He is a champion of parallel cinema, a non-conformist actor with a penchant for playing complex roles…
Abhay Deol may have been born into the influential Deol family which includes his uncle Dharmendra and his sons, but he carved a niche for himself in independent cinema with his own skills.
He later graduated to commercial cinema where his success in films like Zindagi Na MIlege Dobara has won plaudits. He remains choosy over his roles and this is one of the reasons why his films create impact.
Here are some of his films which are worth watching:
Socha Na Tha (2005)
Cast: Abhay Deol, Ayesha Takia, Sandhya Mridul, Apoorva Jha, Rati Agnihotri, Ayesha Jhulka
Director: Imtiaz Ali
Viren (Deol) refuses to marry Aditi (Takia) after they are brought together by their families, the reason being that the former is committed to his girlfriend of three years Karen (Jha). But a trip to Goa changes the equation and Viren begins to love Aditi.
However, Aditi is forced to reject him as her marriage has been fixed to someone else. Viren dejectedly carries on with his life before Karen confesses to Aditi that she does not love Viren and that she is free to marry him. But will it work?
Ek Chalis Ki Last Local (2007)
Cast: Abhay Deol, Neha Dhupia, Nawazuddin Siddique, Vinay Apte, Ashok Samarth, Virendra Saxena
Director: Sanjay Khanduri
Two people miss the last local train at 1.40am in Mumbai and get into a mess involving money, murder and gangsters. Nilesh (Deol), who works in a call centre, goes in search of an auto-rickshaw and bumps into a damsel in distress Madhu (Dhupia) who is also searching for the same.
Thus begins an adventure which starts off with a bit of gambling and then getting involved with gangsters galore including a homosexual one. The resultant chaos brings the couple closer while they duck bullets and redefine relationships.
Manorama Six Feet Under (2007)
Cast: Abhay Deol, Raima Sen, Gul Panag, Sarika, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Vinay Pathak, Nawazuddin Siddique
Director: Navdeep Singh
The story, based on Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, is set in a sleepy village in Rajasthan where a down and out public works engineer and writer Satyaveer (Deol) gets trapped in a mystery. His wife Nimmi (Panag) is a bit of a nag who is hoping for better fortunes.
An affluent visitor calling herself Ms Rathore visits him and asks him to find get some proof of her husband’s affair. In dire need of money, he accepts but falls into trap which reveals that Mrs Rathore is actually Manorama (Sarika) who reveals her true before committing suicide. The story then twists and turns before the truth comes out.
Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008)
Cast: Abhay Deol, Neetu Chandra, Paresh Rawal, Archana Puran Singh, Richa Chadda, Manu Rishi
Director: Dibakar Banerjee
Lucky Singh (Deol) comes from a poor, dysfunctional family and banks on his luck to make it big. He becomes a fearless, audacious thief who strikes on rich people n many cities. He does all that for fun. He finally gets caught and reflects on his life in jail.
His marriage to Sonal (Chandra), his long association with Gogi Arora (Rawal) and his risky robberies all pass through his mind. The betrayal by his friend and business partner also rankles with him.
Dev D (2009)
Cast: Abhay Deol, Mahi Gill, Kalki Koechilin, Dibyendu Bhattacharya
Director: Anurag Kashyap
This modern day adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel Devdas by Kashyap was well received by audiences and critics. Dev (Deol) loves middle class girl Paro (Gill) but rumours about her fuels anger in him and he leaves in disgust.
He lets Paro get married elsewhere but then realises how much she meant for him. He indulges in alcohol and drugs, often living a haze of consciousness.
He meets a Delhi student Leni (Koechilin) who is a prostitute by night and goes by the name Chanda. But it is Paro whom he wants.