Suniel Shetty’s debut film was Balwaan (1992), opposite Divya Bharti. The film was a hit and launched his career as an action hero. He became a sought after action-star and later segued into drama and comedy as well. He has always been admired for his tough-guy physique but carries a soft heart beneath his gruff exterior. On the occasion of his birthday, we present a list of some of his best movies down the years. Have a look…
1. Suniel Shetty Movies – Balwan (1992)
Director: Deepak Anand
Cast: Suniel Shetty, Divya Bharti, Danny Denzongpa
The film marked Suniel Shetty’s debut. He was paired opposite Divya Bharti in this action thriller. He played a hot-headed youth named Arjun Singh who is always ready to fight crime and criminals. His girlfriend’s (Divya Bharti) father advises him to join the police and make use of his strength wisely. He joins the police but his honesty and integrity isn’t liked by a local goon (Danny Denzongpa). He’s framed for murder and in the meanwhile the goon tortures and kills his family. Arjun swears revenge and after coming out of jail, becomes a one-man army against Danny. The film became a sleeper hit and Suniel got flooded with action films.
2. Suniel Shetty Movies – Waqt Hamara Hai (1993)
Director: Bharat Rangachary
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Ayesha Jhulka, Mamta Kulkarni, Anupam Kher
This action-comedy started the whole Suniel Shetty-Akshay Kumar bromantic saga. The two pumped-up action stars starred together for the first time in this film. They played college students who start off as rivals and then become the best of friends. Believe it or faint but the film centred around a mysterious substance called Kryptonite which is to be used by the terrorists to kill a high-ranking politician. No, Superman isn’t involved here. But our two action stars act as superheroes nevertheless, killing a whole army of goons with bare hands and making sure the politician stays safe. The first half is concentrated on the college life shenanigans, with the two heroes busy romancing their respective girlfriends — Ayesha for Akshay and Mamta for Sunil. Trouble starts when Rami Reddy comes on the scene and forces the two young men to do his dirty work. How they outwit him through both brains and brawns forms the crux of the film, which became a huge box office hit.
3. Suniel Shetty Movies – Dilwale (1994)
Director: Harry Baweja
Cast: Suniel Shetty, Ajay Devgn, Raveena Tandon
The success of Akshay Kumar-Suniel Shetty hits made Harry Baweja team him up with another action hero, Ajay Devgn. The music of the film, given by Nadeem-Shravan, became a huge hit. Suniel played a rough and tough cop in the film while Ajay played a mental patient accused of murder. Both, unknown to each other, love the same girl — Raveena Tandon. Suniel played the underdog in the film in the sense that he sacrifices his love for Raveena as she comes to know she truly loves Ajay. He takes it upon himself to bring justice for Ajay, whom he believes to be falsely accused. Ajay starts off as a mental patient but there are layers to his character. It’s a three-hour-long film but because of its hit songs and the hi-jinks action showcased by both Suniel and Ajay, became a huge hit. Suniel underplayed his role and his acting was much appreciated.
4. Suniel Shetty Movies – Mohra (1994)
Director: Rajiv Rai
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Naseeruddin Shah, Raveena Tandon
The film marked the transition of Naseeruddin Shah into commercial cinema. His acting chops were pitted against the brawn of Akshay and Suniel in the film and this strange combination surprisingly won huge dividends at the box office. It was also the film which had Paresh Rawal collaborating with Akshay and Suniel in a comic role. The film’s music, composed by Viju Shah, was considered a chartbuster. It’s hit song, Tu cheez badi hai mast mast, is still remembered today. Na kajare ki dhar, picturised on Suniel Shetty, also remains popular. Vishal (Suniel Shetty) is a man who had brutally murdered four men and was in jail for it. When he saves visiting journalist Roma (Raveena Tandon) from molestation in the jail, she starts investigating his background and feels the murders he committed were justified. She gets him out of the jail with the help of a blind businessman called Jindal (Naseeruddin Shah). Her boyfriend, inspector Amar (Akshay Kumar) isn’t happy with the turn of events. Jindal hires Vishal to be a contract killer and supplies him with proof against some smugglers and black marketeers. However, he’s being played by Jindal, who is a smuggler himself and is using Vishal to bump-off his rivals. How Vishal, with the help of Amar and Roma, fights out the evil men forms the crux of the film.
