Sunny Deol: Gadar 2 Star has powerful Box-Office journey

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By Filmi Khan

Sunny Deol, whose original name is Ajay Singh Deol, is an actor, director, and producer known for his work in the Hindi film industry (Bollywood).

Sunny Deol
Picture: Social Media

Sunny Deol was born on October 19, 1956, in Sahnewal, east Punjab, to a prominent Bollywood family. He is the son of veteran actor Dharmendra and Prakash Kaur. He has two siblings, Bobby Deol and two sisters Vijayta and Ajeeta who are settled in California, USA. Famous actress Hema Malini is his step-mother. Actress Esha Deol and Ahana Deol are his half-sisters. His cousin Abhay Deol is also an actor.

Sunny Doel with his brothers
Picture: Social Media

Sunny Deol started his career in Bollywood with the film “Betaab” in 1983, which was a major success and established him as a leading actor in the industry. He received the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in the film.

In 1986 he appeared alongside his father in Sultanat. In the final years of the decade, he appeared in several blockbuster including Paap Ki Duniya (1988), Vardi (1989), Tridev (1989) and ChaalBaaz (1989). His role as a police officer in Tridev was highlighted and the film along with ChaalBaaz, was among the top 5 highest earning films of the year.

He continued to deliver successful films in the 1980s and 1990s and gained immense popularity for his intense and action-packed roles. Some of his notable films during this period include “Arjun,” “Ghayal,” “Ghatak,” “Darr”, “Damini,” “Border,” and “Gadar: Ek Prem Katha.”

In 1997 Sunny Deol came up with another blockbuster Ziddi. His film Ziddi, was one of the highest grossing films of 1997. The movie flourished particularly in North India. The songs were well-received, with the dandy number “Mera Dil Le Gayi Oye” becoming extremely popular.

Sunny Doel
Picture: Social Media

He followed it up with the colossal hit Border, an epic war film inspired from the real-life events that happened during the Battle of Longewala in 1971, in which Sunny Deol played the leading role of decorated Indian Army officer Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri. The film had huge star cast including Jackie Shroff, Sunil Shetty, Akshaye Khanna, Tabu, Raakhee, Pooja Bhatt, and others. It opened to strong box office results and was declared an all-time blockbuster by Box Office India. It also became the highest-grossing Hindi film of 1997 in India, and the second highest-grossing film of the year worldwide. Border grossed a worldwide total of ₹65.57 crore and it was the fourth biggest blockbuster film of the 90s decade.

The film was flourished with several awards at different award functions. It received 11 nominations at the 43rd Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, and Best Actor for Sunny Deol. The film’s epic song, “Sandese Aate Hai”, sung by Sonu Nigam and Roop Kumar Rathod, became one of the most popular Hindi songs of that year. The popularity of the song marked the breakthrough of Sonu Nigam in the industry.

Sunny in film Border
Picture: Social Media

In 1999 his film ‘Arjun Pandit’ was his first collaboration with director Rahul Rawail after Yodha. Due to the critical and commercial success of their previous collaborations Arjun (1985) and Yodha (1991), the film was among one of the most awaited films of the year. Although it was not well reviewed upon release, the film became a hit. UP gangster Vikas Dubey was reported to be an ardent fan of this film. It was rumoured that he has watched this film more than 100 times. Inspired by his love for this film, he had earned the monicker Pandit.

The film is also remembered for its song Kudiyan Shehar Diyan, sung by Daler Mehndi and performed by Juhi Chawla. In 1999 he made his directorial debut with the film ‘Dillagi’ starring himself, his brother and Urmila Matondkar, but the film was failure at box office.

Film: Dillagi
Picture: Social Media

His first blockbuster hit was 2001 film Gadar: Ek Prem Katha, directed by well-known director Anil Sharma, in which Deol played the role of a patriotic truck driver, Tara Singh who falls in love with a Muslim girl, Sakeena, in the backdrop of 1947 partition violence, and makes a dramatic trip to Pakistan to get back his love Sakeena. Gadar became the one of the highest-grossing Hindi film up until then in mainstream Hindi cinema.

