Vijay Varma: A Decade Of Formidable Talent – From ‘Pink’ To ‘Jaane Jaan’

If we observe Vijay Varma’s filmography, we predominantly notice two types of roles – negative/grey roles and cop characters.

Vijay Varma started his acting career in 2008 with a short film titled Shor. But his big screen debut started with Chittagong in 2012. It was followed by late Satish Kaushik’s Gang of Ghosts (2014) and Priyadarshan’s Rangrezz (2013).

However, none of these movies gave a significant push to his career until Pink (2016) came along. Since then, as the saying goes, there is no looking back for the Bollywood actor. Vijay Varma is an FTII student, and this clearly shows how the actor has adapted to different roles. If we observe his filmography, we notice that two types of roles majorly stand out – negative/grey characters and cop roles. Let’s check them out here:

Ankit Malhotra

Pink was a breakthrough film for Vijay Varma where he played a deeply misogynistic person -Ankit Malhotra. He was the one who eggs on Rajveer Singh (Angad Bedi) to take revenge on Taapsee Pannu’s character, Minal. Ankit Malhotra just doesn’t stop there,  he also molests her in a moving jeep and throws her on the road. He really looks menacing in that scene. We hate him as much as Angad Bedi.


Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy (2019) saw Vijay Varma as a neighbourhood crook Moen who was also a friend of Ranveer Singh’s Murad. He was not a psycho but had his own grey shades. Throughout the film, viewers couldn’t make out if he was good or bad. The Bollywood actor owned the part with a brilliant performance.


In Imtiaz Ali’s web series She (2020), Vijay Varma played a drug peddler named Sasya. In spite of not having a lot of screen time, he owned every frame that he was in. What also added to the performance was how he spoke Hyderabadi Deccani – a language spoken in Hyderabad where he grew up. Vijay also got the body language of the drug peddler spot-on.


In Darlings (2022), Vijay Varma played an alcoholic, abusive husband named Hamza to Alia Bhatt’s Badru. He was someone who was extremely cruel and at the same time, lovey-dovey depending on the situation. Vijay looked like a truly scary psychopath. The actor received a lot of positive hate for his portrayal of Hamza. By Vijay’s own admission, it was not an easy task to be an abusive husband to the “heartthrob of the nation.” The Bollywood actor also said that he was very scared of unintentionally hurting Alia in the scenes involving physical abuse. Those scenes were so real that every time he appeared on the screen, we were as terrified as Alia. Coincidentally, their first feature films (Chittagong and Student of the Year) were released in the same month (October) in 2012.

Anand Swarnakar

Initially, the viewers have a positive impression of Vijay’s character Anand Swarnakar in Dahaad (2023). Apart from being an excellent Hindi professor, Anand also runs a mobile library for the underprivileged. But soon, this bubble breaks as the real face of Anand is revealed. Vijay Varma was absolutely terrific – both as a middle-class married man struggling to make ends meet and as a serial killer who has severe unresolved issues with his father.


Monsoon Shootout is an early film by Vijay Varma shot in 2013. It had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, but theatrically, it was released four years later in 2017. In the movie, Vijay Varma played a cop who was deeply influenced by his father’s principles. His father told him that all life’s choices were not black and white, and there was a middle path too. In spite of sharing screen space with a heavyweight like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Vijay Varma more than held his own. He did a swell job of showcasing the different nuances of his character.

Ravi Shankar Tripathi

In the web series Kaalkoot (2023), Vijay Varma’s Ravi Shankar Tripathi was vastly different from the mainstream cops that the audiences are used to. For example, Dabbang (2010) and Singham (2011). He was a soft-spoken cop who considered himself a misfit in the police department. There was a constant desire in him to resign. But as the show progressed, his character underwent a transformation. This show had come right after Dahaad where he played a serial killer. He made the audience forget that this was the same man who appeared as a serial killer.

Karan Anand

In Sujoy Ghosh’s Jaane Jaan (2023), an OTT film, Vijay Varma appeared as a charming cop. It was the closest he came to doing romance. The scenes where he flirts with Kareena Kapoor’s Maya D’Souza were so adorable to watch. He gave the film some much-needed lighter moments in an otherwise tense atmosphere.

Vijay Varma is now 37. He has already done 24 films, including web series. Here’s hoping that our filmmakers will tap his potential – much more in future – which goes beyond the above-mentioned characters!

Published in SouthFirst on 15.10.2023. Click on the below link for

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