Ever wondered if Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan will share screen space in a movie together? Unfortunately, such a scenario might remain a pipe-dream if you are to consider the dwindling number of multi-starrers being made these days. Instead, what we have today is many more ensemble cast films that have at the most one or two A-List stars and many other actors, some character actors, others non-A-list heroes.
An ensemble cast film is basically a film in which every important actor is like the hero of the film. In other words, an ensemble cast film is a multi-starrer in which all the actors may not be top stars but all of them have almost the same footage and the same prominence in the film.
Aamir, Shah Rukh, Salman may agree to work in an ensemble cast film more willingly than they would probably jump at a multi-starrer. That is because in a multi-star cast film, an A-list actor would have to worry about being overshadowed by the other A-lister/s. On the other hand, the same stars have no problems signing up on a project that has other character actors playing roles that might be as good as theirs. Let’s take a look at a few such films with ensemble casts.
Delhi Belly: The forthcoming Imran Khan-starrer is an ensemble cast film because although only Imran Khan is the real star in the cast, his co-actors, Vir Das and Kunal Roy Kapur, have been given equal prominence in the film’s posters, promos and music videos. So, we can safely expect that the troika will have the screen-time equally split among them as well!
Shor In The City: Tusshar Kapoor, the only known face in the cast of the dark comedy, shared the screen with lesser known actors like Nikhil Dwivedi and Pitobash. The three actors played fast friends in the film. Also starring in the film was Hollywood actor Sendhil Ramamurthy.
Yeh Saali Zindagi: Arunoday Singh, Chitrangda Singh, Irrfan Khan and Aditi Rao Hydari got together for this Sudhir Mishra film. You would think, Irrfan Khan, the best-known face in the cast, was the hero of the film. But if you’ve seen the film, you would’ve realised that each of the actors had string roles, almost of equal length.
Rang De Basanti: Aamir Khan was indeed the star of this Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra film. But Sharman Joshi, Kunal Kapoor, Siddharth, R. Madhavan, Atul Kulkarni and Soha Ali Khan played important characters in the film. In fact, the climax belonged more to Siddharth than Aamir. Had it not been an ensemble cast film, you could be sure, the climax would have the meatiest scenes reserved for Aamir Khan only!
Ishqiya: A very unexpected pairing – Vidya Balan playing the steamy and rustic seductress with the veteran Naseeruddin Shah and Arshad Warsi.
Khosla Ka Ghosla!: Anupam Kher, Ranvir Shorey and Parveen Dabas managed to form a formidable team against the dastardly Boman Irani in Khosla Ka Ghosla!. Nobody could claim to be the solo hero just like you couldn’t say, so-and-so played a character role in the film while so-and-so was the hero.
Maqbool: An adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, Irrfan Khan played the brooding gangster in Maqbool. But was he any bigger a hero in the film than, say, Tabu or Pankaj Kapur?
Monsoon Wedding: Even with a biggie like Naseeruddin Shah, Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Lillete Dubey, Vijay Raaz, Vasundhara Das and Randeep Hooda had prominent – nay, equally prominent – roles in Monsoon Wedding. A truly ensemble cast film, this.
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro: Considered to be the baap of all Bollywood comedy films, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro paired Naseeruddin Shah with Ravi Baswani. Even though Satish Shah played a corpse in almost the entire film, he was just as much a part of the laughs as Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, Om Puri, Pankaj Kapur and Satish Kaushik.