Stellar Saif Ali Khan Performances You Must Not Miss

Saif Ali Khan's acting prowess needs no introduction. From romcoms to action thrillers, Nawab of Pataudi's filmography has something for everyone.

Published On Jun 28, 2023 | Updated On Mar 05, 2024


Saif Ali Khan has been in the Hindi film industry for decades, with a bunch of top-notch performances. But the actual best thing about his career is that no matter who you ask, his fans are bound to have a different answer to this question: What is your favourite Saif Ali Khan performance? He’s had such a versatile journey filled with both conventional and unconventional choices, lead roles as well as character roles and also, who can forget, he’s the father to four beautiful children and has aced how to live his life publicly.

It’s a mammoth task to pick the ten best Saif Ali Khan performances because if you actually think about it, there may not be a bad one. Whether it is playing the antagonist in films like Ek Hasina Thi or the hero’s best friend in Main Khiladi Tu Anari, you know you are signing up for a good time when you watch a film with Saif Ali Khan in it. And so, here are our top six Saif Ali Khan performances in no particular order. 

Love Aaj Kal was a unique take on the quintessential Bollywood rom-com while still giving us everything we love about romantic movies. There are great songs, there is a solid romance track, there is drama, this is a thrill, there are cameos that will make you smile and then, there is subversion. Split into two ongoing narratives, Saif plays a double role in the film. His first role is based during the partition, where he plays a silent lover of a girl staying in his neighbourhood. In the second role, he plays a modern man who runs away from the idea of commitment but unwittingly ends up falling for his best friend. Saif and Deepika’s chemistry shined in the film, and Saif’s performance was spoken about for years to come.

Saif’s stint as Langa Tyagi in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Omkara is considered one of his best performances. Playing Iago in the Hindi adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, Saif took on the challenge of playing a completely black character with absolutely no grey shades. But he was able to portray the pure evil in his character with such authenticity and charm that one couldn’t help but root for him in the film. Standing against fellow fantastic actors like Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor and Konkona Sen Sharma, Saif still managed to become the most memorable character in the film. 

Rensil D’silva’s Kurbaan was considered a casting coup since it brought Saif and Kareena together on the big screen after they announced that they were a couple. In the film, Saif and Kareena fall in love and move to the US, but Kareena’s character finds out that Saif is working for a terrorist organisation and takes the help of neighbours and new friends to escape from him. While the film didn’t do that well at the box office, Saif Ali Khan’s stint playing a grey character in the film was lauded and the second half of the film genuinely packed in a lot of edge-of-your-seat thrills. Also, who can forget his French beard look? This is also the film after which the moniker 'saifeena' was coined. 

One of the most comforting roles Saif Ali Khan has done is playing a boy next door in Homi Adajania’s Cocktail. Sandwiched between two women, Veronica and Meera, Saif played the everyman character to perfection, fusing humour, charm and musicality in his performance. The songs, the locations and the drama in the film were appreciated and while there was some criticism regarding how the love triangle between the lead characters panned out, the film was a bonafide hit. 

Saif Ali Khan plays a character named Ranveer Singh in the Race series, directed by Abbas Mastan, and his character is very different from the movie star Ranveer Singh. In the film, Ranveer is suave, silent and scheming. In the first film, he faced off with Katrina and Akshaye Khanna, and the epic twists in the film made it extremely successful and popular. With film number two, he upped the ante by starring opposite Deepika Padukone, John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez and almost achieved cult status for being considered the best part of the series.

In the zombie-comedy film directed by Raj and DK, Saif Ali Khan plays a Russian mafia character in the film (only for us to find out later that he’s actually from Delhi). Saif isn’t the main character in Go Goa Gone, in fact, his screen time is perhaps limited to under 30 minutes but he’s arguably the most impactful character of them all. In the film, he sports orange hair, a serious look and always walks around with guns. And even though he metamorphosed into such a different character, he never sheds his signature Saif Ali Khan charm throughout the film. A breezy, funny and kitschy film, Go Goa Gone will always be remembered for Saif Ali Khan’s “cameo.”

Photo: Instagram/houseofpataudi