch film indeed.