For an over-enthu movie junkie, a decent story, natural actors, and a truckload of entertainment are prerequisites to grab a movie ticket. And, a Shreyas Talpade film has always satiated all the demands, albeit with him on a side seat.  

Nonetheless, Disney+ Hotstar recently served us with one of the most finely crafted sports biopics in Bollywood Kaun Pravin Tambe? in which Shreyas Talpade bowled us over in the titular role.

This biopic is carved out from the extraordinary life of cricket underdog Pravin Tambe, the oldest ever IPL debutant. 

Interestingly, the questions you’d wonder while skimming through the life of Tambe will occur again when you think of Talpade: What took them so long to grab centre-stage?

Shreyas Talpade has countless times graced our screens with his impeccable comic timing making us chuckle hard. At one point, spotting him in trailers guaranteed paisa-wasool entertainment. 

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This Marathi film actor transitioned into a Hindi cinema actor, and we found a hidden gem! He did make a name for himself in mainstream Bollywood, appearing in popular comedy-drama flicks like Golmaal, Houseful, and their sequels, but never as a protagonist, despite being a powerhouse of talent.


We look back at the reincarnation drama Om Shanti Om starring Shah Rukh Khan, in which Talpade played a supporting role as ‘Pappu Master’, the best friend of Khan’s character.

In 2007 itself, with reasonable screen time, Talpade proved that a talent like his deserves to be explored beyond main-lead-ka-best-friend scheme of things.

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Whether they are referred to as parallel leads or sidekicks, the truth that these talented actors are always overshadowed by the stars in Bollywood remains unchanged.

Surprisingly, Talpade’s debut film was also a sports drama Iqbal, in which he played the role of a deaf and mute cricketer, which was loud enough to explain his calibre right from his first big-screen presence.

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Coming back to Jayprad Desai’s directorial Kaun Pravin Tambe? Shreyas didn’t imitate but inhabited the legendary sportsman Tambe. 

Right from being the hyperlocal man living a run-of-the-mill life to displaying his ‘crazy’ obsession with Ranjhi selection, he did everything as naturally as breathing. 

At the age of 46, the world finally saw Talpade leading from the front in a role that was tailor-made for an actor of calibre like him. What could be better than a Bollywood underdog illustrating the life of a cricket underdog?

The film does not try to be a cinematic marvel, keeps one-hand distance from melodrama, and Shreyas camouflaging into this minimalistic real-life legend makes us applaud the flawless casting decision.

Also read: Arshad Warsi Was A Great Lead In Jolly LLB, And It’s High Time He’s Cast As Something Beyond A ‘Side Hero’

Shreyas Talpade fitting like a glove in the lead role of this sports drama makes him the moon that was eclipsed by the stars all these years in mainstream Bollywood.