Soul stirring performances in celluloid
Cinema is an art that retells the story of people and gives someone a chance to live over a thousand lives through diverse characters. This art has developed a connection between the audience and the artists in cinema - the actors and the film makers. Actors contribute mostly in providing a film its infallibility with their magical acting performances. Among the most remarkable acting performances in world film history, the top ten are referred below.
Marlon Brando in The Godfather Part I (1972)
Marlon Brando's classical depiction of the Godfather is unforgettable in the world of cinema. Despite being a Native American, he immersed himself wonderfully in the role of Vito Corleone, the head of an Italian-American mafia. His amazing performance won him an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for the best actor in a leading role.
Al Pacino in The Godfather Part I (1972)
Besides the role of Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone, the role of Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, the younger son in the Corleone family is equally memorialized. We can see the amazing transformation of his role from a doe-eyed young boy to a ruthless don. The cold stare in his eyes, his tone, his bold actions- all won the audiences' hearts. He played the role so tactfully that it launched his career and established him as one of the greatest actors during one of the greatest decades (the '70s) in American Film. Regardless of his endeavor for this movie, he won an academy award for his performance in 'Scent of a Woman'.
Robert De Niro in The Raging Bull (1980)
Robert De Niro's portrayal as an emotionally self-destructive boxer, Jake LaMotta is considered unique in the chronicles of cinema. He put on 60 pounds for playing this character. He poured out his heart in this performance and did the role with much expertise that it won him an Oscar and a Golden Globe as well as appreciation from all aficionados.
Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994)
Tom hanks performed the role of Forrest Gump- a slow-witted but kind hearted, good natured and athletically prodigious man from Alabama. He played the role so perfectly with a heavy southern accent and by conveying his emotions efficiently that it touched the hearts of cinephiles around the world. After winning an Academy Award for Philadelphia (1993), Tom Hanks once again won another Academy Award consecutively for his outstanding performance in this inspirational movie in 1994.
Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond (2006)
In the movie Blood Diamond based on the warzone in Sierra Leone, Leonardo DiCaprio portrays the character of Danny Archer, a white Rhodesian (South African) diamond-smuggler. DiCaprio put all his efforts to make his performance flawless through his ability to merge himself with the character, his charisma and with his excellent quality of captivating the audience. Although he has won an Academy Award for his unsurpassed performance in The Revenant (2015), his representation in this film is considered unparallel.
Christian Bale in The Machinist (2004)
In this psychological thriller film, Christian Bale appalled us by his astounding performance. He dropped 60 pounds just for portraying himself as Trevor Reznik, an insomniac lathe-operator with a skeletal figure. He put his sweat and hard work for his acting alongside acquainting us with his talents. His extraordinary acting combined with the storyline of the movie and made the audience marvel at this suspenseful thriller. Even though Bale has won an Academy Award for his supporting role in The Fighter (2010), his efforts for this film deserve an enthusiastic applause.
Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)
To all the DC comic freaks, the 'Joker' is one of the scariest and best villains. And none could perfectly portray this sadistic, psychopath prankster other than Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. None can transcend his depiction of the Joker. The signature Glasgow smile, the intimidating laugh and a wild sense of black humor of the Joker - all had been evinced brilliantly by Heath Ledger. His incredibly thrilling, monumental, terrifying performance gave us goose bumps and made us cheer with amazement for this super-villain in this superhero movie directed by the ingenious filmmaker Christopher Nolan.
Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful La Vita e Bella (1997)
According to all art film lovers, Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella) is a must-watch movie in a foreign language (Italian). Roberto Benigni artistically portrayed the character of Guido, a free-thinking Italian-Jewish librarian who becomes the victim of the Holocaust and tries to protect his son's innocence by instilling the idea in him that Holocaust is a game that he had to cleverly and carefully play. Even after directing and co-writing the film, he gifts us a remarkable and heart-warming acting performance in the film. His contribution won him an Oscar for the best actor and won his film an Oscar for the best film in a foreign language.
Alain Delon in Le Samourai -The Samurai (1967)
In the French classic film Le Samourai, Alain Delon depicts the character of a daring hitman, Jef Costello. He enthralls the audience by his expertise of creating suspense in their minds. He also goes through the transition from being the hunter to being the hunted in the film perfectly and makes the audience awe at his exceptional capability.
Uttam Kumar in Nayak (1966)
Lastly, we cannot disregard Uttam Kumar- one of the most versatile actors in Indian and Bengali Cinema. He plays the role of Arindam Mukherjee, an ambitious movie star in the legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray's film Nayak. He artistically exhibits the existential crisis and solitude of the matinee idol. According to most of the film critics, Kumar conveyed his own life-story through Arindam Mukherjee. Uttam Kumar poured his soul in his acting for the movie which requires a great deal of composure and patience from the audience in order to comprehend the flawless representation of his character and the mastermind of Satyajit Ray.
Through their performances, these unforgettable actors make us feel oneness of spirit with them and despite the difference of language, culture and nationality- they become close to us as if they are our beloved ones. Cinema and its actors influence our lives deeply by sometimes letting us see ourselves through their eyes and sometimes letting us see themselves through our visions.
The writer is a literature enthusiast and cat lover