5. Suniel Shetty Movies – Border (1997)
Director: JP Dutta
Cast: Sunny Deol, Suniel Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Jackie Shroff, Sudesh Berry, Puneet Issar and Kulbhushan Kharbanda
It is an adaptation of real-life events that happened during the Battle of Longewala in 1971. Border remains Suniel Shetty’s most well-known film till date. He got recognised as an actor through this film. His character, of BSF Commandant Bhairon Singh, became hugely popular back then and remains popular even now. On the evening of 3 December 1971, Pakistan Air Force planes bomb multiple Indian airbases and war officially gets declared. Dharamveer Bhan (Akshaye Khanna) and five of his soldiers are sent to patrol the border in a section; BSF Assistant Commandant Bhairon Singh (Sunil Shetty) and his men are assigned to clear out the nearby villages. Dharamveer spots Pakistani tanks (Chinese Type 59s) and infantry crossing the border into India. He reports back the enemy movement to Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (Sunny Deol) and is ordered to secretly follow the tanks without engaging them. Wing Commander Andy Bajwa (Jackie Shroff), tells Major Kuldip that there can be no air support as his base has only Hunter-Fighters, which can only fly during the day. Bajwa promised air support at first light and asked Kuldip and his men to hold off the enemy during the night. Kuldip and his vastly outnumbered men decide to defend their post till their dying breath. Showcasing heroics of the highest order, they continue to engage the enemy throughout the night, even blowing off tanks by deploying grenades and ensure a victory when Bajwa and his boys fly down to finish off the enemy.
6. Suniel Shetty Movies – Hu Tu Tu (1999)
Cast: Nana Patekar, Suniel Shetty, Tabu
It’s the most intense film done by Suniel Shetty. He plays Aditya Patel, a rich man’s son who is disgusted by his father’s evil business practices and turns into a Naxalite. He loves Panna Barve (Tabu), the daughter of Chief Minister Malti Barve (Suhasini Muley) and kidnaps her to bail out one of their comrades Bhau (Nana Patekar). The film goes into flashback where we see the romance of Panna and Aditya taking place. Both get drawn to socialist philosophy and are disillusioned by their corrupt parents. Their parents are shocked when they come to know about the progressive leanings of their children. Later, circumstances make Aditya and Panna grow apart. But they get united after the kidnapping and then go to extreme lengths to teach a lesson to their parents.
7. Suniel Shetty Movies – Dhadkan (2000)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Shilpa Shetty and Mahima Chaudhry
Suniel Shetty plays the anti-hero to Akshay Kumar’s goody-goody, ideal husband material character. He won the accolades despite playing a dark character. His passion for Shilpa Shetty in the film and his angst as a jilted lover feels real. He showed he could do a variety of roles and wasn’t just meant for action films. He got the Filmfare Best Villain Award for the film. Dev (Sunil Shetty) is poor and is in love with a comparatively well-off girl, Anjali (Shilpa Shetty) who gets married to Ram (Akshay Kumar) as per the wishes of her parents. Dev, who becomes a successful business tycoon, working in association with Sheetal (Mahima Chaudhary, comes back in Sheetal’s life some years later. Dev wants to win Anjali back from Ram and hence wants to sabotage Ram’s business. However, in the end, he realises that Anjali can never be his and leaves them alone, content to secure a future with Anjali (who secretly loves him) abroad. The film became famous for its blockbuster music as well.