The film ranks among the top 3 Indian films in all-time highest footfalls since 1990s. The music of Gadar was immensely popular, especially the songs “Udja Kale Kawan” and “Main Nikla Gaddi Leke” which topped the charts for months. The infamous “Handpump scene” became a major hit among the audience. Sunny was nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actor once again for this film. In the same year, Deol also worked in another successful action thriller film ‘Indian’ (2001). It was the fourth highest-grossing Hindi film of the year.

Picture: Social Media

In 2002, Sunny worked in another war film ‘Maa Tujhhe Salaam’ which opened strongly but could not stand on box-office. He portrayed the role of Indian freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad in his own production house film ‘23rd March 1931: Shaheed’, starring his brother Bobby Deol in the role of Bhagat Singh. The film’s release coincided with another film based on Bhagat Singh, directed by noted filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi and titled ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’. Both films did not work at the box office.

In 2003, Sunny Deol worked with director Anil Sharma yet again for the film The Hero: Love Story of a Spy, which also starred Preity Zinta and the debutant Priyanka Chopra. The film was Bollywood’s most expensive film at that time. The film became the third highest-grossing Hindi film of that year.

Film: The Hero:Love Story of a Spy Picture: Social Media

In 2004, Sunny Deol worked in Lakeer, which featured an ensemble cast including Sunil Shetty, and Sohail Khan and John Abraham. This film was a flop. In the same year, he worked in the sports comedy film Rok Sako To Rok Lo, which was another flop.

‘Jo Bole So Nihaal’ came in 2005 and it was Deol’s solo release for the year. Despite the buzz, the film could not work at the box office.

Sunny Deol early in his career
Picture: Social Media

In 2006, He starred in the techno-thriller Teesri Aankh. In this film he again worked with his Gadar co-star Ameesha Patel. The film was inspired by the 1994 film Mute Witness. It was a disaster. In September 2006, Sunny took on a role in the action-adventure film Naksha, an endeavour by Bollywood to capture the essence of films seen in the Indiana Jones and The Mummy series. Despite being hailed as ahead of its time by certain critics, the film unfortunately met with box office failure.

In 2007, he came with another atypical film for the time, ‘Big Brother’, a vigilante film. This film was supposed to be Priyanka Chopra’s first release in 2002 but unfortunately it was delayed by almost 5 years. The film was a disaster at box office. Same year, he worked in the comedic caper Fool N Final, sharing the spotlight with emerging talents Shahid Kapoor and Ayesha Takia. This film was also a box office failure. He appeared alongside his father Dharmendra and brother Bobby Deol together for the first time in Apne (2007), a sports-drama film under his production house. The film garnered significant hype and achieved decent success.

Sunny Deol
Picture: Social Media

“Ghayal” (1990) was a significant milestone in his career, earning him the National Film Award for Best Actor. It was also a box office hit.

Sunny Deol is often associated with the “dhai kilo ka haath” (two and a half kilos of hand) dialogue and his strong, macho image in the industry.

Throughout his career, he has worked in various genres, including adventure,action, drama, and romance.

Sunny Deol has received several awards for his acting, including two National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards.

On 11 August 2023, the sequel of his 2001 film Gadar, was released on 11 August 2023. The film’s story is centred around the era of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, in which Sunny Deol as Tara Singh returns to Pakistan to bring back his son. The film was directed and produced by Anil Sharma, and the film stars Sunny along with Ameesha Patel, and Utkarsh Sharma in lead roles. Gadar 2 has become the highest-grossing film in Sunny Deol career.

Sunny in Gadar-2
Pciture: Social Media

Political Career:

In 2019, Sunny Deol entered politics and contested the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Indian Parliament) elections as a candidate of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the Gurdaspur constituency in Punjab. He won the election and served as a Member of Parliament.

Sunny Deol is known for his powerful and impactful performances in Bollywood. He has left a significant mark on the industry, particularly in the action genre. His dedication to his craft and his ability to connect with the audience through his roles have made him a beloved figure in Indian cinema.

Sunny in Lok Sabha
Picture: Lok Sabha TV

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