Ashutosh Rana is one of those actors who is known more for their villainous roles than anything else. A very demure man in real life, Ashutosh has portrayed some very strong roles on screen and audience have loved to hate his characters.
One of his most iconic roles came in the movie Sangharsh as Lajja Shankar Pandey.
As Gokul Pandit of Dushman and Nainesh of Danger, he still sends a shiver down our spines.
Ashutosh Rana refused to be a stereotypical Bollywood 'star' and that is exactly what made him a great 'actor'.
A star is forced to become repetitive while it is the duty of the actor to break the stereotypes. That's exactly what Ashutosh Rana did, he conquered Bollywood and our hearts with some memorable performances as a villain and when he refused to stick to stereotypes, Bollywood didn't have much to offer to him.
The modern age of Bollywood has done away with the concept of villains and replaced it with anti-heroes.
Cinema is a reflection of society, and as society changes so does our creativity. Earlier, we had a good guy and a bad guy. This tendency has changed now with movies opting for a more nuanced take on different aspects of life. This absence of 'villains' makes us miss Ashutosh Rana even more.
These few seconds of Sangharsh are still the scariest bits of our childhood.
Ashutosh Rana has acted in films in seven regional languages out of the 12 in which films are made. For an actor with such brilliant acting chops, Bollywood should definitely make room for more spine-chilling roles so that he could fit in.