Two years ago, when Amazon Prime Video's Mirzapur exploded on our screens, we were treated to a series of extreme action sequences, and even more violent swear words. 

Mirzapur
Source: Indian Express

Over its two seasons, the show solidified its position as a gritty, revenge-fuelled saga, where characters were either brooding or bakchod, but never both.

With the exception of, of course, Guddu Bhaiya. 

Ali Fazal
Source: Indian Express

Across the 2 seasons, Guddu Bhaiya transforms from a brash body-builder to a brother out for revenge but restrained in his actions. And naturally, Ali Fazal's phenomenal performance left people in awe of his talent. 

While there is no denying that Ali Fazal does complete justice to this role, personally, it isn't Guddu Bhaiya who tops my list of favourite Ali Fazal characters. 

No, it's actually his role of Zafar in the Fukrey series.

Ali Fazal
Source: Prime Video

Yes, Fazal has various noteworthy roles under his belt and has shared screen space with truly talented actors, from Pankaj Tripathi to Judi Dench. 

And yet, the role that first left me impressed with his ability to speak volumes through his expression, and tugged at my heartstrings, was Zafar.  

Ali Fazal
Source: Charmboard

In Fukrey, Ali Fazal plays the role of a heartbroken musician, struggling to succeed, who falls on hard times when his father suffers a paralytic attack. In a comedy-drama that scored high on comedy, Zafar could have easily felt like a misfit. 

But the endearing vulnerability with which Fazal played the character made sure that this doesn't happen. 

A comedy of errors that soared high on Choocha's (Varun Sharma) idiocy, Hunny's (Pulkit Samrat) recklessness, and their envious chemistry, Fukrey was a sleeper hit that was so well-received, it birthed a sequel. While the sequel tried riding on the success of the original, it could not match the inanity of the original. 

Fukrey cast
Source: entertainment blog

But, across the two films, Zafar's 'nice guy' persona never failed to impress. The voice of reason in a group of wrongdoers, Fazal nailed Zafar's portrayal, from his guilt at failing his father to his surprise at finding his partner-in-crime wooing his ex-girlfriend. 

Simply put, in a madcap comedy where nothing was as bizarre as Choocha's origin story, he was the sobering element that actually helped make the fictional world appear more relatable, enabling the audience to connect to the story. 

After all, every college has that one senior whose story is more famous than he is! Just like Zafar bhai. 

All images from Amazon Prime Video, unless specified otherwise.