Govinda has often been remembered for his comedy films like Aankhen, Shola Aur Shabnam, Raja Babu, Coolie No. 1, Haseena Maan Jayegi to name a few, however very few people know that the actor started his career in the industry as an actor hero. Back in 80’s, when every actor in the industry kept himself busy by doing action films, Govinda too went ahead with the herd mentality by acting in films like Mera Lahoo, Marte Dum Tak, Khudgarz, Dadagiri, Hatya, Sachai Ki Taqat.

While he did manage to give quite a few successful films in the action and drama genre, the real game changer for his career was Shola Aur Shabnam, which was his first successful comedy. It was also the first collaboration of David Dhawan and Govinda for a comedy film and the rest is history.

After Shola Aur Shabnam, Govinda shifted his base from Action and Drama to comedy and went on to deliver successful films like Aankhen, Raja Babu, Coolie No. 1, Sajaan Chale Sasural, Hero No. 1, Deewana Mastana, Dulhe Raja, Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, Haseena Maan Jayegi and Jodi No. 1 to name a few.

Decoding Govinda: The Rise and Fall of India’s Comedy King
Decoding Govinda: The Rise and Fall of India’s Comedy King

Within a short time span, Govinda was crowned as the king of comedies. In-fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to label him as one of the first actors to get comedy into the mainstream space in Bollywood. Back in 1980’s, comedy was often considered as a sub-plot of a commercial Hindi film and not many superstars were keen to take up the comic characters in the film. However, Govinda broke the stereotype with David Dhawan and made comedy a serious business. In-fact, he inspired a lot of mainstream Bollywood stars to take up comedy films. His comic timing apart, Govinda also introduced a brand new style of dancing in Indian Cinema and used to hold the attention of the viewers by mere expression in the dance numbers. His eyes and expressions used to speak thousand words. The entire new generation of actors who master the art of dancing are self-confessed Govinda Fans.

Govinda had slowly become one of the top stars of 90’s alongside the likes of Sunny Deol, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan, who had delivered a lot of hit films in the decade. In-fact, in 1999, Govinda was voted as the World’s 10th greatest star of stage or screen in a BBC News poll. The decade of 90’s saw the transformation of Govinda from an action star to a comedy star and the same was noteworthy. While the trade was confident that Govinda would continue to deliver the huge hits even in the 2000’s, the actor shocked one and all with his decision to enter politics. Although the actor won a seat in parliament from Mumbai North by defeating five-time MP Ram Naik by a margin of over 50,000 votes in general elections, he wasn’t quite successful as a politician.

During his tenure as a MP, Govinda was usually absent from the Lok Sabha, for which faced a lot of criticism. The actor eventually had to resign from politics. Trying to foray in politics was one of the biggest mistakes of Govinda’s Bollywood career, as he eventually lost out on his stardom. Apart from politics, his immense indulgence in spirituality is also another reason for the downward streak in his career.

The actor decided to start his second innings in Bollywood and was successful in bagging big films back then. He made a comeback with Bhagam Bhag (2006), co-starring Akshay Kumar and the film was a successful venture at the Box-Office. After Bhagam Bhag, he was seen in two films with Salman Khan i.e. Salaam-E-Ishq and Partner, out of which only Partner was a successful venture. Govinda won a lot of acclaim for his performance in all the three films i.e. Bhagam Bhag, Salaam-E-Ishq and Partner, and everyone started believing that the comic star of 90’s was back in action. However, he couldn’t carry forward the success as he signed several poor films like Money Hai Toh Honey Hai, Naughty At 40, Chal Chala Chal, Loot to name a few.

Even at the last stage of his career, Govinda was not too keen to take up second lead in the films, which costed him losing out on a lot of major films. Govinda, who is one of the finest talents of Bollywood, failed to get a lot of work in the industry majorly due to his stubborn attitude of merely doing films that feature him as a larger than life star. In-fact, the actor also refused Salman Khan’s offer to star in a film produced by the superstar as he wasn’t too comfortable in playing the role of a father. Govinda was last seen in Aa Gaya Hero which was a massive disaster at the Box-Office. Apart from the solo lead films, Govinda was also seen in a brief role in films like Holiday, Kill Dill and Happy Ending and expectedly so, managed to win a lot of praises from critics and audience alike.

With the kind of talent Govinda has, we wish that the actor would have chosen a different path in the second innings of his career, which would have given him the longevity and recognition. However, the actor himself destroyed the legacy created in the 90’s, which makes all his fans, including me, a bit sad.

Decoding Govinda: The Rise and Fall of India’s Comedy King
Decoding Govinda: The Rise and Fall of India’s Comedy King

As far as his film career now is concerned, he will next be seen alongside Varun Sharma in Fry Day. Here’s a look at successful films starring Govinda in lead:

Love 86: Hit
Mera Lahoo: Hit
Khudhgarz: Super Hit
Hatya: Hit
Jeete Hai Shaan Se: Super Hit
Mahasangram: Hit
Hum: Super Hit
Shola Aur Shabnam: Hit
Aankhen: Blockbuster
Swarg: Hit
Raja Babu: Super Hit
Coolie No. 1: Super Hit
Sajaan Chale Sasural: Super Hit
Hero No. 1: Super Hit
Deewana Mastana: Super Hit
Dulhe Raja: Hit
Bade Miyan Chote Miyan: Hit
Haseena Maan Jayegi: Hit
Jodi No. 1: Hit
Bhagam Bhag: Hit
Partner: Super Hit

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