With Paatal Lok, actor Jaideep Ahlawat finally got a chance to lead the story, and he did complete justice to his role as the protagonist, Inspector Hathiram Chaudhary.
However, in a decade-long career, Jaideep Ahlawat has managed to leave a lasting impression on the audience, despite being relegated to minor roles or stereotypical characters, as proved by these movies:
1. Sanjay Rane from Khatta Meetha
The corrupt, malicious politician is a common villain in Bollywood movies. And yet, in his first film itself, Ahlawat's performance as Sanjay Rane earned him a fair share of attention - which, considering he was sharing screen space with crowd favourite Akshay Kumar, is no easy feat.
2. Shahid Khan from Gangs of Wasseypur
Long before Raazi shot him to widespread fame, Ahlawat earned a small but loyal fan base after his brilliant portrayal of Shahid Khan. In a film where every violent scene evoked an adrenaline rush, his fight sequence still remains one of the film's most memorable, albeit brutal, moments.
3. Amrit Kanwal from Commando
At the heels of his GoW success came the action-thriller Commando, where he played the antagonist Amrit Kanwal aka AK-74. A film that relied more on the high-paced action sequences than on the story did not allow him to truly portray his craft, but it did give us a glimpse of his range as an actor.
4. Khalid Mir from Raazi
A stoic, strict agent of RAW, who knows that the cost of the job is to bury his emotions, Khalid Mir is one of Ahlawat's finest performances to date. Because he allowed his expressions and gestures to speak far more than his dialogues.
5. Ananta Singh in Chittagong
The National-award winning film may not have won over the Box Office, but it did put Jaideep Ahlawat in the league of actors whose presence in a movie could not be ignored, no matter the length of the role, or the co-actor in the scene.
6. Sudhir in Lust Stories
The Netflix anthology Lust Stories showcased a side of Jaideep Ahlawat that movies had shied away from presenting. A conflicted friend, in a clandestine affair with his best friend's wife, Ahlawat nailed the complexities of the character so perfectly that you couldn't help but wish to see more of him on-screen.
7. Shehzad Tanveer from Bard of Blood
While Bard of Blood wasn't Netflix's finest offering, Ahlawat's performance, as the cunning and manipulative intelligence agent, was flawless.
Jaideep Ahlawat will next be seen in Ishaan Khatter and Ananya Pandey starrer, Khaali Peeli.