8. Suniel Shetty Movies – Hera Pheri (2000)
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Tabu
The story of this laugh riot is adapted from the 1989 Malayalam film Ramji Rao Speaking which was based on the 1971 television film See The Man Run. A sequel Phir Hera Pheri was released in 2006. The comedy revolved around a wrong number being answered which leads to all kinds of misadventures. Babu Bhaiya (Paresh Rawal), a kind-hearted garage owner has two tenants, Raju (Akshay Kumar), who is indulging in get rich quick schemes all the time and Shyam (Suni Shetty), who has come to the city to get a job in place of his deceased father. One day Kabeera (Gulshan Grover) gives a ransom call to the owner of Star Fisheries, Mr Devi Prasad (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). The call, however, gets connected to Babu Bhaiya. Kabeera, informs that his granddaughter Rinku is kidnapped and asks for a ransom. When Raju gets to know this, he calls Devi Prasad pretending to be Kabira and asks for an even bigger amount. This leads them to all kinds of mayhem but in the end, they thankfully end up rescuing Rinku and also get rich in the process.
9. Suniel Shetty Movies – Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar (2001)
Cast: Suniel Shetty, Mahima Chaudhry and Paresh Rawal
It’s a remake of Malayalam comedy Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam (1986) starring Mohanlal. This sweet rom-com had Shetty again exercising his comic touch. He plays a debt-ridden man hailing from UP who needs to sell his Mumbai house in order to get his sisters married. The comedy arises out of the fact that the tenants residing in it, a Maharashtrian woman and her family, especially the feisty elder daughter (Mahima Chaudhry) refuse to vacate. Slowly, a romance develops between them and they reach an amicable solution at the end. Apart from Sunil Shetty’s character, Paresh Rawal’s role too got noticed
10. Suniel Shetty Movies – Chup Chup Ke (2006)
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor, Neha Dhupia, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal, Rajpal Yadav, Shakti Kapoor, Om Puri and Anupam Kher.
Suniel Shetty plays a hot-tempered but caring elder brother in this comedy which is based on Malayalam film Punjabi House (1998). Jeetu (Shahid Kapoor) the son of retired teacher Jaidev Prasad (Anupam Kher) owes money to several people and decides to commit suicide by throwing himself into the sea. However, it does not go as planned and Jeetu is saved by a pair of fishermen, Gundya (Paresh Rawal) and Bandya (Rajpal Yadav). Gundya owes money to a Gujarati businessman, Prabhat Singh Chauhan (Om Puri). He keeps Jeetu and Bandya with the businessman as collateral until he pays the loan. Jeetu pretends to be deaf and mute and that leads to several funny situations. Prabhat’s niece Shruti (Kareena Kapoor) is mute too, but not deaf. She finds out his secret and asks him to help her out. She’s to be married to someone against her wish and Jeetu pretends to be her lover, which makes the prospective groom break off the marriage. Shruti begins to like him in earnest and after several madcap moments, he’s finally accepted by all, including Mangal (Suniel Shetty), Shruti’s rather strict brother. They are all set to marry but at this juncture, his family learns he’s alive and demands he marries his fiancee, who has been living in his house as his widow.
11. Suniel Shetty Movies – Phir Hera Pheri (2006)
Director: Neeraj Vora
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Paresh Rawal
Neeraj Vora took over the director’s reins from Priyadarshan in this sequel and Bipasha Basu and Rimi Sen were the new additions to the film. The central plot takes inspiration from the Hollywood film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Raju is conned by Anuradha (Bipasha Basu), to invest his money in a 21-day double your money scheme. He also convinces Babu Bhaiyya (Paresh Rawal) and Shyam (Sunil Shetty) to invest in it. They even sell their lavish bungalow for that. He even asks a small-time goon, Pappu (Rajpal Yadav) to contribute 20 lakhs towards the scheme. They are asked by Pappu’s boss Tiwari (Sharat Saxena), to cough up the money soon otherwise they’ll be killed. They come across a drug consignment and go to a middleman Kachara Seth (Manoj Joshi), who arranges to unknowingly sell it to same mafia guys whom the drugs were meant for. The whole shebang ends in a circus where Raju, Shyam and Babu Bhaiyya escape with three ancient guns worth crores. The film ends just when Raju is poised to throw the guns in a river.